Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract in Hautpflege

Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract In Skincare

Opuntia ficus indica (stem) extract, also known as prickly pear or nopal extract, is a highly valued ingredient in skincare. It is particularly known for its soothing, moisturizing and antioxidant properties. This extract comes from the prickly pear plant and offers numerous benefits for the skin, especially for sensitive and stressed skin.
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Overview of Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Stem) Extract

  • Origin: The extract is derived from the stems of the prickly pear cactus plant. This plant is native to dry, arid regions and is carefully harvested to extract its valuable components​​.
  • Effect on the Skin: It soothes the skin, provides intense hydration, and protects against harmful environmental influences. It blocks stress markers from sensory nerve cells, thereby reducing irritation and redness​​​​.
  • Ideal for: Particularly beneficial for sensitive, dry, or irritated skin. Also suitable for mature skin as the extract has antioxidant and skin-firming properties​​.
  • Interesting Fact: The extract contains piscidic acid, which functions as an excellent iron chelator, thus preventing the formation of free radicals in the skin​​.
  • Other Terms: Prickly pear extract, Nopal, Indian Fig, Prickly Pear​​.

The Effects of Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Stem) Extract

  1. Hydration and Soothing: The high content of water-binding compounds in this ingredient ensures excellent hydration for the skin. Clinical studies show that the extract provides hydration in both leave-on and rinse-off products​​​​.

  2. Antioxidant Properties: The extract is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, which have antioxidant effects and thus protect the skin from free radicals and harmful environmental influences. These antioxidants also help to soothe and strengthen the skin​​​​.

  3. Anti-Aging: Studies have shown that it improves skin elasticity and reduces the visible signs of aging. In particular, it promotes collagen and elastin production, leading to firmer and smoother skin.

  4. Protection Against UV Damage: The extract offers protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation by making skin cells more resistant to UV-induced stress. This property makes it a valuable ingredient in sun protection products​​​​.

How To Use Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Stem) Extract

  • Frequency of Use: The extract can be used daily, ideally twice a day – in the morning and evening.
  • Concentration: Recommended usage concentrations range between 0.1% and 5%, depending on the product formulation and the desired effect​​.
  • Combinations: It combines well with other soothing and antioxidant ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin E to enhance skincare effects.

What is Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Stem) Extract?

Opuntia Ficus-Indica, also known as prickly pear or Nopal, is a cactus species native to Mexico. The plant is known for its robust, water-rich stems and vibrant fruits. It has been used for centuries as both a food and medicinal plant. The stems and fruits of this plant contain a variety of nutrients, including vitamins (A, B, C), minerals (calcium, magnesium), and bioactive compounds such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which contribute to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties​​​​.


  1. Naeem, L. A., Sabah, F. S., & Abboud, A. S. (2020). Study the effects of oiled and flavonoid extracts of Opuntia Ficus-Indica on healing of avulsion skin wounds in a rabbit’s models. Eurasia J Biosci, 14, 5273-5278.
  2. Schmid, D., Suter, F., & Zülli, F. (2005). Soothing Factor from Opuntia Cactus for Sensitive Skin. International Journal for Applied Science, 131, 11-2005.
  3. Onepager_AquaCacteen.pdf. Mibelle Biochemistry.
  4. Abbas, E. Y., Ezzat, M. I., Ramadan, N. M., Eladl, A., Hamed, W. H. E., Abdel-Aziz, M. M., Teaima, M., El Hefnawy, H. M., & Abdel-Sattar, E. (2023). Characterization and anti-aging effects of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller extracts in a D-galactose-induced skin aging model. Food & Function, 15, 369-381.
  5. Osuna-Martínez, U., Reyes-Esparza, J., & Rodríguez-Fragoso, L. (2014). Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica): A Review on its Antioxidants Properties and Potential Pharmacological Use in Chronic Diseases. Natural Products Chemistry & Research, 2(6), 1000153.

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