March 07, 2019

Find out what makes this multi-use desert plant a true skin care gem

The genius behind Puristry is our focus on specific star ingredients, to highlight their many skin benefits. That’s why chemist and founder Susie Wang formulated our Nopal Cactus Cleanser with a whopping 70% of pure nopal cactus. We couldn’t help but focus our attentions on this unique desert superstar, to create a visually gorgeous cleanser with potent results.

Nopal Cleanser

Benefits of Nopal Cactus in Our Organic Cleanser

We created this organic facial cleanser to be safe and gentle enough for everyone to use. It has the ability to calm inflammation, making it perfect for acne prone and sensitive skin. Nopal is also super high in antioxidants and phytochemicals. These battle free radicals and environmental pollutants, which can attack cells and cause premature signs of aging, wrinkles, dark spots, and even cancer.

The nopal cactus may be one of the most betalain rich plants in existence; betalains are the pigments that make the nopal cactus fruits the bright red color they are. Betalains contain a high amount of antioxidants, and are found in only a few fruits and vegetables around the world. Some other plants that contain Betalains are beets, swiss chard, and bougainvillea flowers.

How to Use Nopal Cactus Organic Cleanser

Using a hydrating organic facial cleanser is beneficial for any skin type. Because fatty acid and electrolyte rich nopal cactus retains tons of water in your skin, it’s best to use this cleanser every day. With its gentle and effective foaming action, you can use Nopal Cactus Cleanser to remove face makeup or cleanse bare skin. To increase hydrating benefits, follow with another hydrating element like our Flower Water Toner. To lock in the water from your cleanser (and toner), it’s important to end your routine with an emollient facial oil or moisturizer.


Skin-Beneficial Vitamins and Nutrients Found in Nopal Cactus

Vitamin A: Offers superb anti-aging, antioxidant, and moisturizing capabilities. Accelerates cellular renewal and stimulates fibroblast and collagen in the skin, thereby reducing appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Vitamin C: Helps to stimulate cell turnover, increase elasticity, and brighten the skin. May also help reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and boost collagen production.

Vitamin K: Plays a key role in maintaining skin elasticity and helping to prevent signs of scarring in skin tissue.

Vitamin B6: Excess oil is well known as one of the main culprits that cause acne. Vitamin K helps to prevent acne by reducing and regulating excess sebum (oil) production.

Riboflavin: Aids in tissue repair, key for retaining moisture in skin, and helps to protect skin from eczema and dermat

Phytochemicals: Contain potent natural antioxidants that fight oxygenated molecules, aka free radicals.

Polysaccharides: These are what help the skin to absorb and retain hydration in skin. Often times we lose hydration in our skin from being dehydrated or exposed to the elements for too long, but adding polysaccharides to the skin can help to prevent this hydration loss. Polysaccharides can prevent signs of aging by keeping the skin supple and soft, and are able to help with renewal and repair of the skin.


Dietary Health Benefits of Nopal Cactus

This high fiber fruit and vegetable hybrid can help to lower bad cholesterol, and its high water content makes it a hydrating, healthy food with a high nutrient content and low caloric value. Nopal cactus has over 200 mg of potassium and only 5mg of sodium, making it a great snack option for those seeking to lower blood pressure with a high potassium, low sodium diet. This healthy snack has also been linked to lowering blood glucose levels, and is packed with amino acids, carbohydrates, beta carotene, and even protein.

Nopal Cactus grows in the U.S., Mexico, South America, and as far as the Mediterranean region and Australia. These plants thrive in dry, warm climates.

Historically, nopal has identified with many uses. Its anti-inflammatory properties were utilized to help heal cuts, bruises, burns, and insect bites. To relieve congestion, the thorns of the cactus would be removed, the pads cut off and heated, then placed against the chest for relief. In Mexico, it was discovered that nopal could be used to make a bright, waterproof paint, which farmers painted along the borders of their properties to keep out predators and mark property lines with neighbors.

Nopal Cactus Texture

Check out more incredible benefits for health and wellness, courtesy of this superstar succulent:

Nopal Cactus as a Dietary Supplement

Nopal cactus is edible, and it amps up the health factor in a variety of Southwestern dishes. That’s because nopal is an excellent source of fiber, a major key for healthy digestion and satiety. High fiber foods are important for balancing blood sugar levels – fiber slows the absorption of sugar and prevents insulin spikes (which contribute to the development of diabetes and obesity over time).

Considering this major health benefit, nopal cactus (also referred to as nopales) is talked about as a ‘superfood’ and is promoted as a smart dietary addition. Its ‘superfood’ status is compounded by research around the fruit that has exhibited its properties as a metabolic booster; nopal reduces blood glucose concentration and promotes lipid metabolism, meaning that fat is more efficiently passed through the digestive system. With these benefits in mind, it’s an excellent addition (as a supplement or added as a whole food dietary addition) for those looking to control blood sugar and metabolic health.

Nopal Cactus for Pain Relief

The benefits of nopal include a powerful efficacy when it comes to treating inflammation. Its strong anti-inflammatory effects are due to belatins, a rare class of antioxidants present in prickly pear that are responsible for the vibrant hues of vegetables like beets and red swiss chard. The presence of belatins means that prickly pear can be a potent remedy for pain relief. In fact, research has shown that nopal cactus is effective at curbing uncomfortable symptoms related to a hangover. It could be a good idea to keep some nopal supplements on hand for when you plan on having one too many glasses of vino!

Nopal Cactus for Skin Healing

Belatin present in prickly cactus also means that the little fruit works as a topical anti-inflammatory when applied to the epidermis. Historically, it has been used to heal cuts and insect bites, and similarly is an excellent solution for acneic skin that has active comedones or still-healing blemishes. In addition to Belatin, other antioxidants present in the fruit – the flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin – contribute to its soothing dermis properties, and skin prevent damage on the cellular level by reducing oxidative damage. Because of this, it stars in the formula of Puristry’s Nopal Cactus Cleanser, an ultra soothing and nourishing tonic that combines nopal cactus with organic bergamot fruit oil for skin brightening and smoothing.

Nopal for Detoxifying

Nopal’s powerful antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral profile make it an effective tool for detoxifying. In addition to its antioxidants, it contains Vitamin C, B1, B2, and B3, minerals like potassium and calcium, and high levels of fiber. It’s a rich source of protein and bioflavonoids and contains 17 types of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein in the body. Detoxifying effects of nopal cactus include regulation of the gastrointestinal function and reducing fluid retention. Eaten raw (they can be diced into salsas and salads), they retain full integrity of this nutritional profile, so try adding them in to a salad or energy bowl for a seriously detoxifying kick.

Looking to add some more fresh nopales benefits into your diet? In addition to the de-thorned pads of nopal cactus, the fruit of the nopal cactus can be eaten, too — after it’s been prepared properly. First: don’t forget to remove the thorns! Try dicing up a few pieces and tossing into your favorite pico de gallo salsa recipe, and pair with chips and nopal cactus water or nopal cactus lemonade (perfect for summer).

With its ultra nutritious profile, nopal cactus is a smart addition for both internal and external health. Generally plant based nutrition and plant based skincare and cosmetics have overlaps – what you’re applying to your face should be beneficial to your internal health, because remember skincare is in part absorbed into the body. Nopal cactus definitely checks all the boxes!

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