Opuntia Ficus Indica Stem Extract is derived from a crop plant native to Mexico. Also known as the Indian fig, cactus pear, and prickly pear, the Opuntia Ficus-Indica has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. The plant is a member of the cactus family Cactaceae. Ancient Aztecs used sap from the leaves to treat various skin conditions including burns by creating a topical ointment blended with honey and eggs. The plant is rich in vitamins, proteins, minerals and acids. The Opuntia Ficus Indica Stem Extract was once used to treat scurvy and today has been found to be a powerful firming ingredient.
The plant extract has been used in products to protect, smooth, and moisturize the skin. It has also been used as an alternative to Botox because of its firming qualities. The Opuntia Ficus Indica Stem Extract has been found to have exceptional water-binding characteristics enabling it to retain moisture. As a skin care ingredient, it is viewed as a humectant, a substance often used in products to keep the skin hydrated.
The cactus plant is also rich in Vitamins B, A, and C, all essential in anti-aging skin care. Research indicates that the extract effective at preventing free-radical damage while shielding the skin from oxidative impact.