We use the best quality of cactus oil, bio and ecocert, for our first haircare range.
The Cactus oil is not very used in cosmetics despite its exceptional virtues, because it is a sector which is not very developed. We build our supply chain with cooperatives in Morocco. We aim to reach the volume that will help develop this sector and help the local population - and particularly women, to get a job!
A little bit of botany!
About 1500 species of cactus belong to the genus Opuntia Ficus Indica. They are mainly found in Mediterranean countries, California and Mexico. This cactus usually grows with flat, rounded stems that have two types of thorns: the large and smooth spines, and the tiny spines, who look like hair, easily penetrate the skin. The fruits bloom in early May until the beginning of summer and they mature from August to October. But in some Mediterranean countries, you will see them in the market all year long!
But where does it come from?
Contrary to what its name indicates, this cactus is not native to North Africa, the "Barbary, but from Mexico. In the 16th century, the Spanish introduced the Cactus of Barbary to the Mediterranean basin. It quickly became naturalized ...
Even today, the coats of arms in Mexico represents a Mexican royal eagle, perched on a cactus of Opuntia, devouring a snake. This coat of arms is inspired by an Aztec legend: the Aztecs roamed throughout Mexico looking for a divine sign that would indicate the precise location where they had to build their capital. After two hundred years they found the promised sign and this is where they established their new capital.
The farmers used the barbaric cactus as the most effective natural fence. Berber women discovered the virtues of the "fig of the Romans” and they introduced it very early in their folk medicine.
Today, the barbaric fig is mostly consumed as a fruit: it is a thorny fruit with a prickly skin but sweet. Because of its many qualities, it is considered by the ONU and FAO as a Super Food (!) It could be a solution to the famine and peace in the world in the next years (!!). Today, there are many experimental farms where we test products from barbaric fig. Because of global warming, it grows everywhere !!
The Cactus oil is obtained by cold pressing the seeds. This oil is still very rare: seeds represent about 18 to 20% of the peeled fruit, and the seed contains only 3 to 5% of oil. This means that one ton of fruit is needed to obtain 80 kg of seeds, of which the only 1L of oil is finally extracted.
The oil is exceptionally rich in linoleic acid (60-70%) and also contains oleic acid (9-26%). Its unsaturated fatty acid content is high (about 85%). These characteristics reflect the benefit of the barbaric fig as a natural source of essential fatty acids (omega6). It is also very rich in vitamin E (110mg / 100g) and sterols (1000mg / 100g). This gives it an ability to fight against free radicals, a high moisturizing value, and a real cell renewal capacity. It fits perfectly dry curly hair- or dried out and dehydrated. Unlike argan, this oil is still little known in Europe, and we would like to develop this sector with this enormous potential: it is why we created our first range of products Magic Cactus!