Beauty Ingredient Spotlight: Prickly Pear

prickly pear beauty skin and hair

It seems like every month when I open my Allure magazine, there’s a feature on a new beauty or skincare ingredient that’s all the rage. And maybe I’m a few months behind, but I’ve been noticing prickly pear as an ingredient in everything from facial oils to haircare. Below I’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions about prickly pear, as well as the best products containing the superstar ingredient.

What is Prickly Pear?

Prickly pear is part of the cactus family native to the Americas. They’re an edible fruit that are commonly eaten in Mexico and in the Mediterranean region (it’s often used to make agua fresca). In fact, women from regions in that area have been relying on the oil to keep their skin in good condition fore centuries. And like many other ingredients that we consume, the fruit’s oils and extracts can be used in products for skin and hair when applied topically.

Benefits of Prickly Pear for Skin

Prickly pear is full of vitamin E, which acts as a rich conditioner (giving hair a nice shine helping repair damage by softening strands). Additionally, prickly pear oil boasts higher antioxidant content per mL than argan oil.

Benefits of Prickly Pear for Hair

The oil from prickly pear has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to moisturize dry skin and reduce blemishes. The oil is high in Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids and amino acids, which help stimulate collagen. And we all know collagen is key to youthful, plump skin.

Best Hair Products with Prickly Pear

dae Prickly Pear Hair Oil – dae is influencer Amber Fillerup’s new haircare line. This hair oil infused with prickly pear can be used as a treatment or everyday styler to strengthen, soften, detangle, prevent breakage, and fight frizz.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Hair Mask with Prickly Pear Seed Oil – This hair mask is a nourishing treatment made from prickly pear seed oil to smooth, soften, and add radiance to dry, damaged, or dull hair.

Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner – This leave-in conditioner is made from lots of superstar ingredients, including prickly pear extracts (other ingredients include arnica, green tea, and vitamin B5), without leaving a greasy residue behind.

Best Skincare Products with Prickly Pear

Tony Moly I’m Real Cactus Sheet Mask – I love the Tony Moly sheet masks. A few years ago I got a variety pack as a work Secret Santa gift and it took me forever to go through the full set. This particular mask contains 1000 ppm of natural prickly pear extract to calm, soothe, and hydrate skin.

Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil – This facial oil (which is vegan and cruelty-free) contains prickly pear oil to hydrate skin and support cell renewal. As a bonus, it smells amazing!

Raw Sugar Body Wash Avocado Cactus Pear – This body wash aims to brighten skin and restore its elasticity with vitamin-packed prickly pear. And you can’t beat the drugstore price.

Philosophy Nature In A Jar Cream-To-Water Body Lotion With Cactus Fruit Extract – Skincare-favorite brand Philosophy sells this lightweight body lotion that transforms from cream-to-water upon application.

Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser – If you’re looking for a new cleanser, this Tata Harper one is worth the splurge. Its prickly pear flower enzymes provide gentle exfoliation to help clear away buildup without irritation or over-drying.

Aradé Beauty Prickly Pear Seed Oil – This lightweight never greasy oil is 100% natural. It helps keep skin moisturized, fights signs of aging, and promotes clear skin. Aradé partners with Moroccan women through co-ops, paying fair wages to have the finest prickly pear extract produced from the local prickly pear plant crops.

Best Beauty Products with Prickly Pear

bareMinerals Mineralist Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick – This lipstick is made with the essence of Prickly Pear to help hydrate and smooth lips. It comes in over 25 shades ranging from neutral pinks to fiery reds.

Becca First Light Priming Filter – Applied before foundation, this primer instantly brightens & reduces the appearance of dullness.


  1. What a great rundown of prickly pear’s benefits! I have seen it added more and more here and there to beauty products, but I didn’t know exactly what it did! 🙂

    Merry Christmas, babe!

  2. Prickly pear is really beneficial to us! This is the first time I have heard about it, thanks for the info!

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