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Indice de comédogénicité huile végétale de camélia.

Camellia Oil: Is it Comedogenic?

Derived from seeds, camellia oil has been used for centuries as a treatment for skin, hair, and nails. Although it does not leave a greasy film after application, what about its comedogenicity index? The answer is provided in this article.

Published January 29, 2024, by Manon, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

What is camellia oil?

The camellia, which finds its roots in Asia, specifically in China, is a shrub that stands out for its large fragrant white flowers and its dense green leaves. When its seeds are subjected to pressure, they produce a vegetable oil known as "tea tree oil", not to be confused with tea tree essential oil.

It presents itself as a fluid, oily liquid of a yellow color. The camellia oil emits a rather neutral scent, although for some, it slightly evokes the fragrance of hazelnut. Its composition includes various fatty acids, and it is particularly recognized for its high content of oleic acid, as well as for its presence of omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids.

These flowers have been utilized for many generations, whether in Japan, Korea, or China, and are valued for their virtues on skin aging. This importance has increased to such an extent that the camellia has now become a symbol of rebirth and eternal youth. This oil also has benefits for the hair. Acting as a nourishing agent, it envelops each hair to protect it from external aggressions, thus reducing the risks of split ends and gray hair.

A "Comedogenic" Oil: What Are We Talking About?

An oil is deemed comedogenic when its application on the skin leads to the blockage of pores and the creation of an "occlusive" layer. This process disrupts the natural elimination of sebum, thereby contributing to the formation of comedones, the skin imperfections from which the term "comedogenic" originates. If you have acne-prone skin, the use of a comedogenic ingredient can potentially exacerbate this skin condition.

The comedogenicity of an ingredient is assessed on a scale of 0 to 5 to determine its level of occlusion. A score of 0 indicates a lack of comedogenicity, while a score of 5 signals a high likelihood of causing comedones. Generally, it is recommended to not exceed a comedogenicity index of 2 for oily skin, which is often prone to imperfections.

The classification of an ingredient's comedogenicity results from the examination of various criteria, such as its sensitivity to oxidation and its ability to penetrate the skin. Oils that penetrate quickly, often referred to as "dry", are primarily composed of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, while richer oils, less easily absorbed by the skin, contain more omega-9 fatty acids. Regarding sensitivity to oxidation, as a general rule, the more double bonds a fatty acid has, the higher its tendency to oxidize quickly.

Note: Just because an ingredient is said to be comedogenic, it doesn't necessarily mean that the product containing it is. This primarily depends on the concentration of the ingredient in the product.

Is Camellia Oil Comedogenic?

With a comedogenicity index of 0, camellia oil is non-comedogenic. To date, there are no known contraindications to the use of camellia oil. Light and non-greasy, it is nourishing, softening, and protective for the skin. This oil is ideal for dry, sensitive, mature, or oily skin.

As the freshness of the oil plays a role in determining its comedogenicity index, it is essential to use fresh camellia oil. After opening, do not keep the oil for more than six months and store it in a light-protected location in a tightly sealed bottle.


  • DINARDO J. & al. A re-evaluation of the comedogenicity concept. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2006).


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