Guys, meet West Of South’s Prickly Pear Repair Serum. I’ve been busting at the seems to share this brand with you and the day is finally here! Prickly Pear Repair Serum caught my eye for so many reasons. First, it’s made with 100% organic ingredients. Second, it features Prickly Pear, one of my most favorite oils. Third, West of South’s sourcing is impeccable. Fourth, the packaging is minimalistic, clean and thoughtful. AND last but not least guess what! The full size (20ml) sells for $110 but you can get a smaller trial size (5ml) in your hands for $35. Plus free shipping! YASSS! Okay let’s dive in.
Oh wait, if you just want to go for it, code LISAWEST15 will save you an additional 15% here!
Meet West of South founder Kate Noonan
Kate Noonan, worked in cellular repair research and consulted with expert scientists and dermatologists to develop a line that delivers the best ingredients in scientifically advanced formulas. Kate’s personal struggle with acne and extremely sensitive skin motivated her to specifically utilize only anti-inflammatory, non-irritating, and non-comedogenic ingredients. Kate says;
I started West of South to apply what I found researching antioxidant enhanced cellular repair and viability in a human cellular biology lab to making effective skincare. After five rounds of isotretinoin and many steroid injections into acne cysts had failed me, I turned to nutrient-rich organic plants to fix my acne scarring, steroid scarring, and UV damage. Since free radicals, inflammation, and reduced cellular turnover play leading roles in acne and photo-aging, I sourced the organic plants that neutralize every type of free radical, stop several inflammatory pathways, improve proper cellular repair and turnover, and boost proper collagen and hyaluronic acid synthesis. My acne has finally stopped and I have never been happier with my skin because the scars have been softened and the hyper-pigmentation has faded.
West of South is also 100% cruelty free and a part of PETA’s Cruelty-Free Beauty Without Bunnies Program.
How it feels
I find the Prickly Pear Repair Serum to be a lighter-weight oil. It delivers moisture but soaks right in too. I’ve been testing it for a couple of months now and I have a couple of different experiences. During the warmer months I was wearing it on its own as a daily moisturizer. But now that it’s gotten a little chillier and dryer, I’ve found I could start using it as an oil serum under my moisturizers too.
It’s also light enough to use as a makeup primer. Rule #1 in makeup application is your makeup can only look as good as your skin. If your skin is dry and flaky, your foundation will look dry and flaky. If your lips are crusty and peeling, guess what, your lipstick will look like crud too. So all of that to say; prepping skin before applying makeup = essential.
Turns out Prickly Pear Repair Serum is a great weight for a primer too. When I get ready in the morning, I shower then towel off and apply my body oil and face mist/serum/moisturizer. Then I do my ditty; dry my hair, get dressed and last I put on my makeup. Right before this, my mist/serum/moisturizer has had enough time to sink in and I can apply one more layer to really give me that even, glowing surface before applying my foundation. Prickly Pear Repair Serum fits the bill here.
Prickly Pear Repair Serum is so multi-functional like that. It works as a moisturizer on its own. You can layer it at night for some added skin benefits. OR you can even layer it under makeup to feed skin and enhance your makeup look. I mean how can you afford NOT to have it in your line up?!
A deep dive into the ingredients
So I’ve said the ingredients are TDF so let’s take a look.
First, I want to point out every single ingredient here is certified organic. How cool is that!? Not only that, we see some CO2 extracted ingredients too. CO2 or supercritical extraction is a gentle oxygen-free, solvent-free process that results in an oil with a total absence of chemical residues and impurities and one that most closely mirrors the chemical profile of the plant. More specifically…
CO2 is a gas under standard temperature and pressure or a solid when frozen like dry ice. If CO2 is held at or just above its critical temps/pressures, a supercritical fluid CO2 results that can be used as an effective solvent to extract the aroma as well as the biological components of herbs, seeds and flowers. The beauty of this process is that once the extract is allowed to return to its normal temps/pressure, the CO2 converts into a gas and bubbles out of the extract leaving the oil behind with no solvent residue. – Healing Civilizations by Nadim A. Shaath, PhD.
I also want to point out there is no added fragrance or essential oils here. This oil smells mildly nutty to me on it’s own accord. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits we get with the West of South Prickly Pear Repair Serum. Kate filled me in on the following and highlighted some ingredient tidbits. And by the way, Kate knows her stuff to say the least so if anyone has any questions about this formula, sourcing, benefits or anything at all, leave a comment here and I will have her chime in and answer for us!
Prickely Pear Seed Oil – with three different varieties of this cactus included, it infuses skin with CoQ10 to diminish the apparent depth of lines and scars for smoother and firmer-looking skin.
Supercritical Rice Bran delivers .5% ferulic acid to this formula. Ferulic acid is such a great antioxidant and crazy bioavailable in rice bran CO2. It prevents the breakdown of cell membranes and neutralizes free radical damage. Supercritical Rice Bran also delivers 16 amino acids including Proline, Glycine, Alanine, Cysteine, and Arginine that critically support collagen health and are clinically proven to reduce the visible depth of wrinkles and scars and photo-aging texture. Kate adds;
I source organic Supercritical Rice Bran from a farm that has been certified organic for generations in the Provence region of France.
Their farming practices are sustainable as the water is provided by the Rhône Glacier water that covers the fields. The rice is grown without pesticides and instead their pet ducks police any pests (it’s called Integrated Duck Rice Farming). Growing companion plants that help nitrogen fixation mean no fertilizers are used either and these plants do not allow weeds to get an inch of space.
Since many European dishes call for white rice, the bran containing all the ferulic, vitamin E, amino acids, and Omega 9 is removed. Using supercritical CO2 allows for a concentrated extract of these nutrients to be prepared for use as nutritional supplements or in skincare.
Ferulic acid is key for maintaining healthy skin volume and resiliency by stopping the UV-induced breakdown of healthy collagen and preventing the accumulation of damaged collagen fragments that cause wrinkles and prevent hyaluronic acid synthesis. Ferulic acid also evenly fades dark and red spots because of its ability to inhibit tyrosinase and correct free-radical induced redness.
Blueberry Seed Oil provides zeaxanthin, lutein, cryptoxanthin, and pro-Vitamin A (β-carotene), which are clinically proven to help stimulate healthy hyaluronic acid synthesis and collagen production to evenly soften lines and scarring. Blueberry is also Kate’s favorite source of the essential Omega 3 fatty acid because it comes with all those skin-repairing carotenoids!
Supercritical Sea Buckthorn for Omega 7.
An infusion of Pomegranate Fruit and Prickly Pear fruit provides critical antioxidants Vitamin C, ellagic acid, quercetin and hydrating polysaccharides. Pomegranate fruit has been clinically proven to noticeably regenerate the dermis and improve skin elasticity and resiliency. Pomegranate fruit is also very helpful in brightening UV-induced dark spots.
Camellia Japonica Oil has been clinically proven to significantly reduce wrinkle depth at even a low concentration. Japonica helps support and stimulate healthy collagen and hyaluronic acid synthesis and stops production of inflammatory.
Green Tea Leaves have been infused into the oil to provide EGCG, which directly neutralizes the highly damaging superoxide, hydroxyl, and hydrogen peroxide, and nitric oxide radicals. The nitric oxide neutralizing activity of Green Tea helps clear redness for even-looking tone.
Grape Extract provides important age-defying antioxidants that significantly stop damaging inflammatory cascades in skin.
Rosemary Leaf is infused into the Supercritical Sea Buckthorn CO2 and this botanical is another skin-brightening active because it inhibits tyrosinase. (Kate says, if there’s a question about the exact rosemary percentage it is 0.0002%).
Kalahari Watermelon Oil with skin-repairing Vitamin E γ-tocotrienol, which is clinically proven to improve fibroblast viability and improve skin texture. Kalahari is also a very hydrating and lightweight oil and the seeds are used in a delicacy called Egusi Soup after the oil is extracted.
Tiger Grass helps reverse the visible loss of elasticity, firmness, and even texture caused by oxidative glycation.
Evening Primrose Oil is rich in GLA, and especially at replenishing Omega fatty acid for soft skin that glows.
I mean gosh! My head is spinning. What can this oil NOT DO!?
Love that we are seeing Miron glass packaging here. First, this means no plastic or plasticizers seeping into the formula (or getting added to our environment) but it also means there is no light penetration either. This helps to keep ingredients in their most fresh and potent state. Miron glass is really one of the best packaging options on the market right now in my opinion.
Big things for West of South
Be on the look out as West of South plans to expand their line in 2019! Oooo! I can’t wait!
Try it here!
As a child of the 80s AKA the sans-sunscreen era and AKA a lot of other things….I have hyperpigmentation that just wont quit. And it’s pretty much my side hustle to find natural products that will help diminish the damage I imposed on my skin over 30 years ago (What!? who just told a story about 30 years ago!?)
Prickly Pear Repair Serum does just that and more. It’s a comprehensive day and night moisturizer for photo-aged skin with critical antioxidants, vitamins, collagen-building amino acids, ceramides, and Omega fatty acids from all organic plants.
It’s great for people who value ingredient integrity and give weight to a thoughtful formulation. It’s also great for beginners who are afraid to use and oil. This one is light enough and versatile enough to be considered a true crowd pleaser.
Sounds amazing right? Tell me what you think!
Code LISAWEST15 will save you 15%!
Photos shot over an Annie Leibovitz