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Huile végétale de camélia.

Everything you need to know about camellia vegetable oil

An Asian shrub with evergreen foliage, the camellia represents a symbol of immortality for the Japanese, who incorporate it into their skincare routine. The vegetable oil derived from camellia seeds offers various benefits for the skin and hair. That's why it's increasingly being included in our skincare products. What should you know about this botanical ingredient?

The vegetable oil of camellia, in brief.

Originating from Asia, and more specifically China, the camellia is a shrub distinguished by its large fragrant white flowers and green leaves. Under pressure, its seeds produce a vegetable oil called "tea tree oil," which should not be confused with other varieties of camellia like the Camellia sinensis, a tea extract.

These flowers have been utilized over generations in Asia, particularly in Japan, Korea, and China, due to their properties against skin aging. Their significance has grown to such an extent that the camellia has now become a symbol of rebirth and eternal youth. It has even become so valuable that during the Edo period, it was used as a form of tax.

Method of extracting camellia oil.

Camellia oil is obtained by cold pressing the seeds of its plant, also known by the names of Camellia oleifera or Camellia japonica.

  1. Harvesting of Seeds : The camellia seeds are harvested once the flowers have wilted to ensure the seeds are ripe.

  2. Seed Drying : After harvesting, the seeds are separated and then dried to reduce their water content. The drying can be done naturally in the open air or with the help of controlled drying techniques.

  3. Cold Pressing : Once the seeds are dried, they are cold-pressed to extract the oil. This process allows for the maximum preservation of beneficial compounds present in the oil. Moreover, this method does not use solvents or chemicals.

  4. Filtration and Refinement : Following extraction, the oil is typically filtered to remove solid residues. In some instances, the oil may also undergo slight refinement to eliminate any impurities and enhance its stability.

At the end of this process, an oily fluid of yellow color is obtained. Camellia oil emits a rather neutral scent, although it subtly evokes, for some, the fragrance of hazelnut.

The biochemical composition of camellia oil.

The camellia oil has a diverse biochemical composition that is the source of its virtues. The table below summarizes the various active ingredients found in camellia oil, as well as the main properties associated with them.

Active IngredientProperty(ies)
Fatty Acids (Omega-3, 6, and 9)Moisturizing, Anti-inflammatory
PolyphenolsAntioxidant, Anti-inflammatory
FlavonoidsAnti-inflammatory
Vitamin E Antioxidant
PhytosterolsSoothing
Squalene Moisturizer

What are the skin and hair benefits of camellia oil?

Due to its abundance in fatty acids and its comprehensive biochemical composition, camellia oil possesses interesting properties for the skin and the hair.

  • Soothes the skin and the scalp.

    Camellia oil primarily contains 90% unsaturated fatty acids and also polyphenols. These compounds have demonstrated their ability to reduce the production levels of certain pro-inflammatory molecules. Additionally, a study has shown that camellia oil inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Therefore, camellia oil proves to be an effective agent in alleviating skin inflammation, particularly those associated with dermatological conditions such as psoriasis, and also in soothing scalp irritations.

  • Combatting oxidative stress.

    Camellia oil contains squalene, a natural lipid belonging to the triterpene family, as well as vitamin E. These compounds, due to their structure, possess recognized antioxidant properties that combat free radicals. These radicals, unstable molecules that have gained or lost an electron, are the cause of oxidative stress, a process associated with accelerated skin aging and the onset of white hair. Therefore, the use of camellia oil could help slow the appearance of premature aging signs and the early development of white hair.

  • Enhances the flexibility and elasticity of the skin.

    Produced by fibroblasts, the collagen is the predominant protein in the human body associated with elasticity, suppleness, and skin resilience. However, over time, collagen production slows down, leading to the appearance of wrinkles, skin sagging, and a decrease in tissue firmness. Research has shown that camellia oil could promote the preservation of collagen, thus helping to maintain the suppleness and elasticity of the skin.

  • Nourishes the skin and hair.

    Camellia oil is rich in fatty acids, which allows it to deeply nourish the skin. It also creates a protective layer on the surface of the hair, strengthening it, protecting it from dehydration, and providing deep nourishment. Therefore, the application of a product containing camellia oil proves to be particularly beneficial, especially for individuals with dry skin or hair. This helps to nourish the skin and hair, thereby improving their health and protection.

  • Brings shine to the hair.

    The application of camellia oil to the hair also has the advantage of enhancing its shine. Indeed, the fatty acids contained in this oil can strengthen the bond between the scales forming the cuticle. When the structure of the hair fibers is reinforced and the scales of the cuticle are well bonded, the hair appears more radiant.

Are there dangers associated with the use of camellia oil?

Camellia oil is considered safe with no reported hazards when used in skincare formulas. It is suitable for all skin types. Moreover, this oil is also not comedogenic, meaning it does not clog pores and does not cause skin breakouts.

However, even though the use of this oil is generally considered safe, any skincare product, no matter how natural, can cause an allergic or irritant contact reaction. Therefore, it is recommended to perform a patch test in the crook of your arm 24 hours before using it on a larger skin area to assess your skin's reactivity to this new product. If no reaction occurs, you can continue its use.

In which skincare products can one find camellia oil?

You can find thecamellia oil (INCI: Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil) in our nourishing shampoo, which is particularly recommended for dry and damaged hair, as well as for curly and kinky hair. Enriched with biolipid complexes, it coats and smooths the cuticle. It also acts on the scalp, soothing, hydrating, and nourishing it to strengthen its barrier function. Formulated without sulfates and without silicones, this shampoo gently cleanses and respects the balance of the scalp.

Sources

  • JUNG E. & al. Effect of Camellia japonica oil on human type I procollagen production and skin barrier function. Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2007).

  • ROBARDS K. & al. Camellia oil and tea oil. Gourmet and Health-Promoting Specialty Oils (2009).

  • ZHOU Y. & al. Ultrasonic-assisted extraction and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides from Camellia oleifera leaves. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules (2014).

  • XIAO X. & al. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of Camellia oleifera Abel components. Future Medicinal Chemistry (2017).

  • SOUSA C. & al. A review on the biological activity of camellia species. Molecules (2021).

  • AHN C. & al. Effect of rinse-off hair conditioner containing argan oil or camellia oil on the recovery of hair damaged by bleaching. Fashion and Textiles (2022).

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