Why Prickly Pear Seed Oil is Our Star Ingredient

Prickly pear seed oil...coined "liquid gold" by the women in Morocco, is the most naturally vitamin e, EFA and antioxidant rich plant-based oil in the world! Cold-pressed from the tiny seeds, hand extracted from the prickly pear cactus fruit, this exquisite oil has been used for centuries to treat everything from burns to illnesses. Rich in rare antioxidants, in our opinion, prickly pear seed oil is the most powerful, luxurious, and effective ingredient in skin care today. It is also the most expensive plant-based oil on the marketing, making it a very rare ingredient. And when used in skin care, companies typically use less than 1% of the oil in their formula. To compare, organic prickly pear seed oil makes up over 99% of our hero product, The Everything Oil™, and is featured in the rest of our products in a meaningful way.

What is prickly pear?

Prickly pear is a member of the cactus family. The plant is comprised of pads, seeds, colorful flowers, trunks, and the fruit itself. And of course, like other cactuses, they are covered with prickles. Prickly pear cactuses grow in desert regions in the US, Mexico, Northern Africa (Morocco), Australia and the Mediterranean.

Can you eat the fruit?

100%! In fact, we first learned about prickly pear seed oil when our co-founder Susan Carter was visiting family in Morocco and encouraged to indulge in a slice of prickly pear fruit, as it is very commonly consumed there, became of the amazing nutritional benefits. She took one bite…and well…let’s say it’s not part of her daily diet. She gently questioned why people liked eating it so much…because to her it tasted like sand. They laughed and said “yes…that’s because of the seeds…but the seeds are where are the nutrients lie so keep eating.”

At that moment a lightbulb went off in her head and she gathered more and headed to the Moroccan market to find someone to press the seeds into oil. She kept a bottle to try and sent a bottle back to me (Sara Jane) to try in the US. As she remembers I called her and said don’t you dare come back without a lifetime supply of that miracle oil for the both of us…Carter + Jane was then born.

How is prickly pear seed oil made?

We have found the best, most nutrient rich prickly pear seed oil in Morocco (we believe it’s because the soil is still unharmed by humans). Unlike other companies, we control the supply chain from picking the fruit until it’s in your hands. We partner with a woman-owned farm where we pay other women fair wages to pick the fruit, pull and sun-dry the seeds and very carefully cold-press the seeds. We bottle the oil in glass containers on-site and it’s immediately shipped to the US for product production.

Why is prickly pear seed oil the most expensive plant-based oil, when the fruit itself is not expensive? 

Each prickly pear fruit contains hundreds of seeds each on average, but the seeds are tiny and only contain about 5% oil. It takes around 1 ton of prickly pear fruits to produce just 1 liter of oil. Although the oil is costly, prickly pear is a very sustainable crop. And none of the fruit goes to waste. We donate the “leftovers” to farms to use as animal feed.

Needless to say, if you find an "amazing deal" on prickly pear seed oil, chances are you are not getting the real deal. 

What does prickly pear seed oil actually do for the skin? Is it just hype or does it really work?

+ Prickly Pear has one of the highest natural sources of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that fights UV damage, protects the skin from free radicals and reduces the formation of blackheads. Vitamin E has also been shown to reduce inflammation and help retain skin’s natural moisture.

+ When our skin doesn’t get enough essential fatty acids it will become dry and irritated, resulting in a dull, often acne-prone complexion. All vegetable oils (prickly pear is considered both a vegetable a fruit which is part of its magic) contain nonessential and essential fatty acids. Prickly Pear Seed Oil has the highest concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids of any plant oil we’ve seen at a whopping 88%!

+ Important to note is the actual kind of EFAs contained in prickly pear seed oil. With upwards of 70% linoleic acid, it’s no wonder prickly pear seed oil is so good for acne prone skin. Linoleic acid is the oil most recommended for acne-prone skin. This is because research has shown that acne sufferers have a lower concentration of linoleic acid on their skin's surface, which could be contributing to their clogged pores. Also referred to as vitamin F, this fatty acid is also known to fight inflammation. The remaining EFAs found in this precious oil is oleic acid (seals in moisture) and palmitic acid (antioxidant properties shown to help with dermatitis and eczema).

+ This luxurious and precious oil helps improve just about every skin condition that exists. The root cause of many skin concerns is inflammation, and prickly pear seed oil is one of most documented in medical literature as having the most impressive anti-inflammation effects. In fact, it has been used for centuries to treat a multitude of kin concerns from burns to infections.

+ Because prickly pear is both a fruit and vegetable, it contains phytosterols…which is like cholesterol, as it binds to water. When applied topically this helps skin retain moisture and provides a protective barrier to protect from environmental damage. Studies have also shown that phytosterols assist in collagen production, which we all know is key in anti-aging skincare.

+ Prickly pear seed oil also contains powerful levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols have been shown to boost antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties and fight oxidative stress. Studies have also shown that polyphenols are extremely effective at preventing and treating sun damage and will reduce redness and irritation.

Are there any types of skin that shouldn’t use prickly pear seed oil?

This oil really works for everyone...all ages, skin types, genders, ethnicities, etc. We named our hero product The Everything Oil™ for good reason…it really is the one and only product you need.

If prickly pear seed oil is so amazing, why do you add your A3™ to The Everything Oil™?

Our original The Everything Oil™ is comprised of over 99% of the freshest, finest, cold-pressed, organic prickly pear seed oil on earth. Our research has found that adding just a pinch of the right combination of oils enhances the prickly pear seed oil and creates a collective synergy more powerful than any one singular oil.

We often compare our A3 Concentrate™ in The Everything Oil™ to the drop of water added to scotch, purported to open-up the flavor.

A3 Concentrate™ is comprised of organic sweet almond, aloe-vera and avocado.