The reason why you’ve been seeing camellia seed oil as an ingredient in powerful skincare formulas? It is rich in antioxidants—actually, much more than almost any other botanically derived oil! Here is why you should add this ingredient to your skin care routine plus, the best products where you can find it.
Where Does It Come From?
“Camellia oil is derived from Camellia plants, which are often used to make tea or are grown for their beautiful flowers,” says Dr. Ploch. There are actually several hundred types of camellia plants—grown all over southeast Asia—but the primary three used for their oils are Camellia sinensis, used to create tea, Camellia oleifera, the one where tea seed oil comes from, which is used mostly as a cooking oil, and, finally, Camellia japonica (also referred to as“tsubaki oil”), used to produce the oil you find in skincare.
Do note that camellia oil is sometimes called “tea seed oil” and gets confused with tea tree oil as a result. However, it is not the same thing as tea tree oil, which has a camphorous smell, must be diluted before application, and is heralded for its acne-treating capabilities.
How To Layer Camellia Seed Oil
Camellia oil is a very lightweight, dry oil. That means that when applied, the molecules are small enough to be absorbed into the skin immediately instead of sitting on top of the dermis. For that reason, you’ll find that camellia oil softens and hydrates the skin and hair without leaving a greasy residue. Because it’s absorbed quickly, it shouldn’t be used a cleansing oil, but, instead, be used as a moisturizing ingredient.
Skin and Hair Uses
Camellia is a multi-use oil that can be used on both your skin and hair. You should use it sparingly, and focus on areas that are prone to dryness. For example, you can apply it to the ends of your hair or on little fly away hairs to moisturize and tame them. It’s also commonly used as facial moisturizer, and we recommend applying it after cleansing and toning. The oil will also soften and nourish your feet, so try adding it to your foot moisturizer or apply it directly.
“In addition to providing moisture, camellia oil is an antioxidant,” says Dr. Ploch. “Antioxidants are substances that fight free radical damage in the body. Free radicals contribute to adverse skin changes, such as premature aging.” Talk about a potent skin care ingredient!
Products to Try
Camellia has quickly become a go-to ingredient for Korean skin and haircare brands, so you won’t have a hard time finding it.
If you’re looking for an easy introduction to camellia, try Sally’s Box Secret Garden Camellia Oil Ampule Sheet Mask to deeply nourish and hydrate your skin.