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Composition biochimique huile caméline.

What is the biochemical composition of camelina oil?

Camelina oil, whether applied pure or in a treatment, is beneficial for the skin and hair. These benefits are possible thanks to its unique biochemical composition. Let's focus here on the bioactive compounds contained in camelina oil.

Published February 19, 2024, updated on February 22, 2024, by Kahina, Scientific Editor — 4 min read

Camelina oil is rich in fatty acids.

Camelina oil contains essential fatty acids. Their profile is mainly represented by unsaturated fatty acids (mono- and particularly polyunsaturated), with a rate exceeding 55%. Indeed, camelina oil particularly includes high concentrations of linolenic acid (27.9%), linoleic acid (18.7%), and oleic acid (17.5%). These fatty acids are part of the omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 groups, respectively.

Alpha-linolenic acid is obtained through our diet to enable the body to produce the fatty acids necessary for our metabolism, such as docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. Omega-3s influence the production of skin lipids like ceramides, essential lipids that help maintain the integrity of the skin barrier. Overall, they allow for the formation of a lipid barrier on the skin that helps maintain skin hydration, making it more supple.

Omega-6 fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, aid inaccelerating skin healing through promoting coagulation, and contribute to the formation and maintenance of cell membranes. Oleic acid (omega-9) comes in to stimulate the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands to counteract, among other things, skin dryness.

Camelina oil contains a large amount of tocopherols.

The tocopherols are part of the "group" of Vitamin E. Camelina oil contains in mg per 100 g of oil: 3.8 mg/100 g of α-tocopherol, 0.09 mg/100 g of β-tocopherol, and 1.5 mg/100 g of δ-tocopherols. These rates are higher than those of other vegetable oils, such as canola oil for example. Tocopherols are liposoluble antioxidants. Oxidative degradation is a phenomenon that can occur as a result of stress induced by oxygen, light, or heat for example, and is characterized by the formation of free radicals.

Despite the significant presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids in oil, known for their rapid oxidation, tocopherols act as a scavenger of these free radicals. The free hydroxyl function carried by the aromatic cycle of the compound captures free radicals and stabilizes them by providing the missing electron. As a result, these radicals become less reactive and the rate of oil oxidation slows down. Skin cells, typically affected by oxidation, are thus preserved. This action can contribute to slowing down skin aging and provide stability to the oil.

Camelina oil contains phytosterols.

Camelina oil also contains plant sterols, known as phytosterols. These are plant lipids similar to cholesterol. They are components of cell membranes, particularly on the outside of mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum. They have several functions: they improve microcirculation, slow down skin aging and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Phytosterols work by inhibiting the activity of cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX), two enzymes that play a key role in the production of prostaglandins, which are pro-inflammatory molecules.

Furthermore, they can negatively regulate the activation of pro-inflammatory transcription factors, such as NF-κB and Activator Protein 1 (AP-1). All these actions will help to soothe the skin. They can also act by activating the growth factors of fibroblasts, connective tissue cells, to allow for better healing and effective skin repair.

Camelina oil contains carotenoids.

The carotenoids are plant pigments that give a characteristic color to the products that contain them. Those contained in camelina vegetable oil are the lutein and the zeaxanthin, which give it this golden yellow color. This is why one of the English names for camelina oil is "gold of pleasure".

good antioxidants", which therefore help to protect the oil from the formation of free radicals, and are regularly used in cosmetology.


  • PUTNAM D.H. Some compositional properties of camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz) seeds and oils. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (1995).

  • DUMITRIU B. et al. Camelina sativa oil - A review. Scientific Bulletin (2017).

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


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