Lobna Dems: “The prickly pear oil is a beauty and health ally within reach”


The prickly pear oil has the wind in its sails. Worn by a program of national valorization, it is being positioned as the flagship product of Tunisian organic cosmetics. No less than 10 products are extracted from prickly pear including animal meal, fruits, ….. Playing in a register with high added value, prickly pear oil sells on the world market around 1000 euros The liter. 1001tunisie meets a young operator who has just launched her NAKAWABIO brand. Based in Monastrir, Lobna Dems tells her story. By Amel DJAIT

1001tunisie: How did you decide to work in the prickly pear oil?

Lobna Dems: In Tunisia, the geographical distribution of the prickly pear is very wide. It is found in coastal regions such as Cape Bon, as far as the island of Djerba, via Medenine. There are also barbaric figs in continental regions such as Kasserine, Kairouan and also in the Sahel region.

You should know that the cactus is one of the most suitable crop species for its resistance to water stress and its tolerance to poor soils. This plant makes it possible to exploit marginal lands in arid and semi-arid areas that were not cultivated.

Did you learn to look differently at prickly pears?

Conscious of their importance, I have invested myself through an association fighting desertification in Tunisia and have become a kind of ambassador of the arid and semi-arid zones in my region of the Sahel.

I noticed good fruit and biomass production capacity. I was struck by the lack of valorisation of this plant. My father-in-law “Baba el madiouni” who is a farmer, like all neighboring farmers, did not go beyond the usual uses and confined the barbaric fig to feed for livestock. He used it for hedges in this practice known as “Tabia”.

And this is where you decide to invest yourself?

Absolutely. I decided to deepen my scientific research and carry out a comparative study of varieties, seeds, color, pulp … .I decided then that it was time and that it became essential to take a real approach to develop And to find new forms of valorisation of the prickly pear.

I knew that oil extracted from prickly pears is of economic interest. Currently, it sells from 700 to 1000 euros per liter. Cactus seed oil is a real luxury product whose main use is not food but cosmetic. This is intended for a business that interests mostly beauty professionals and pharmaceutical laboratories.

What is your field of study?

PhD student in applied organic chemistry.

Where are your workshops? How much oil do you produce per year?

In the Governorate of Monastir, in the forest Ridenne Zeramdine in Jemmel. I produce about 120 liters

Nakawa, why this name?

نقاوة Nakawa is purity in Arabic. Sometimes an oil may be biological but not pure, as it can be mixed with other odorless, non-viscous oils or oil macerate. With our brand, Nakawa Bio, I guarantee you the organic certification but also the purity of the oil.

How many products does your brand offer?

Have a look at our website http://www.nakawabio.com  you will be surprised!

Apart from the oil, there is also the vinegar of prickly pear that has the wind in stern. What are its virtues? How do you certify the slimming and draining virtues of this vinegar?

I tested the prickly pear vinegar and confirmed that its indications are antiseptic (sore throat, cold, flu), naturally draining (intestinal enema) detoxantes (eliminates waste of active molecules) calming for muscular pains. Vinegar relieves some digestive disorders (constipation) and also regulates appetite and deflates.

And why? For vinegar comes from two successive chemical reactions: alcoholic fermentation and acetic fermentation. Any kind of alcohol, whether wine, cider, rice alcohol, left in contact with air will give vinegar. All vinegars are formed this way but the importance of prickly pear vinegar is due to prickly pear. With exceptional nutritional intake: 44 kcal / 100 g, prickly pears are rich in sugars, fibers, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper and vitamin C. The merit lies with scientists who have put In value all the virtues of this magical fruit and of the draining and slimming virtues of the vinegar that is extracted from it.

How much are the products produced from this fruit?

Among the brands in Europe, I would mention Argandia – Organic pure prickly pear oil – 15 ml to 47,90 € or even a ELIXIR OIL OF PURE PRICKLY PEAR PURE BIO – 15 ML to 33.25 €.

Here the 10 ml revolve around 15Dt. For once, we have products of exception and really within reach !
If you buy only 10 ml, how much does a bottle hold? What usage tips can you give 1001Tunisie readers?

NAKAWA BIO oil has a high content of essential fatty acids (especially omega-6). It gives it very interesting softening properties, particularly suited for rough and dehydrated skin.

Its richness in Vitamin E and sterols gives our oil an ability to protect the skin against free radicals. It is also an exceptional ally to fight aging skin

If the oil is used just on the wrinkles or for the prevention of wrinkles in the forehead, lips, neck and used 3 to 4 times a week, the 15 ml bottle can hold 3 to 4 times a week. 4 months depending on use.

What usage tips can you give 1001Tunisie readers?

Use our oil blended with essential oils or other vegetable oils to make up a regenerating massage oil.

On the other hand, I advise you to apply our oil on a face well cleansed and washed with warm water or after your bath when the pores are ready to be regenerated. To finish, I advise you to use this oil for a better anti-aging effect. It is advisable to apply your care in the evening at bedtime, because it is at night that the cells of the skin are renewed.