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Prickly Pear Cactus

EWG Skin Deep Rating

EWG Ranking for Prickly Pear Desert Cacti

Scientific Name: {Cacti}

Common Type: {Prickly Pear Cactus}

Cacti are known for their spiny exterior. But they are sought after for their moisturizing and skin-soothing pulp interiors. Cactus evolved to protect the nutrients and water that live and are stored in cells. They grew sharp thorns to keep predators away.

Now that we understand their benefits, cacti are grown and harvested just for the plants inside. It is a gel. You can also extract it for an even more concentrated and potent application.

Because cacti usually grow in the desert, where there is little water, they have evolved to collect and store as much moisture inside as they possibly can. The properties that make cacti great at holding onto and utilizing stored moisture make them an excellent moisturizer for our skin.

Not only does it deliver moisture, but it also helps to train your complexion to hold onto its moisture. Cacti are pros when preventing moisture loss, and nothing keeps skin looking healthy and vibrant like the proper level of moisture. In addition, it locks moisture in so your complexion stays hydrated.

Nourishing Phytochemicals from the Cactus Plant

Prickly Pear Cactus Increases Moisture Content

Cactus extracts also work as antioxidants, correctly using phytochemicals to nourish the face with essential nutrients for proper function. Not only can it help to combat free radicals by neutralizing them, but it also protects the skin from the heat and effects of the desert sun.

When photo-aging appears, wrinkles are more apparent, and cells are quicker to die off and lend a gray, dull appearance to the skin. By encouraging regeneration, the cactus extract helps the face appear more beautiful. When the dead cells slough away, you should have a more vibrant look—healthy cells fueled by the cactus' nutrient-dense.

Because cactus also has cooling properties, it can help to soothe irritated and red skin. However, succulents have to be good at regulating their temperature without losing their moisture, which can be fatal for a high desert plant.

The plant is especially good at this and lends these benefits to the skin when applied topically. Cacti have long been used by the indigenous people as a beauty treatment and are only now coming into vogue in mainstream cosmetics.

About the Author
Kari Thomas wrote this article.