Cactus Water in Skincare Is Trending, and This Is Why It's Worth a Try

Updated 12/07/18

We all know how popular cactis have become of late thanks to the greenery trend on Insta, and anyone who’s suffered sunburn knows how soothing the aloe plant can be. But more recently we’ve seen cactus water cropping up on the ingredient lists of our favourite skincare brands. So what is it? How does it give you a serious glow, and what products should you shop? Keep reading; we’ve got all the info you need.

best cactus water skincare products: Starskin cactus serum
Anthropologie

WHAT IS CACTUS WATER?

Cactus water is literally the water derived from the prickly pear cactus. Yes, you can drink it, but it also harnesses some serious skincare benefits when applied topically. Not only is it antioxidant-rich, but it also benefits every skin type. Far from just being an accessory for your flat, the cactus has even been dubbed “nature’s Botox” for its anti-ageing properties. It can also be called barbary fig oil, so look out for that when browsing skincare ingredient lists.

best cactus water skincare products: kahina giving beauty roller ball
Kahina Giving Beauty

THE SKINCARE BENEFITS

The resilience of the cactus plant means it can thrive in the driest deserts, as it’s an expert at retaining moisture. This, paired with a high concentration of electrolytes found in its skin-nourishing water, allows it to beautifully hydrate the skin.

Additionally, the anti-inflammatory flavonoids found in this clever little plant will also help prevent any blemishes that may be forming under the skin. Flavonoids also protect skin from inflammation that can negatively impact collagen production, so the fact it features heavily in the plant is a huge bonus.

You should particularly look out for cactus products that feature prickly pear extracts or oil. It is the only cactus that has a blend of multiple antioxidants—a skincare super-ingredient if you will. It’s rich in skin-loving essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, which help prevent against UV damage and loss of collagen.

Cactus-derived skincare products are also beneficial for scar healing, as their naturally occurring linoleic acid encourages the production of new skin cells. Frequent regeneration of cells is key to keeping skin looking glowing and youthful.

Far from being greasy, prickly pear oil has a comedogenic rating of zero, which means it won’t clog up your pores. This is a godsend for giving your skin some extra hydration without the risk of it causing spots. The oil absorbs quickly and is perfect alone or in your usual moisturiser for some extra nourishment.

best cactus water skincare products: starskin orglasmic cactus mask
Starskin

WHY IS IT TRENDING?

We think the fact that all skin types can benefit from cactus water is adding to the ingredient having a moment. Dry, dehydrated skin benefits from the intense hydration, whilst the acne-prone will find the antibacterial properties beneficial.

Thanks to the plant’s calming and skin-softening vitamins E and K, even sensitive skin is safe. Luxe skincare brands Kiehl’s, Kahina, Huxley and Starskin have all added cactus-based products to their skincare range, thanks to its anti-ageing properties and ability to prevent the formation of wrinkles and lines.

We’re becoming much more aware of the impact environmental factors like pollution are having on our skin, so the fact that cactus-derived ingredients can help prevent skin damage from exposure to free-radicals only adds to their timely appeal. Keep scrolling to shop our favourite cactus-water skincare gems.

Kiehls Cactus Flower Mist
Kiehls Cactus Flower Mist $29
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Cooling, refreshing and hydrating, it’s a favourite with our editorial director. 

Make Beauty Succulent Skin Gel
Make Beauty Succulent Skin Gel $25
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This vegan-friendly gel is antioxidant-rich with cactus extracts, aloe vera, prickly pear and chamomile.

Kahina Giving Beauty Prickly Pear Seed Oil Roller Ball
Kahina Giving Beauty Prickly Pear Seed Oil Roller Ball $45
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Prickly pear oil is rich in amino acids and vitamin K. Use to brighten under-eye circles, minimise spider veins and restore elasticity, The oil also works to neutralise free radicals, which are known to cause signs of ageing.

Starskin Orglamic Pink Cactus Glass Mask
Starskin Orglamic Pink Cactus Glass Mask $10
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All skin types can benefit from this cactus and vitamin E–rich mask.

London Labs Pure Prickly Pear Oil
London Labs Pure Prickly Pear Oil $70
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We love that you can use this oil anywhere on the skin, hair and body. It contains high levels of linoleic acid, which most closely resembles the fatty acids of our own skin. This non-greasy, cold-pressed oil is packed with skin-loving proteins and nutrients.

Make Beauty Succulent Mist
Make Beauty Succulent Mist $20
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For both the face and body, this cactus extract mist helps to hydrate, refresh and repair environmentally challenged skin. Aloe vera nourishes whilst hyaluronic acid firms and detoxifies skin from overexposure to pollutants and toxins.

Boscia Cactus Water Moisturisor
Boscia Cactus Water Moisturisor $41
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This ultra-lightweight moisturiser gives thirsty skin a sip of hydration courtesy of cactus. The fast-absorbing solution is ideal for combination and oily skin, as you get a burst of hydration without a heavy cream.

Huxley Oil and Extract Sheet Mask Set of Three
Huxley Oil and Extract Sheet Mask Set of Three $20
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We consider this the bougiest of face masks.

Starskin Cactus Serum Mist
Starskin Cactus Serum Mist $35
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This wonder product combines a serum, toner and prep, all in one handy bottle. Enriched with a superfood trio of baobab, camellia seed oil and prickly pear extract, the spray formula provides intense radiance.

Pacifica Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic
Pacifica Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic $13
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This leaves skin makeup-free, clean and refreshed without over-drying it. Cactus water is trending for a reason, you know.

St. Ives Cleansing Stick Cactus Water
St. Ives Cleansing Stick Cactus Water $10
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Twist and glow with this Cactus Water & Hibiscus Cleansing Stick. Inspired by Korean beauty trends, this clever cleanser cleans skin whilst it hydrates.

Starskin Cactus Pudding
Starskin Cactus Pudding $40
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Okay, so we love the name, but we also love that this smoothing face-and-neck cream creates a flawless base for our makeup.

Pacifica Cactus Makeup Removing Wipes
Pacifica Cactus Makeup Removing Wipes $6
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Wipe away makeup and daily pollutants with the help of cactus water, jojoba oil and aloe vera.

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