Prickly Pear Seed Oil Vs Argan Oil - The Opuntia Company

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Prickly Pear Seed Oil Vs Argan Oil

Up until recently, Argan oil has been the jewel of the cosmetics industry, often referred to as 'liquid gold' for its restorative and anti-aging properties for hair, skin and nails. More recently however, a new beauty oil has hit the cosmetics industry, that claims to be even more potent than argan oil, commonly known as prickly pear seed oil or barbary fig.

Indigenous to Morocco, both of these precious oils are rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids. They are both light weight oils that claim to restore, nourish, heal and contain free radical fighting properties. Amazingly, they are both made of exactly the same elements, so what makes them different?

Prickly Pear Seed Oil Fatty Acids Pie Chart
Argan Oil Fatty Acids Pie Chart
Prickly Pear Seed Oil
The illustrations in the pie chart to the left show that the prickly pear seed oil has a remarkably high content of vitamin E (Tocopherols) and Linoleic acid. Vitamin E is a super antioxidant that helps to repair and protect the skin against free radicals (molecules that cause damage to the collagen, the cement that holds the skin together, causing dryness and and wrinkled skin) providing exceptional skin hydration, cell regeneration and healing. Vitamin E is especially good for mature and/or drier skin types.
Linoleic acid plays a large part in the composition of prickly pear seed oil, an element that helps to fill out and plump the skin, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and at the same time increasing firmness, also an element beneficial for mature or dry skin. It is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that forms part of the Omega 6 fatty acids. Deficiency of this can result in dryness in hair, loss of hair and poor healing of wounds. Linoleic acid is often used as an anti-inflammatory and the treatment of acne.

Argan Oil
Argan oil is also well known for its healing, conditioning and repairing abilities, just the same as with the prickly pear seed oil but it is composed of a higher concentration of Oleic acid as you can see. Oils and moisturisers with higher values of oleic acid are slightly richer and heavier so have a tendency to be extra moisturising for your skin. They deliver much needed hydration and make for an effective night treatment. 
Argan oil with its high concentration of oleic acid is often used in hair products because of its ability to tame frizz and boost shine as well as promoting healthy hair growth. 

The palmitic acid and stearic acids present in both the prickly pear seed oil and the argan oil are very similiar.

Vitamin E
The vitamin E, found in the oil extracted from the prickly pear seeds is a fundamental factor of the skin's antioxidant protection system. It provides defense against harmful UV rays and free radicals that can invisibly come into contact with the outer layer of the skin. Sun exposure reduces the amount of vitamin E in the skin as does the aging process, although with age, the structure of the skin changes, so this decline could be caused by greater penetration of UV light over time. Applying Vitamin E directly to the skin, increases photoprotection before exposure to sunlight as well as reducing its effects when applied afterwards. Application after sun exposure can also prevent the dry thickened 'orange peel' effect on the skin that results from long term overexposure as well as relieving sunburn. In studies, vitamin E has shown to protect mice exposed to UV from excessive skin wrinkling, but this has been found to be a photoprotective effect rather than a treatment of existent lines and wrinkles. Source: Linus Pauling Institute
Opuntia prickly pear seed oil contains the highest amount of vitamin E available in any beauty oil on the market.

Which Natural Oil Is Best For Your Skin Type?

Oily / Acne Prone Skin
It may seem counter productive to think about applying oil to treat oily skin but consider the following; 
Oily skin is often represented by the over production of sebum which produces a greasy look and feeling. Often oily skin is sensitive and associated with acne. The application of oil to the skin can actually fool it into believing that it does not need to produce any more oil. It is a bit like when you wash your hair every day, it appears to get greasy quicker. The hair folicles quickly replace the lost oil. Though not just any oil is suitable for oily skin. Some oils can clog pores and be too heavy for this skin type.  A light, drier oil high in Linoleic acid such as the oil obtained from the seeds of the prickly pear fruit is a good choice as it won't clog pores and dissolves plugs. Linoleic acid is found in lighter oils that are most suited to oily skin. When applied directly to the skin on a regular daily basis, linoleic acid has proved to reduce clogging of the pores by over twenty five percent in just a few short weeks. Read more about prickly pear seed oil treatment for acne

Dry Skin
This skin type can often feel tight and look dull and flakey due to the lack of moisture. The best type of oils for dry skin are the ones that possess a greater amount of oleic acid such as the argan oil to provide a slightly heavier moisture foundation (within a light oil) that will be easily absorbed to deliver more hydration for a longer period of time. For skin that is very dry, applying oil to damp skin will actually seal in moisture. A regular night treatment will prove beneficial when applied to damp skin.

As with argan oil, prickly pear seed oil is set to be one of the hottest new beauty products introduced into the cosmetics industry.

Page Keywords: Prickly Pear Seed Oil UK |Barbary Fig Seed Oil | Argan Oil | Moroccan Oils
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