Yes, this desert fruit is the latest superfood to get in your belly.
By now you’ve likely come to realize that slathering and snacking on shrubbery with any sort of healthy reputation has kind of become the standard around here (you know, like this and this). And, yeah... once again there’s a new super succulent that’s making a swift entry into our beauty cabinets and fruit bowls. Prickly pear, a pinkish, hair-covered fruit that grows on the cacti lining the Pacific Coast Highway, and its cold-pressed seed oil, is overtaking argan and coconut oil for space in our superfood-obsessed hearts. And for good reason.
In case you were wondering (because we sure as hell were), it tastes like a sweet cross between a watermelon, kiwi and pear. :heavy_check_mark: And, its cold-pressed seed oil is packed with things like vitamin E (150 percent more than argan oil, actually) and antioxidants that protect from free radicals, and is made up of 85% fatty acids (which have major beauty and health benefits). :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: So to make sure we were using this fruit to its full potential, we enlisted the help of Beyoncé and Victoria Beckham’s dermatologist Dr. Harold A. Lancer to find out how prickly pear seed oil will hydrate and smooth out our complexions (so we can look more like Bey, obviously). Oh, and we threw in a few DIY options for good measure.
Hydrate Your Skin
Since we’re all suffering from post-apocalyptic winter skin, it's no surprise it's in need for some serious hydration. “Oil can be a great option for skin moisturization, cleansing and as post-procedure protection after peels, lasers and other treatments. It is a natural source of fatty acids, and helps seal in moisture in the skin and also enhances the skin’s barrier function,” explains Dr. Lancer. But it’s prickly pear seed oil’s (say that five times fast) Omega 6 fatty acids and added vitamins that help stimulate cell production and combats all those damaging free radicals.
Smooth Out Your Complexion
On top of the whole being super hydrating thing, prickly pear seed oil can drastically improve your overall skin tone. Omega 6 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe red and flushed skin, while amino acids strengthens connective tissue for plump, elastin skin. “Prickly pear extract is rich in amino acids and vitamin K, which in turn can boost skin luminosity and over time help restore lost elasticity,” says Dr. Lancer. Another great benefit of any oil is its capacity to absorb into the skin immediately, giving your skin a non-greasy dewy glow.
Repair Your Nails & Cuticles
If you’re anything like us, your shellac manicure dependency has likely left your nails so brittle they chip with a simple sneeze. Massaging prickly pear oil into your nails and cuticles will literally undo all the damage done by the bi-weekly UV lamp session.
Better Than Your Argan Oil Mask
Richer in consistency and loaded with exponentially more vitamins than argan, it’s pretty much a given that this golden cacti oil can do just as good (if not better) of a job at smoothing out frizzled ends and hydrating our post Kylie-color-job hair. Peel the fruit, cut into chunks and immerse in a water-filled container and shake. Drench your hair; leave on for 20 minutes and rinse. It’s as easy as that!
Cure Your Hangover
You may already have the IV doctor programmed into your contacts, but simply eating one or two prickly pears can cure your dry mouth, that incessant head throbbing and nausea that follow a night of one too many glasses of chardonnay.
Take Your Supplements
If you're looking to increase your vitamin and antioxidant intake, this superfood takes shape in many forms. Daily supplements, capsules, powders and cold pressed juices, have packed back labels of essential fatty acids, amino acids, Omega 6 and 9, zinc, linoleic acid, magnesium, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, potassium and vitamins C, B, E and K.
- Sarah Harris