Prickly Pear

Face oils are experiencing a full-blown beauty trend craze right now— for cleansing, moisturising, anti-ageing, defrizzing, smoothing, soothing, healing— everything and more. The beautifying benefits of oils have been know since ancient times. Cleopatra was on to something with her milk, honey, rose petals, and oils.

Think you can’t use oils because you don’t have dry-as-a-desert skin? Or because you believe it will make your face oily, breakout, and clog pores?  Au contraire.

Although some oils are rich and deeply nourishing, others are lightweight and fast-absorbing. Oils add hydration, radiance, and softness to the skin, giving that glow-from-within we all want.

Part of the miracle of oils, is the massage that goes along with their application. According to the pros, a daily facial massage invigorates the circulation, brightens and tones the skin, and keeps it healthy and younger-looking as well. Needless to say, it is also very relaxing, and, as we all know, what’s good for the body, is good for the skin, too.

I’ve dabbled with a few oils in the past, but I’ve never used an oil consistently in a daily skincare routine. So when Sunia K. Cosmétiques Authentiques reached out to me and offered a bottle of their Sabrah oil to try, I was game. Actually, I was curious. You’ve probably never heard of Prickly Pear Seed Oil. Neither had I.


Prickly Pear Seed Oil, also known as Barbary Fig Seed Oil and Cactus Fig Oil;  is harvested in Tunisia. The Prickly Pear contains 150-300 seeds that are separated from the fruit, washed, dried, and pressed into oil. It takes 110 pounds of fruit to produce a 50 ml bottle of oil. This makes it a very nutrient-dense, unique, and rare oil.

Image via Sunia K
Image via Sunia K

Sabrah means Prickly Pear in Hebrew. The oil from this cactus is high in vitamins E and K, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants making it exceptionally beneficial for all skin types including dry, mature, and sensitive. It protects against signs of ageing such as wrinkles, loss of elasticity, sun and environmental damage. This makes it ideal of women-of-a-certain-age.

The arrival of this oil couldn’t have been better timed: it saved my skin over the winter holidays. The combination of cold temperatures and harsh winds, plus a bit of over-zealous retinol use, resulted in peeling skin. Not pretty.

This oil came to the rescue.


If you’ve never used oils before, you might wonder how to layer them with your current skincare. Here are some tips:

  • Your skin needs both oil and water, so use a moisturiser AND an oil
  • Can be mixed with day/night cream
  • Apply OVER moisturiser at night
  • Apply OVER sunscreen  in the day
  • Do NOT mix with sunscreen. This changes the formulation and may result in a loss of SPF protection.
  • Apply BEFORE makeup
  • Ideal at night for an intense ultra-restorative treatment

I’ve been using it as the final step in my morning and evening skincare sequence: Cleanse, Serums, Moisturiser/Sunscreen, Oil. I apply a few drops to my entire face, including the neck and eye area. Note: Some creams and oils are too rich for the delicate eye area and can cause white bumps called Millia; this will not. Mineral oil and coconut oil are often the culprits. 

By adding it last, the oil seals in all the beneficial goodness from your skincare products and provides a protective barrier to prevent moisture loss. This is particularly critical in the winter when the cold dry air can pull moisture out of the skin. If you live in Canada like I do, you know about this firsthand.


Do you remember when Wayne Goss created a sensation (2.5+ million views) on YouTube when he suggested mixing a drop of oil with your foundation for the best makeup ever? (View here).   

Although this is a great tip, using a facial oil regularly will benefit both your skin and your makeup. An oil preps and primes the skin so that makeup applies beautifully. I’ve found that Prickly Pear makes a great base because it is lightweight, absorbs quickly and adds a natural glow to the skin without being oily. As your skin improves over time, you might decide that you don’t even need foundation every day. 

Sabrah oil is a versatile multi-tasker: as well as the face, it can also be used for hair, lips, nails, and the body. 


After applying it to my face, I always rub some into my hands and they are noticeably softer and less winter ravaged.  Unlike some annoying hand creams that you are reticent to apply because you can’t do anything afterwards, prickly pear oil doesn’t make your hands greasy.

I love perfume, but not on my face. This is often a deal-breaker for me on makeup and skincare products, and so they get returned or given to someone who doesn’t mind. Happily, Sabrah has no added fragrance.  The Prickly Pear oil is cold-pressed so it retains a light nutty smell that is pleasant and not really noticeable unless you put your nose up to the bottle.

I also love the fact that Sabrah has only one—organic, natural—ingredient.


Sunia K Cosmétiques Authentiques / SABRAH OIL Available on-line.

Kindly provided by SUNIA K for my unbiased consideration

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Susan Written by:

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