You’ve probably seen camellias: red, romantic flowers with dark foliage. Whether it’s a botanical garden, park, or your neighbor’s patio, this flower is known to add a sense of refinement to any planter box. But did you know that camellia seed oil is actually an ancient skin care wonder?
Camellia seed oil has been used by geishas for centuries, who were renowned for both their refined grace and perfect, radiant skin.
To attain such an otherworldly complexion, it’s always important to educate yourself on the type of flower that can do the job. There are several varieties of camellia seed oil that are beneficial for skin, and it’s important to know which ones you want in your beauty regimen!
About Camellia Seed Oil
When thinking of camellia flowers, you may think specifically of the ones with beautiful pink petals. The camellia is actually a whole genus of plants, branching into Camellia oleifera, Camellia sinensis, and Camellia japonica. Each of these plants is unique, and the oils extracted from their plant matter poses its own set of beauty abilities.
The oil derived from camellias is commonly known as tea seed oil. While the leaves of the plant are usually dried to make tea, the seeds can be cold-pressed into an oil containing many of the same antioxidants as green tea – along with a high amount of healthy fats and minerals.
Camellia seed oil can be made from the Camellia sinensis plant or the Camellia oleifera plant. Japanese tea oil is made from Camellia japonica, and has significantly different attributes – one of the biggest being that oil from Camellia japonica is not suitable for cooking.
The Camellia oleifera, or "oil camellia” is a Chinese species of camellia that produces white flowers. It exists as an important source of tea oil, which is an edible oil commonly used in cooking that should not be confused with tea tree oil – which comes from a completely different plant with entirely different properties.
The Camellia sinensis, or tea plant, is the plant known for producing green, black, and oolong tea to name a few. This genus is regarded for its wealth of antioxidant properties, amongst other anti-aging benefits (which is why we use it in our Restorative Facial Oil). In addition to tea, this type of camellia also produces green tea oil, which is becoming a popular staple in skin care.
Finally, Camellia japonica, or “Tsubaki”, is probably the species most associated with skin care. Its oil has traditionally been used by geishas for centuries, and contains a series of properties that may help protect the skin.
The Nourishing Benefits of Camellia Oil
Like many plant-based oils, camellia seed oil is highly moisturizing, and nourishes the skin while creating a barrier that traps water inside while keeping bacteria out.
Camellia seed oil also contains high levels of essential fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid, stearic acid, and as much as 80% oleic acid.
Furthermore, Camellia seed oil has a texture and weight that’s similar to sebum, which is a natural substance secreted by the skin to keep it lubricated. Because of this similarity, camellia seed oil may absorb more easily into the skin with less residue. This makes it particularly desirable for those with acne prone and oily skin, while those with dry skin can certainly benefit from its nourishing properties, too.
When applied externally, camellia seed oil helps to form a barrier that locks in moisture, keeping your skin smooth and hydrated throughout the day. To get the protective, nourishing benefits of camellia seed oil, you can simply apply a small amount to the skin after moisturizing, and this can be done day or night!
Anti-Aging Benefits of Camellia Seed Oil
In addition to its moisturizing properties, camellia seed oil may even help repair skin through the use of its omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, especially that concentrated oleic acid we mentioned.
Camellia seed oil is also an excellent source of plant collagen, and can help stimulate collagen production in our skin. With this in mind, applying it over your moisturizer before bed may make your skin firmer, plumper, and bouncier for an overall anti-aging effect.
Camellia Seed Oil for Hair
Besides nourishing and rejuvenating the skin, camellia seed oil is also ultra-conditioning for the hair. Thanks to its high fatty acid content and light weight, camellia seed oil can be used to smooth out the cuticles of the hair without creating excessive weight, treat dandruff and dry scalp, shine and strengthen the hair, and prevent split ends.
When used for hair, camellia seed oil is especially popular when combined with a little bit of water and used as a leave-in conditioner after showering, but it can also be warmed up and added to the hair as a hot oil treatment to be rinsed out.