Okay, first things first: Nope, it’s not coconut water – although you’re pretty darn close, if I say so myself. What’s my beauty obsession du jour? Enough teasing, drumroll, please: My passion is for prickly pear.

Wait, what? If (like me) you’re the resident alchie of the office, you may have encountered this new skincare sensation in the form of well, a prickly pear margarita (mm, yummy). But alas, this particular beauty beverage comes sans spirits, more’s the pity. Instead, the prickly pear puree is stirred into spring water and spiked with relatively virtuous sweeteners like organic cane sugar and a dash of organic lemon juice.

The claims? This thirst-quenching treatment – I get my fix via CaliWater’s Wild Prickly Pear Cactus Water – promises to plump up parched skin, alleviate acne and reduce redness from the inside out – all of which begs the question: Does this “zhnged-up” water really work?

Answer: A tentative yes. Take it from an expert: “Cactus water made from prickly pear cactus is chock-full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are immune-system boosters,” notes New York-based dermatologist Judith Hellman. “It also contains anti-inflammatories that fight cell damage and ward off premature aging.”

And hey, guess what? The plumping and purifying desert delight is also the star player in Kiehl’s Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist, from $25 for 75ml, so I must be doing something right, yes?

Intrigued? The proof is in the prickly pear pudding. I can only speak for myself when I say that downing a month’s supply of this jacked-up juice seems to have bestowed upon my face a fishball-like firmness and a subtle inner sheen. Oh, and with some luck, you may see reduced redness plus smaller pores, too – the pits pockmarking my nose appears to have been blurred out with an eraser. #HappyDance!

Will it work for you? I can’t say for sure, but I don’t see any harm in adding this edible elixir to your arsenal of topical lotions and potions, especially if you’re aiming to hike up your hydration levels.

As it stands, prickly pear water is still something of an exotic novelty that’s hard to find on our sunny shores, so if it blows up as the next big beauty thing in the coming year or two, you can say you heard it from yours truly first. Your skin can thank me later!

Want more? Check out my hot hacks for layering on liquid lipstick to nail a plump Kylie-esque pout, as well as my guide to instantly erasing eye fatigue and perking up your peepers. For your daily dose of beauty, head over to