Mesembryanthemum crystallinum is a halophyte plant widely used in the traditional medicine, characterized by the presence of anti-oxidants enzymes in responses to abiotic stresses. Fresh Ice plant sap is used as a remedy to treat minor skin problems and is added to baths for refreshing skin. Its extract can be used to prepare ointments and creams for treating skin problems such as neurodermatitis and psoriasis. It is also used in cosmetics for protecting skin from the harmful UV rays and helps to heal and repair the damage done by sunburn.
In one study, the daily application of a moisturizing lotion and cream containing ice plant showed an improvement of skin barrier function and clinical skin condition in infants with dry skin and atopic predisposition.
Ice plant extract contains water, mineral salts (magnesium), fruit acids, sugar alcohols, amino acids (proline), flavonoids, betanine. Ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) has been used as an anti-diabetic agent in Japan because it contains d-pinitol.
Its leaves are edible, as with some other members of the Aizoaceae family. Seeds can also be eaten. The crushed leaves can be used as a soap substitute and has some medicinal uses.
The effect of daily skin care on skin barrier properties in infants with dry skinand risk for atopic dermatitis
Bouftira, I.; Abdelly, C. and Sfar, S. (2008). Characterization of cosmetic cream with Mesembryanthemum crystallinum plant extract:
Influence of formulation composition on physical stability and antioxidant activity. Int. Journal of Cosmetic Science., 30:443-452.