When you think of cacti, chances are ‘skincare’ isn’t what comes to mind. In fact, the words ‘prickly’ and ‘desert’ are more likely to pop into your head—things that aren’t exactly synonymous with great skin.
But it seems that may be about to change, as the succulent plant has recently made its way into the skincare world. Don’t worry, we’re not going to suggest you rub the sharp prickles all over your skin in some sort of DIY natural microdermabrasion treatment. Nope, it’s actually cactus water that has been creating a stir in the beauty world lately.
Cactus water is actually derived from the fruit that grows on the prickly pear cactus (the red spiny things that grow on the green leaves of the cacti.) These are then juiced and turned into a puree. This liquid is said to have a sweet taste and comes with a boatload of health benefits—it’s rich in the amino acid taurine, which helps stop free radicals and muscle tissue damage. It’s for this reason a superfood cactus water brand, Caliwater, made its debut in the wellness world a few years ago. However, another massive benefit of cactus water is the fact that it’s high in a rare form of potent antioxidants, called betalains. These have been linked to a host of beauty benefits, including hydrating and anti-ageing properties.
“The skin benefits are derived from a high number of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. These help decrease puffiness and redness in the skin while concurrently hydrating without adding excess sugar,” says Dermatologist Rachel Nazarian. “Ultimately, there’s no such thing as miracle anti-ageing sources yet, but with its collection of skin-boosting vitamins and antioxidants, cactus water is leading the pack.”
Given the beauty benefits from drinking cactus water, it was only a matter of time before it popped up as an ingredient in skincare products. And sure enough, a range of beauty brands like BECCA, Kiehls and MAKE have hopped on the bandwagon with cactus-infused products. One of our personal faves is Boscia’s Cactus Water Hydrating Cream. You can check out our founder, Bianca Cheah’s, review of the moisturiser below.