The cactus may strike you as just a dry and prickly desert plant, however, it’s so much more than just that. This plant also boasts some serious skin benefits.
Cacti belong to the same family as the aloe vera plant, which is known for its amazing skincare benefits. When used as part of your skincare routine, the cactus packs a powerful punch for your skin to keep it both incredibly hydrated and nourished. Packed with a high dose of vitamins and antioxidants, this prickly plant has a number of skin-saving benefits including inflammatory and anti-ageing properties.
Still, the thought of putting a prickly cactus skincare product on your skin might make you nervous. But, don’t be fooled by its prickly nature; the skincare products won’t hurt a bit. Here we’ll show you exactly how to incorporate it into your skincare routine to really reap its benefits.
What Are Cacti?
Cacti are a part of the succulent family, just like the aloe vera plant. However, these prickly plants have powers of resilience that can be translated into your skincare. Cacti are packed with high levels of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. In fact, Cacti evolved to protect the nutrients and water that is stored in the cells. They are specially adapted to deal with dry desert-like conditions and are packed with strong water-storing tissue. This is so that they can survive for long periods of time by living off the water it stores. In turn, this gives them incredible hydrating properties.
However, whilst there are many cacti that bloom in many unusual shapes and textures, below we go into the types of cacti that you can use for your skincare.
What Types and Parts of the Cacti is Best for the Skin?
Prickly Pear Cactus
This is a type of cactus that is used in many branded skincare products as it contains 150% more vitamin E than argan oil and more than any other facial oil on the market. As it is fatty acid and electrolyte-rich, the prickly pear cactus retains tons of water in your skin to keep it incredibly hydrated and nourished.
Its extract is known to brighten the skin and stimulate the production of collagen to help reduce the signs of ageing. This makes it an incredibly powerful and hydrating oil for the skin.
Cactus Seed Oil
Cactus seed oil is known for its antioxidant and anti-ageing properties. This makes it the perfect natural cosmetic ingredient for obtaining youthful and radiant skin. These properties act to protect, hydrate and nourish the skin to celebrate new cell growth. This is why it’s great for those who want to rejuvenate the skin.
Suggested Article: Anti-Ageing Skincare Routine for Mature Skin.
While cacti don’t seem like the most delicate of plants, they can actually produce beautiful flowers that can work wonders to the skin. Its strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it the perfect beauty-boosting ingredient for your complexion.
So, it’s no surprise that cactus flowers are used in a range of skincare products.
Suggested Article: Incorporate Flowers Into Your Skincare Regime For Glowing Skin.
What are the Beauty Benefits of Cacti?
Packed with a wealth of nutrients, the cactus is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. This is why is it can be used for a wide variety of skincare uses as well as skin types.
Some of the vitamins and minerals it contains are the following:
Vitamin E is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants.
Its main function in skin care is to protect the skin again sun damage, which contributes greatly to skin ageing. The intense hydrating properties of vitamin E help to retain moisture in the skin to keep it smooth and supple.
So, using cacti in your skincare can help to reduce signs of ageing from the skin as it blocks free radicals. Not only this but applying it on the skin can protect it from harmful UV rays to help you looking youthful and radiant.
Vitamin K can treat a variety of skin conditions.
This vitamin is known to brighten and calm the skin from any redness or irritation. In addition to this, it can also improve discolouration and pigmentation as well as strengthen blood vessels to prevent breaking or damage. In turn, this means it is effective in preventing dark circles under the eyes – perfect for those of you who don’t get as much sleep as you need every night.
If this wasn’t enough benefits, vitamin K can also soften the skin and protect it from free-radical damage to prevent premature ageing and environmental damage.
Suggested Article: Vitamins for Acne: The Best Vitamin and Mineral Supplements to Heal Acne.
Betalain has astonishing detoxifying abilities and is super rich in both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Interestingly, Betalain is the ingredient that gives the cactus its rich colour, alongside its antioxidant potency. The bonus to this is that it means reduced toxin damage, reduced inflammation and redness along with fewer free radicals to the skin.
These vitamins are few of many within the cactus plant. These components can offer a variety of benefits to the skin, some of which include the following:
Cacti can survive in dry, desert conditions because they are able to store mass amounts of water in their cells. This resilience makes it the perfect ingredient for skincare. As the extract of the plant has strong water-storing capacities, it comes as no surprise that the cactus makes a great skin moisturiser. So, using it on your skin can keep it incredible hydrating so your skin stays smooth and supple.
Skin Brightening Properties
Pigmentation to the skin can be due to a variety of reasons. These could include sun exposure or hormonal changes in the body. Cacti have the ability to reduce dark discolouration and pigmentation from the skin, meaning it can eliminate dullness and target dark circles from the skin to keep you looking radiant.
Wrinkle Reducing Properties
Wave goodbye to the signs of ageing by incorporating a little cactus into your skincare routine.
Cacti can add firmness and elasticity to the skin. In turn, this will reduce wrinkles and fine lines which are the most obvious signs of ageing. Not only this, but the anti-oxidants in the plant will also protect the skin from free-radical damage while Vitamin K keeps the skin looking plump and youthful with its skin-nourishing properties.
This, among other reasons, is what makes it a great option for those with mature skin types.
Inflammation Reducing Properties
The cactus has cooling properties that can soothe inflamed, irritated and red skin. Therefore, it is gentle enough to be used on the most sensitive and reactive of skin types. Or, if your skin has become inflamed from sunburn, then cactus extract can relieve any discomfort and soothe the affected areas.
If that wasn’t enough the best part about using cactus is that all skin types can benefit from it. More so, dry skin can benefit from its ability to hold onto moisture while acne-prone and sensitive skin can benefit from its anti-bacterial and soothing properties.
Suggested Article: DIY Natural Hydrating Body Wash for Dry Skin.
How to Make Your Own DIY Cactus Face Mask
You can purchase cactus leaf in some groceries stores and online. So, if you can get your hands on a cactus leaf, then you can make you very own DIY hydrating cactus face mask!
When using as a face mask, the cactus improves moisture levels, brightness and elasticity of the skin. Below, we’re going to show you how to create your own DIY hydrating and brightening mask with just three natural ingredients.
Keep reading as we show you how.
Preparing the Cactus
Prepping the cactus may seem scary, but don’t worry. Protecting your hands from thorns are key, so once you’re protected, the rest of the process is simple. Protection wise it is essential to use a pair of thick garden gloves to avoid pricking yourself in the process of making this cactus face mask.
Once you put on your gloves, just peel the prickly thorns off the cactus with a knife or peeler. Then cut the cactus in half and scoop out the gel extract with a knife or spoon before placing it in a bowl.
Do a Patch Test
When applying any new product to the skin, it is important to do a patch test first.
Whilst safe to use for all skin types, you never know how your skin will react to a new product or ingredient. For this reason, it is always better to be on the safe side and try it out first.
To do a patch test, apply a little bit of the cactus extract to the back of your arm and let it sit for around 10 to 20 minutes before wiping it off. Then, wait around 48 hours and keep an eye on the area you applied the cactus extract to see if you develop any redness or irritation. If you don’t, then you’re good to go.
How to Make the Cactus Face Mask
Once you have collected the extract of the cactus, combine it in a bowl with a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice. Next, mix it together.
The honey will add hydrating properties to the mask. In addition, the lemon juice will brighten the face with its lightening properties.
Once the mask is ready, apply it all over your face. Then, leave it on for around 20 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
Don’t forget to apply a nice, nourishing moisturiser to your skin afterwards.
Tip: Try and apply the mask around 2 to 3 times a week. This will allow you to see significant improvements in the appearance of your skin.
Suggested Article: DIY Chocolate Cocoa Face Masks – for Clear Skin.
The Best Cactus Infused Skincare Products
Cactus infused products are the rage now! A number of beauty brands have jumped on the cactus bandwagon and introduced the plant into their products. Here we’ve rounded up our favourites cactus infused skincare products on the market to keep your skin looking incredible.
Kiehl’s Cactus Flower and Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist
The actual cactus leaf isn’t the only part that is full of beauty benefits. The flower that grows from the cactus is great for your skin too, and this is exactly what is in this product.
Just spritz this hydrating mist all over your face whenever you need to hydrate and detoxify it. This will cool down the skin to keep it nice and refreshed.
Boscia Cactus Water Moisturiser
If intense hydration is what your skin needs, then Boscia’s Cactus Water Moisturiser is the product that your skincare regime is missing.
This fast-absorbing product has a cactus-enriched formula that is ideal for all skin types. More so, it is particularly great for parched, thirsty skin. The cream penetrates deep into the skin to give your complexion intense hydration to leave your skin looking and feeling smooth and supple. A bonus of this being it is still lightweight enough that it won’t feel dense and heavy.
Fun Fact: It is infused with the oil from ‘Queen of the Night’ cactus, which only blooms once a year in Mexico.
Pacifia Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic
Pacifia’ Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic is exactly the product you need if you are looking for a hydrating cleansing tonic that won’t leave your skin feeling dry. Therefore, those with dry, damaged and sensitive skin types can really benefit from using this product.
It will soothe the skin to calm inflammation and hydrate. As well as nourish and repair the skin without stripping it off its moisture. Simply apply it on your face or body to let the product work its magic of repairing and rehydrating your skin.
Tony Moly I’m A Real Cactus Mask Sheet
Enriched with prickly pear extract Tony Moly’s I’m a Real Cactus Mask Sheet is perfect for soothing dry skin. This three-layer pulp sheet mask calms and soothes the skin whilst keeping it hydrated and nourished.
Not only is it adorable looking, but because this sheet mask is packed with the goodness of the prickly pear, it can transform tired and dull-looking skin into healthy and hydrated skin in minutes.
The best part? It’s suitable for all skin types. Pop it on to pamper your skin whilst letting the cactus-extract work.
Incorporate these cactus-infused products into your regular skincare regime. Go on! You’ll really be able to see a difference in the way your skin looks and feels.