As you might have gathered from reading here, I’ve been having a really good time creating do it yourself beauty remedies. There’s this hair rinse, this face mask… and I have a pimple treatment and clay mask coming at you soon. Besides the fact that these treatments are all natural and easy to make, it’s also just a lot of fun. I feel like a scientist! 😉
You might remember from my Marrakech travel guide that Becca and I went to quite a few Moroccan pharmacies on our trip. This was just so cool and one of my favorite parts of the trip – learning about homeopathic remedies and treatments and talking to the women as they made argan oil. One thing that all of the women raved about is “natural botox…” aka cactus oil. Of course my ears perked up to that – I was instantly intrigued.
I’ve been using cactus oil on my skin for a couple weeks now and is it like Botox? No. I mean that would be impossible – a topically applied oil cannot and will not paralyze your facial muscles the way that Botox can. I bought a bottle and then poured a little bit into a rollerball (that makes it easer to apply) and roll it onto the fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes morning and night. While I haven’t noticed an immediate difference in my skin, it’s only been a few weeks and I do think a lot of the anti-aging measures we take are more for overall prevention and long term use – the science behind it is enough for me.
Cactus Oil Benefits for Skin
Cactus Oil (also known as prickly pear oil or barbary fig oil) regenerates the skin. That’s the biggest thing. It’s a lot like argan oil but better in every way. It is full of fatty acids andcontains 60% linoleleic acid. Linolelic acid is amazing (look for this ingredient in your skincare products!). Besides being ultra hydrating and soothing, it improves the production of both vitamin E, flavanoids (which protect you from inflammation that can hurt collagen production), and most importantly new cells. This makes it great for anti aging, but also for scar healing.
It’s also absorbed very quickly into the skin. I use my little rollerball of it and it sinks in so quickly that I’m never sure I applied enough. So if you are worried about it making you greasy or causing breakouts, fear not.
And now let’s start talking about the star from today’s article: cactus oil. Extracted from the cactus seeds, this product of nature contains 10 times more antioxidants than for example argan oil! And for you here are some other benefits!
Use Cactus Oil On Your Skin If…
I think anyone can use cactus oil. Since it’s not greasy and absorbs quickly, it doesn’t matter what your skin type is. If you are concerned about aging, it’s for you! It’s also great to keep on hand as a spot treatment for scars.
Cactus Oil Anti Aging Benefits
As we discussed above, Cactus Oil regenerates the skin thanks to hefty amounts of linoleic acid. Since it encourages new cell production, that’s a big thing… as we age, our cell turnover slows down. All of this regeneration leaves us with fresh new skin cells just like a baby (haha I wish but you get the point).
It also contains Betanin, a powerful antioxidant with great effects against aging. Cactus actually has the highest amount of Betanin among all known plants!
Lastly, it contains Vitamin E (neutralizes free radicals and helps the skin to retain moisture), fatty acids, and Vitamin K.
How to Use Cactus Oil On Your Skin For Anti-Aging
Well first of all, Elle recommends putting it all over your face. Personally, I like my little DIY rollerball. But everyone’s different.
This oil (dontcha just love Amazon) comes from Morocco and seems the most similar to the one I bought. It comes with it’s own rollerball applicator which I like (makes me feel like I’m rolling out my wrinkles) but you could just as easily pour it into one of these little glass rollerballs. (I just bought these to put a few other essential oil blends in.) Besides making me feel like I’m rolling out my wrinkles, using a rollerball will make the product last a lot longer.
I use my little roller on my forehead. Then (I’m going to sound crazy but whatever, these are my tricks!!!) I smile and roll it all over the lines that appear around my eyes when I smile. And then I also roll it under my eyes if I have dark circles. There’s no evidence for the dark circles but since it’s so easily absorbed and feels kind of nice I figure why not!
In terms of when to apply it, I want it as close to my skin as possible. So I put this baby on right after cleansing, before serum (more on product application order in this post!).