What is cactus? 

There are over 1500 species of cactus which are mainly native to America.  Cacti are prickly, with no leaves and hold a lot of water. Some common cacti species used in natural beauty products are; prickly pear which is a flat leaf with colourful fruit shaped fronds that flowers and is sometimes called the Indian Fig.

How is cactus used in skincare products? 

There's a natural extract derived from prickly pear called aquacacteen which is an emollient cream which helps bind other ingredients together as well as being particularly soothing on the skin. It also helps to even out skin tone. 

You'll also find it in fibre form which is used for body brushing and exfoliating products. 

What are the skincare benefits of cactus?

Cactus extracts like prickly pear oil or extract are soothing and softening on the skin. The extract epiphyllum oxpetalum is also helps to condition the skin. Cactus is rich in flavonoids, amino acids and polysaccharides. 


Because of cactus' soothing properties, it can provide relief from sunburn, minor bites and inflamed and irritated skin. Generally, it also helps maintain an even and balanced skin tone and condition. 

What are the INCI names for cactus?

Opuntia ficus-indica or opuntia tuna - aquacacteen or prickly pear

Epiphyllum oxpetalum - cactus extract

Shop cactus natural beauty products 

  • Winter, Ruth. A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, 7th Edition. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.  
  • Milady Skincare and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary 4th Edition; M. Varinia Michalun, Joseph C. Dinardo
  • An Atlas of Natural Beauty: Botanical ingredients for retaining and enhancing beauty L'Officine Universelle Buly
Whilst we hope the pages are informative it’s important to remember we’re organic beauty enthusiasts not scientists so the information is detailed here to the best of our knowledge or research we have conducted from third parties.  Whilst we are continually updating our content based on new research, it may not always be up to date and as such it is the readers’ responsibility to conduct their own research in order to independently verify the information and make an informed decision on their beauty regime/lifestyle. Any opinion expressed on the efficacy of a product is based on tests performed by our team. As everyone has different skin types and concerns, please be advised that what works for them might not work for you but we try to give as much subjective information as possible which we hope you will find useful. If in any doubt, please consult a medical professional.


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