Wondering about the health benefits of Camellia Oil? Or what that even is? We’re breaking down your questions today, including the pros and cons of this oil and whether it could work some magic for you!
Magic, You Say? But Where To Begin…?
There are many varieties and uses of the Camellia genus, vast and old traditions in Asia (especially Japan, China and Korea). The bark, leaves, fruits and seeds of each species reap endless benefits. Camellia sinenis and camellia assamica provide leaves for green tea, camellia oleifera oil is mostly used for cooking and camellia japonica seed oil has been used in health and beauty regimens for centuries.
So varied and profitable are the uses of the camellia genus, that a great deal of research is being done on all its species, testing different parts of the plants and extraction methods to uncover uses we haven’t stumbled upon or proven yet. Our Camellia Oil Benefits Guide hones in on the ones you should invest in when proven cosmetic health is what you’re looking for.
What Is Camellia Seed Oil?
Camellia seed oil is the generic term used for oil derived from all the species’ seeds. Yet, each one’s bio-chemical structure (and therefore effect) is quite different. The oil we’re primarily concerned with is the Camellia Japonica oil, or Tsubaki Oil. It is said to have been used for over two thousand years in Japan, with records dating back to 927 AD.
There is an ancient culture of women who dove up to eighty feet deep, searching for abalone and pearl.(1) Known as the ama, they coated their bodies with Tsubaki oil to brave frigid sea waters in nothing but loin clothes.
Somehow, their secret was shared with geishas, who adopted it into their beauty routines. Thus camellia seed oil came to be credited with being one of the key ingredients that granted Japanese women long, silky hair and unblemished porcelain skin, well into their old age.
Benefits of Camellia Seed Oil – All You Need To Know
Camellia Oil For Face And Skin
Camellia seed oil is a powerful defender of our skin barrier. Its linoleic acid content maintains the youth and recoverability of our skin barrier.
Research is now revealing that the plant has cellular regenerative capacities, which means that we can use camellia oil on acne, eczema, stretchmarks and sunburn, as well as scars and wounds (over time) and potentially, other skin diseases. (2) Additionally, it is naturally non-comedogenic, cleaning out pores rather than blocking them, which makes it a godsend for those with reactive or sensitive skin!
Tsubaki Oil is also tremendously useful in providing protection against high levels of urban air pollution. (3) Reducing the incidence of cellular damage in our skin, it may even be able to repair nuclei that are already experiencing necrosis.
Prolonged exposure to UV radiation tends to damage the connective layer between our epidermis and dermis. Using camellia seed oil for face and body has been shown to tackle the loss of elasticity and adhesiveness caused to it by this process, reducing the effects of aging and environmental damage. (4)
It is an oil that is ripe with anti-oxidants, but which also promotes the expression of numerous anti-oxidative proteins in our bodies. This means that it doesn’t just introduce foreign radical scavengers in our systems, but supports the body in developing its own. It also reduces the effects of inflammatory distress and tissue damage. (5)
Camellia Seed Oil for Hair
Due to the high levels of linoleic acid in it, camellia seed oil benefits hair by emulating growth factors, thus actually triggering the recovery of our hair and scalp. Its balance of essential fatty acids allows for deep moisturization while stripping down sebum content, dead scalp matter and rashes. (6)
The oil made from camellia oleifera is primarily used for cooking, especially in China. However, like its peers in the tree oil family (olive, jojoba or coconut), it is multi-purpose and so also used for pain relief and to treat itchiness of the scalp. Growing amounts of research now demonstrate strong biological activity against viruses, bacteria and fungi, proving camellia oleifera oil to be a powerful anti-bacterial agent. (7)
How to Use Camellia Seed Oil for Hair
Take a few drops of the oil and rub gently over your palms. Work the oil deep into your scalp with circular motions, and gently over hair strands and tips. Pay special attention to areas that are dry or sensitive.
If you have frizzy or dry hair, it can be applied right before you wash your hair. For a deep treatment, apply and wrap your head in a warm towel for 30 minutes before shampooing as usual.
The Japanese tend to use it as a leave in conditioner, and the amount you use will lend different levels of glossiness. It can be your hero on days when your hair needs a moisture boost but you don’t want to wash it!
Camellia seed oil matches the composition of skin so well, it usually rubs right in without leaving you greasy. Some products are developed as a mist, so they can be sprayed lightly onto the hair. Always do a patch test first, by applying the product on a square inch of your scalp to check for allergies and overall effect.
While the camellia japonica seed oil can be used as a pre-emptive measure for overarching hair and scalp health, the camellia oleifera oil may work better when used to treat already existing conditions, especially those needing antimicrobial and antiseptic attention. (8) Targeted application on problem areas may work better, as it is quite powerful.
How to Use Camellia Seed Oil for Skin
Rub a few drops of the oil gently between your palms to lightly coat your hands. Pat over your face and skin and use gentle circular motions till it is absorbed. Do not rub hard. It is best used after your bath, in the morning and/or evening as preferred. If you want to use camellia seed oil for acne, apply dots directly over those and other problem areas that need some TLC.
Possible Side Effects Of Camellia Seed Oil – All You Need To know
While most sources suggest that the plant family can do no wrong, research does also point to real differences in properties and biological structures. We would recommend careful research when choosing your product, to make sure you are getting the variant most suited to your needs.
Camellia oleifera oil is edible, and can be used for dermatological distress. However, it is not as gentle as camellia japonica oil. If attempting to treat a more serious condition, always consult your dermatologist first to ensure compatibility with other products and medications.
Camellia Seed Oil – A Hungry Market Breeds Variety
Research on this plant family is likely to endure for many years to come. The economic viability and popularity of it has led to cultivation of many more varieties across the globe. So hungry is the market for its ‘magical’ properties that you may find oils made from different species, or from petals and leaves versus the seeds.
There are definite ethical benefits in ordering a product that is produced locally and with minimum waste, especially when we consider the pressures of demand on a limited ecosystem.
However, there are medical concerns to consider as well. If your need is dire and you wish for a product that is not only time and research-tested, but specifically proven to benefit your hair and skin, you can’t go wrong with camellia japonica oil. After all, the centuries don’t lie!
- Rahn, H.; Yokoyama, T., Physiology of Breath-Hold Diving and the Ama of Japan, United States: National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council, 1965, pg. 369
- Jeon, Hyejin; Kim, Jae Yun et al, Effects of the Extracts from the Fruit and Stem of Camellia Japonica on Induced Pluripotency and Wound Healing, J Clin Med: Vol. 7, November 2018
- Kim, Minkyung; Son, Dahee et al, Protective Effects of Camellia Japonica Flower Extract Against Urban Air Pollutants, BMC Complement Altern Med, 2019
- Hwa Nam, Hyeon; Nan Li et al, Inhibitory Effects of Camellia Japonica on Cell Inflammation and Acute Rat Reflux Esophagitis, Chin Med, January 2021
- Cho, Won Kyong; Kim, Hye-In et al, Gene Expression Profile of Human Follicle Dermal Papilla Cells in Response to Camellia Japonica Phytoplacenta Extract, FEBS Open Bio, March 2021
- Wang, Lanying; Ahmad, Shakil, Comparison of Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities of Camellia Oil From Hainan With Camellia Oil From Guangxi, Olive Oil, and Peanut Oil, Front Nutr. May 2021
- Teixera, Ana Margarida; Sousa, Clara; A Review on the Biological Activities of the Camellia Species, Molecules, April 2021
- Wu, Sarah Y, The Benefits of Body Oils, Forbes, October 2014
- << https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahwu/2014/10/23/the-benefits-of-body-oils/?sh=66a4cf6fc1b5 >>