Meet My New Love: Prickly Pear Seed Oil by Kenza International Beauty

prickly pear

60.5% linoleic acid. 895 mg/kg tocopherol (vitamin E, nearly one and half times the amount found in argan oil). Over 85% of essential fatty acids (omega 6 & 9). Sound too good to be true? Well, this time it’s fact, not fiction. I introduce to you the new love in my life (shh, don’t tell my boyfriend) – Prickly Pear Seed Oil. Or Barbary Fig. Or cactus flower. Or cactus pear fruit. Like a saying we have in Swedish, a loved child has many names.

So why is it good for an oil to be high in linoleic acid? This is where it becomes individual as some skins prefer oleic acid to linoleic but the latter is great if you have oily or sensitive skin as it’s much lighter in consistency than oleic. Oleic acid is a lot more moisturising so good for those with dry skin, but it can sometimes be a bit too heavy for those suffering from acne or sensitivities. There’s a whole science behind it with the percentage of oleic vs linoleic and I think the right balance is something a person has to figure out as they go along. I’ve only just discovered that my skin has a preference for oils higher in linoleic acid so this is something I will keep in mind when buying oils from now on. I also understand why certain oils just didn’t work for me so it’s important to find one that your skin benefits from.  As usual, there’s a lot of interesting information online about this and these two posts I’ve found to be very helpful:
http://www.xovain.com/skin/fatty-acids-in-face-oil
http://www.minimalistbeauty.com/oils-specifically-for-acne-prone-skin/

kenza

A few weeks ago I was kindly sent some samples from Khadija Fajry, founder of Kenza International Beauty when I saw that she was looking for people in Europe to try out her products. I was suffering from dry skin, especially around my mouth and cheeks, and I had been doing a bit of research on prickly pear seed oil learning that it’s very beneficial to those suffering from dryness. I very generously received a 10ml sample of Prickly Pear Seed Oil and full size bottle each of the Pure Fusion Oil and the Pure Hair Treatment Oil (today’s review focuses on prickly pear). I couldn’t wait to start using it all! Prickly pear seed oil is very pale yellow in colour and has a scent reminiscent of hay. For those who aren’t so partial to that, don’t worry, the scent doesn’t linger. I’ve been applying prickly pear seed oil every evening as the last step in my skincare routine for the past month or so and my skin has taken to it like a fish to water. I don’t even need to use a moisturiser after it, it’s that good. I noticed a difference in hydration and overall calmness from the first few days of usage and I don’t know what I’ll do once I finish my sample! I have a few other face oils in my collection now that I need to start using but at times I’ve considered ditching it all in favour of just getting a full size bottle, that’s how amazing it is! BUT, I would like to test out my theory regarding linoleic vs oleic a bit further so I will use the oils I have in my possession even though I have a strong suspicion I will be returning to the pricklier side of things! The oil sinks in fairly quickly, leaves skin very soft and hydrated and when I wake up in the morning the texture of my skin is smooth and the appearance is calmed with no redness. What I’ve loved most is its moisturising properties without it being greasy. I think this is a good all-year round oil due to it being so lightweight, and perfect for those of you who lean towards oily and sensitive skins. Prickly pear seed oil is said to fight acne, heal, moisturise and soften skin and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory. I can’t say much about the acne fighting properties but it has certainly ticked all the other boxes. This is definitely an oil that has joined the ranks of Here To Stay items!

Prickly Pear Seed Oil ingredients: organic prickly pear seed oil (Opuntia Ficus Indica)
Pure Fusion Oil: organic argan oil (Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil), organic prickly pear seed oil (Opuntia Ficus Indica)
Pure Hair Treatment Oil: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond Oil), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Coco-caprylate, Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed Oil), Opuntia Ficus Indica Seed Oil*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Panthenol, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl P-Cresol, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance**
*Certified Organic
** Moroccan Orange Blossom 

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When you buy from Kenza International Beauty, you are not only doing a good deed for your skin, but you are also doing an equally, if not better deed for society by supporting and donating to the New York’s Women Foundation and to the women of the Tirizite cooperative in Morocco. True to the company’s vision of “broadening the meaning of physical beauty to also include generosity and its global impact. In alignment with this goal, we ask us and you to ‘be generously beautiful'”. I could go on and on about the greatness of this oil but I thought I would cast the spotlight on Khadija Fajry who so kindly answered some questions I had for this review to get to know her and her company better. Read on to learn more!

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How did Kenza International Beauty come about?  And what makes your concept stand out from other brands, in your opinion?
I started noticing the need to introduce to the American market  pure, authentic Argan oil about four years ago. It all happened when I was outraged seeing all the brands using the popularity and the name Argan oil or Moroccan oil without offering the right products. As Moroccan that have been using Argan oil for several decades I felt that it was my duty to offer the best and highest quality available.
For the Prickly Pear Seed oil it was by accident. I knew about the oil a while ago when they started using it in France. The oil was super expensive at that time so for my business it was at of question to start with such investment.
Then my supplier gave me a sample (and at that time I had two huge dark spots on my face due to some hormonal treatments). After using it for few weeks I started noticing that my hyper pigmentation started to fade away. I was jus amazed. I had done so many treatments in the last and spent countless money with no results. That is when I decided to invest in this miracle oil. I started with a small quantity and it is now our best seller.
Read more here:http://puremoroccanbeautyoils.com/the-amazing-benefits-of-prickly-pear-seed-oil/
Then I though that this business opportunity could even be one that provide  social change for women here in the US and in Morocco where the oils are produced and imported from.
My brand KENZA – “be generously beautiful”™ aims to make the simple act of purchasing beauty products a philanthropic one. Billions are spent in beauty products we can certainly use a small percentage of this lucrative business to provide help, support, financial independence and opportunities to women, their families and their community.
That us how my business is different. Being a social enterprise providing the highest quality Moroccan oils that are USDA Organic, ISO9001 certified for quality and that are registered with the FDA is definitely an added value.

Where do your Prickly Pear Seed Oil and Argan Oil come from?
Both come from Morocco. Argan oil has been produced in Morocco for centuries. The Argan trees grow only the southwestern part of Morocco and give exceptional oil.
Many countries are trying to cultivate it and produce the oil but the quality is just not the same.

How do your oils differ from those that are on the market?
When I was searching for a supplier my criteria were super high. I know so well the business of selling fake, altered, and bad quality Argan oil and Prickly Pear Seed oil in Morocco.
Unfortunately there are no local organizations controlling what is sold in markets.
My priority was to find a supplier that had all the certification recognized worldwide. Even if I am paying more I know and can guarantee my customers that my Moroccan oils are the highest quality available.
KENZA Pure Moroccan oils are USDA Organic, ISO9001 certified for quality and registered with the FDA.  To me that is a big plus!

Theres’s been quite a buzz in the beauty world about Argan Oil and now Prickly Pear Oil is also getting its fair share of attention; what do you attribute this to and why are these oils so good for us?
It only has been few years that pure Argan oil was introduced here in the US. We all enjoy its multiple elements that are beneficial to skin and hair.  Pure Argan oil is high in essential fatty acids (dominant) and in Antioxidants. It has moisturizing, anti inflammatory and healing properties. And we all thought that was the greatest beauty oil ever. Until Pure Prickly Pear Seed oil got discovered. This one has the highest level of vitamin E or antioxidants (dominant) found in any beauty oil.
It is impossible to describe these two oils. For beauty these two oils are incomparable. The best way is to experience them and enjoy their simplicity.

Is Prickly Pear Seed Oil/Argan Oil for everyone?
Yes, I have women, men and children using the Argan oil as a basic, safe moisturizer.
Prickly Pear Seed oil is more like a healer for very dry skin, hyper pigmentation,  and for mature skin that needs a boost in super powerful antioxidants.

How can we consumers be sure of getting high quality oils (I know that some argan oil is harvested after goats have eaten them which lowers the quality of the oil obtained)? Is there anything we should look out for?
Unfortunately for the consumer there is no way to detect that. The few companies that buy their nuts from that kind of source when the oil is produced they add a chemical to remove the smell. Unless the Argan oil is tested in lab you have no way to find out.
My Supplier has a fully equipped manufacture with a lab and each batch of oil that comes.
That is one of the reason why I choose to work with him and get higher quality Argan oil and Prickly Pear Seed oil. 

Can you tell us a little bit more about your hair oil and why the ingredients you’ve used are good for us?
Do I need to tell you more? With a blend of 6 oils and the only hair treatment with Argan oil and Prickly Pear Seed oil how can that be bad for your hair.

What is your skincare ritual now that we’re heading into colder temperatures?
My beauty routine is the same for all the season. Pretty simple but natural!
I use KENZA Pure Fusion oil as my daily face moisturizer.
KENZA Pure Prickly Pear Seed oil 2-3 times a week to keep away the dark spots for coming back.
KENZA Pure Argan oil as body and hair moisturizer. KENZA Pure Hair Treatment Oil weekly.
Wash daily with KENZA Pure SPA Bar Soap.
I love the beauty duo from Lollique beauté (Polissant to Exfoliate and Masque de Miel to treat and nourish) http://lollique.com/lets-shop
I also love a Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Gogi Berry Facial Mask from Pangea http://www.pangeaorganics.com/sites/elainespringer

Can we expect any new and exciting products from Kenza International Beauty in the near future?
I have so many natural beauty ingredients from Morocco and France that I would love to add.
More information, interviews, articles:
http://kenza-international-beauty.com/press-testimonials
http://kenza-international-beauty.com/discover-kenza
http://www.econibella.com/blog/kenza-international-beauty-interview-with-founder-khadija-farjy/
http://www.ajableu.com/kenza-argan/
http://thestoryexchange.org/khadija-fajry-kenza-international-beauty/

Thank you again Khadija for taking the time to answer my questions! What is not to love about her products and her sustainable approach to sourcing? Ever since embarking on this wonderful green journey of mine, it has become increasingly important for me to shop products from companies that I can respect and trust. In this day and age it’s even more important to consider a company’s triple bottom line which takes into consideration sustainable ways of sourcing, both environmentally and socially. And this is why I happily part with my cash to support businesses that make it their business to give back. Can I say anything negative about prickly pear seed oil then? Hate to say it, but it’s not the most budget-friendly oil on the market, mainly due to the extraction process . A full size bottle at Kenza International Beauty will set you back $77 which is quite a lot for 29ml. That being said, in my opinion it is totally worth it for the benefits I get from the oil and I will definitely be making a purchase in the future. I can imagine it lasting a while as well if you only use it in the evenings or as a spot treatment like Khadija.

Have you tried the famed prickly pear seed oil before? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

*Samples generously sent to me without a promise of a review. After testing the oil out for about a month I was convinced of its super powers! Everyone needs a bit of prickly love in their lives. 

**Prickly pear photo source Google, Khadija Fajry photo source Kenza International Beauty website.

17 comments

    • caprinic says:

      It IS wonderful! Truly, a magical potion. I will definitely be getting a full size once i have gone through my other oils 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! Xx

  1. Jana says:

    Such a great post Nic! I really want to try prickly pear seed oil, heard amazing things about it! And where was I when she was looking for people in Europe to try her products?! haha 🙂 xx

    • caprinic says:

      Lol Jana!! Yes, where were you?! 😉 You must try this amazing oil at some point, it is so effective at moisturising your skin without ever getting greasy which is exactly what I look for in my products. I also love that it is just pure prickly pear seed oil and nothing else. This is one ingredient where I understand all the hype surrounding it. Glad you enjoyed the post sweetie! Xx

  2. Rachel says:

    Ooh this sounds divine! I am more on the ‘oily’ side so I think this would suit me well 🙂
    I love the saying you mention at the start – a loved child has many names, how lovely!
    Rach xx

    • caprinic says:

      It’s every bit as divine as I try to convey it is! But it’s like Khadija mentions in the interview, it just needs to be tried to understand just how lovely it is.
      I know, such a lovely saying isn’t it? And so true! Thanks for stopping by Rach :)) xx

  3. lizthegreenspirit says:

    Fantastic post! I enjoy Prickly Pear seed oil since trying Mun’s serum. However, I’m having doubts about the Mun sample I sent you, it does contain Prickly Pear seed oil and argan, but it also has rose, which now I know is not your skin’s ingredient of choice. Great to read about the high-quality of Kenza international, because argan is rare indeed, yet it’s present in so many beauty products. So one must pick carefully. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this brand, I’ll add it to my must-try list (which is ginormous lol) xx

    • caprinic says:

      Thank you as always for your encouraging words my lovely Liz! Prickly pear seed oil is a beautiful oil indeed 🙂 I’m soon out of my sample which is already freaking me out but I must give other oils a chance as well haha. I did like the Mun sample you sent me but it was hard to judge its efficacy due to its small size. Seeing as both oils are quite expensive I think I would go for Kenza’s. Something about it being 100% prickly pear seed oil appeals to the minimalist in me as well! Glad to hear you’ll be putting Kenza’s on your must-try list, their Pure Fusion oil is lovely as well, been applying it every day under Yoshimomo’s Quench Moisturiser (another stellar product, quite possibly the best moisturiser I’ve tried that keeps dryness at bay!). Might make that my next post! Xx

  4. julie (@dreamlivemaui) says:

    love your post NIc! Love to buy from company they giving back and especially for a women cause #women2women 🙂
    Great interview, and i just really love prickly pear seed oil (MUN serum contain this amazing oil) Kisses xo Julie

    • caprinic says:

      Thank you for your sweet words Julie! I really do think it’s important to support businesses that work ethically and responsibly, win-win for all. And yes, prickly pear seed oil is divine. My sample just finished which was heart-breaking 🙁 Let’s see what Yoshimomo’s Repair Oil is like! Xx

    • caprinic says:

      You do Amber! One of the best oils ive ever tried and i love that it wasn’t mixed with anything else. Sadly my sample is finished now so am now trying out Yoshimomo’s Repair Oil. And yes, lovely company which you just want to support! Xx

  5. Isabel says:

    Love the combined interview!

    My mom started getting into oils and of course got stuck on the most expensive oil in the world, Prickly Pear Seed oil. She then bought an Eye oil with this oil as the main ingredient from Green Love, which I got to try while I was home over Christmas. Just like you, I got totally surprised and in love with this oil! I’m now saving up for the real deal 🙂

    • caprinic says:

      Thank you, glad to hear you enjoyed the review. Haha yes, it’s a dangerous path to go down when you find an ingredient that works and is expensive to boot! Good luck with the saving 🙂 x

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