Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

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Choix huile de caméline ou huile de lin.

Camelina oil or flaxseed oil: which one to choose?

Often referred to as "false flax", camelina, and particularly its oil, shares similarities with flaxseed oil, both in terms of their biochemical composition and the benefits they provide. However, differences remain. So, which one should you choose? Elements of answers are provided in this article.

Commonalities between camelina oil and flaxseed oil?

  • Biochemical Composition: The oils of camelina and flax show great similarities in their biochemical composition. Indeed, they are both significant sources of acid α-linolenic (flax with 52 to 60% of total fatty acids; camelina with 35 to 40% of total fatty acids).

    They also contain tocopherols (flax with 40 to 50 mg/100g of oil; camelina with 56 to 99 mg/100g of oil), phytosterols (flax with 630 mg/100g of oil; camelina with 331 to 442 mg/100g of oil), and carotenoid pigments (flax with 1 to 3 mg/100g of oil; camelina with 10 to 20 mg/100g of oil).

  • Benefits: These oils are renowned for their multiple benefits. Anna K. SHOVELLER demonstrated in a study that after 16 days of oral supplementation with camelina oil and flaxseed oil (8.2 g/100 g of total food intake) in 30 dogs, the softness of the skin and the shine of the coat increased equally compared to the initial situation for both treatments.

    As a dietary supplement or topical application, these oils allow for skin hydration, improved healing, and prevent skin aging due to their richness in omega-3 fatty acids, which form a lipid barrier, and antioxidants (vitamin E) that trap free radicals through electron transfer.

  • Method of Obtaining: Linseed and camelina oils are both generally obtained by cold pressing extraction, which involves pressing the seeds at a temperature below 40°C to extract the oil. This process does not use any chemical agents, respects the environment, and the oil retains important bioactive compounds.

Are there differences between camelina oil and flaxseed oil?

  • Oxidative Stability: These oils are not the most stable when it comes to oxidative degradation. Indeed, they are concentrated in omega-3 fatty acids, but their chemical structure, rich in double bonds and their bis-allylic hydrogen atoms, make them susceptible to oxidative degradation, characterized by the production of free radicals.

    However, camelina oil is somewhat more stable towards oxidation than flaxseed oil, particularly because it contains fewer polyunsaturated fatty acids and more antioxidants, such as tocopherols, which trap free radicals and prevent their formation.

  • Phytoestrogen content: Phytoestrogens are present in large quantities in flaxseed oil in the form of lignan, but not in camelina oil. However, these plant compounds can have a activity estrogenic or anti-estrogenic by binding to estradiol receptors, which could potentially disrupt the endocrine system.

    A study published in 1993 demonstrated that the consumption of flax seeds by 18 women with a normal menstrual cycle resulted in a longer luteal phase, as well as a higher progesterone/estradiol ratio during this phase.

    However, the concentrations alone have not changed, which is surprising given the previous result. Therefore, we cannot assert that flaxseed oil is an endocrine disruptor due to the lack of scientific evidence on this matter.

  • Price: Camelina oil is somewhat less known and less sold than linseed oil, making it a more expensive product. Expect to pay around 23 euros per liter of camelina oil, compared to 17 euros per liter of linseed oil.

  • Contraindications: Thecamelina oil does not pose a major risk in its use, as shown by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) report, and is not contraindicated in pregnant or breastfeeding women, nor in children or infants. However, its oral use is discouraged for people taking anticoagulant medications.

    On the other hand, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) recommends not giving flaxseed oil to children under three years of age due to its high omega-3 content. Individuals suffering from thyroid imbalance and coagulation disorders should also exercise caution.

  • Comedogenicity: Thecamelina oil is known to be non-comedogenic (index 0). It is fluid and light, and is quickly absorbed by the skin without leaving a greasy film, thus not clogging the skin pores. In addition, it contains a significant amount of antioxidants, which will stabilize the oil and slow down its oxidation, a reaction responsible for comedogenicity most of the time.

    As for flaxseed oil, it is quite comedogenic (rating 4). It penetrates the skin less effectively, has a low antioxidant content, and a significant presence of fatty acids with double bonds (polyunsaturated fatty acids), which are sensitive to oxidation. Therefore, it can cause the formation of comedones if applied to the skin.

    However, it is important to note that comedogenicity is a controversial term. What is "comedogenic" for one person may not necessarily be so for another.

Camelina Oil and Flaxseed Oil: Which One to Choose?

Camelina OilFlaxseed Oil
Biochemical CompositionAlpha-linolenic acid, tocopherols, phytosterols, carotenoid pigmentsAlpha-linolenic acid, tocopherols, phytosterols, carotenoid pigments
BenefitsSkin hydration, wound healing, prevention of skin agingSkin hydration, wound healing, prevention of skin aging
Method of ProcurementCold-press extractionCold-press extraction
Oxidative StabilityMore stable (more antioxidants, fewer polyunsaturated fatty acids)Less stable (fewer antioxidants, more polyunsaturated fatty acids)
Phytoestrogen ContentMissingHigh quantity (lignan)
Price$27.50/L$20.13/L
ContraindicationsNo major risk (oral use not recommended if taking anticoagulant medications)Oral use is not recommended for children under three years of age, individuals suffering from thyroid imbalance, and those with coagulation disorders
ComedogenicityNon-comedogenic (index 0)Quite comedogenic (index 4)

While there are many similarities between camelina oil and flaxseed oil, and both are beneficial, the observed differences give preference to thecamelina oil. Indeed, its oxidative stability is superior. As a result, it has a longer shelf life and maintains its quality.

This is a non-comedogenic oil, making it suitable for all skin types, including those prone to acne and oily skin. Finally, it does not pose any particular risks in terms of its use, and can be used by the entire family. Therefore, this oil is recommended if you have sensitive skin.

Despite the controversies surrounding it, flaxseed oil remains usable, particularly as a dietary supplement or for topical application on very dry skin or on the body. As a precaution, consider performing a skin test by applying a small amount to the skin and observing for any potential reactions.

Ultimately, the choice between these oils depends on your body and its reactions, your concerns, and your personal preferences.

Sources

  • KURZER M.S. & al. Effect of flax seed ingestion on the menstrual cycle. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (1993).

  • LAMOTHE V. & al. Phytoestrogens, endocrine disrupters from food. ANALUSIS (2000).

  • DUFOUR J.P. & al. Physicochemical and quality characteristics of cold-pressed flaxseed oils. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis (2007).

  • Avis de l’Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments (AFSSA) relatif à une demande d'avis sur un projet d'arrêté modifiant l'arrêté du 4 décembre 2008 fixant les conditions d'utilisation de l'huile de lin pour un usage alimentaire. ANSES (2010).

  • POPA M.I. & al. Flaxseed lignan wound healing formulation: Characterization and in vivo therapeutic evaluation. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules (2015).

  • RUDZIŃSKA M. & al. Physicochemical quality and oxidative stability of linseed (Linum usitatissimum) and camelina (Camelina sativa) cold-pressed oils from retail outlets. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology (2016).

  • GRAS Notice (GRN) No. 642: Camelina oil. FDA (2016).

  • Thèse de Sonia LEPELTIER. Etude ethnobotanique de Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz (2021).

  • SHOVELLER A.K. & al. Effects of dietary camelina, flaxseed, and canola oil supplementation on inflammatory and oxidative markers, transepidermal water loss, and coat quality in healthy adult dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science (2023).

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