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Bienfaits nopal pour la peau

What Are the Nopal Cactus Benefits for Skin?

Nopal cactus, also called prickly pear or Opuntia ficus-indica is generally used for its tightening and firming properties. In skin care, it exists in different forms including plant oil (Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil) and cactus stem cells (Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract).

What Are the Characteristics of Nopal?

The nopal or Opuntia ficus-indica is a plant eager for heat that flourishes in tropical and Mediterranean regions of the planet. It is a member of the cactus family. Since it usually grows wild, it does not require any specific maintenance. This variety of plant adapts to almost any type of soil and contains many nutritional elements essential to the body and the skin.

On the outside, the prickly pear is covered with a prickly and dry skin. On the other hand, the interior is made up of tissues that store an important quantity of water essential to the survival of this plant generally cultivated in arid zones. 

The nopal produces an edible fruit called prickly pear. The cold pressing of its seeds allows obtaining an oil with multiple cosmetic virtues. Its comedogenic index of 0 makes it compatible with all skin types. Its INCI name is “Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil”.

From nopal cactus, it is also possible to extract stem cells with numerous benefits for the skin. They are referenced under the name INCI “Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract”.

The Nopal Cactus Oil and Its Virtues for the Skin.

This plant seed oil is well known in skin care because of its biochemical composition which gives it the most excellent cactus benefits for skin: vitamin E, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, sterols … It is suitable for all skin types but is particularly recommended for mature, dry, dehydrated and flaky skin. Its virtues are multiple:

  • Rich in active antioxidants (sterols and vitamin E), it protects the skin from free radicals. As a reminder, the latter are reactive oxygen species naturally produced by the body. Nevertheless, when cells are confronted with stress, they produce them in an excessive way. There are many sources of stress, the main ones being exposure to UV rays, pollution, smoking, and a diet too rich in fats and sugars. Free radicals are particularly unstable molecules because of their single electron. They tend to react with other molecules to form an electron pair, and then cause damage to cells, DNA and proteins in the body. Aging is thus accelerated and wrinkles appear on the surface of the skin. The vegetable oil of nopal constitutes thus an ally of choice to prevent the premature cutaneous aging;

  • Rich in omega-6 and omega-9, it also brings nutrition and elasticity to the skin, and prevents dehydration by strengthening the barrier function of the epidermis. The hydrolipidic film improves the resistance of the corneal layer to external aggressions and limits the insensible loss of water. The plant oil of prickly pear seeds is thus restoring and recommended to take care of the dry and dehydrated skins;

  • It is also known to give a glow to dull and tired complexions thanks to its composition of unsaturated fatty acids that restructure the skin to give it more brightness;

  • Its healing virtues are of excellent help to attenuate the marks of stretch marks or the small scars left by imperfections or acne.

The Stem Cells of Nopal Cactus and Their Benefits for the Skin.

The stem cells are whole cactus cells taken from the plant. They are derived from an environmentally friendly biotechnological process that aims to reproduce and multiply cells from cell strains in a controlled environment. This process preserves all the natural elements of the plant. Rich in essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals, the native cactus cells thus obtained have a great molecular richness which offers them a complementarity of action compared to the other vegetable extracts (vegetable oils and essential oils).

In cutaneous application, the stem cells of nopal make it possible to decrease the deep and superficial wrinkles of the face, in particular of the mature skins, on the level of the crow's feet. Thanks to their antioxidant properties, they also protect the DNA and slow down the damage induced by UVB. Moreover, they also limit the alterations of pigmentation caused by overexposure to the sun.

Nopal at Typology.

We have developed several skin care products with nopal cactus and all its benefits for the skin:

  • Pure nopal seed oil is recommended for reducing wrinkles and fine lines, preventing skin slackening and firming the epidermis. It is cold-pressed from the seeds of prickly pears grown and harvested in Morocco.

  • The firming night mask nourishes the skin in depth, regenerates and firms the epidermis for a smooth and uniform appearance in the morning. It contains vegetable oil of nopal as well as essential oil of immortelle, an active ingredient for stimulating the synthesis of collagen.

  • The firming botanical blend with nopal is a night serum that helps firm the skin thanks to the toning and regenerating actions of 7 botanical extracts, including immortelle essential oil. This treatment contains both prickly pear seed oil and native nopal cactus cells, to effectively fight against wrinkles.


  • SANTINI A. & al. Opuntia spp. : Chemistry, Bioactivity and Industrial Applications. Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals (2021).


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