Prickly Pear ( Barbary Fig ) Seed Oil is a natural oil extracted from the seeds of the fruit of the Opuntia ficus indica cactus. This cactus will grow up to 2 meters in height and needs little water.
They thrive in hot, arid areas of the world – like Morocco. The Opuntia Ficus Indica cacti produce beautiful bright yellow and pink flowers in the spring which produce fruit by the end of summer.
Cactus seed oil is a rich, fatty oil suitable for most skin types including those with sensitive skin. Perfect for deep hydration and protection of the face and hair in any environment.
In Morocco cactus seed oil is also popular for use on acne prone skin. Regular use on the face appears to reduce breakouts and help toward the lightening and healing of marks.
How Is Cactus Seed Oil Made ?
To make cactus seed oil farmers harvest the ripe cactus fruit around the end of July. When ripe, the ovoid cactus fruit is slightly soft, 5 to 8 cm in length and has a green to reddish purple colour.
It is the cactus fruit that contains a reddish, greenish, yellowish sweet pulp full of black seeds.
The seeds are separated from the fruit and dried. Our Barbary Fig Oil is cold pressed from these seeds.
Prickly pear cactus seeds are hard and woody and contain less than 5% oil.
This is why 1000 kilos of fruit yields just 30 Kilos of seeds!
Each 30 kilos of cactus seeds makes just one litre of pure oil
However, as interest in cactus seed oil spreads so do the number of lower quality cactus oils for sale.
Cactus/vegetable oil blends are often advertised as pure cactus seed oil. To make cheaper “cactus oils” they press the cactus fruit – not just the seeds.
You should also be aware that cactus seed oil are sometimes offered as a “macerate” which the sellers don’t make clear. A “macerate” is where an ingredient, like a flower or in this case cactus seeds, will be steeped in a vegetable carrier oil with the idea the properties may ( or may not! ) be carried into the oil.
As discussed the only correct and traditional way of making a pure cactus seed oil is by pressing the seeds only.
This is why our Belle de Jour Moroccan cactus seed oils contain only pure, cold-pressed prickly pear cactus seed oil from the Opuntia Ficus Indica cactus.