Prickly Pear: Benefits and Origins

Prickly pear

The prickly pear cactus ( Opuntia ficus indica ) is a species of plant in the cacti family. Originally from Latin America, it is also found in the Mediterranean basin and in South Africa. We recognize the fig tree by its flattened stems called cladodes on which tiny leaves appear. The prickly pear is a fleshy seed berry, and its weight can reach 400 grams. The shape and color of the prickly pear varies depending on the period of formation and its variety.

The oil is extracted from the seeds of the prickly pear, not the stems, and is extremely expensive due to its low yield: one tonne of figs needed to obtain one liter of oil. Prickly pear seeds are small in size and very solid in nature and not very oily (5% oil per seed). Their oil is obtained by cold pressing, once the seeds have been extracted from the fruits, then washed and dried in the sun.

The benefits

Prickly pear oil has many virtues including exceptional regenerating, protective and soothing properties, and it is only natural that we wanted to incorporate it into our men's care line as a major ingredient in our range.


Prickly pear oil contains 100 mg of vitamin E per 100 g (compared to 60 mg for argan oil) and 1000 mg of sterols (compared to 130 mg for argan). Vitamin E and sterols are powerful natural antioxidants that neutralize the action of free radicals and slow down skin aging . In addition to protecting cells from precipitated oxidation, sterols hydrate and promote hydrolipid retention in the skin. All its virtues slow the appearance of wrinkles and signs of aging on the skin.


Prickly pear seed oil contains palmitic acid which helps moisturize and protect the skin to make it softer. By providing it with all the elements it needs, the epidermis is softened in a lasting manner.


Prickly pear seed oil contains a high content (62%) of linoleic acid (Omega 6), an essential fatty acid which has a lipid-replenishing action allowing it to preserve the skin's water capital and maintain its elasticity and its density. This intake is essential because we no longer produce this acid in adulthood.


Prickly pear seed oil is ideal for dull and lifeless complexions, its unsaturated fatty acids restructure and nourish to give tone and radiance.

At Monsieur Arsène , we have chosen prickly pear oil - or rather its seeds - in the formulation of each of our natural and organic treatments, precisely for these virtues. Whether in the beard mask or the moisturizing facial gel-cream, we want the best for your skin and your beard, regardless of its cost. Because prickly pear oil is the most expensive in the world: it takes a ton of fruit to extract a liter of oil.

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