Camellia Seed Carrier Oil is a highly nourishing, antioxidant-rich oil derived from the evergreen Camellia oleifera botanical native to the eastern regions of Asia. Hailed as one of the secrets behind the everlasting beauty of the Geishas, this all-natural oil is renowned for its exceptional skin-smoothing, hydrating, and strengthening properties that contribute to vibrant, youthful-looking skin, nails, and hair.
The genus Camellia houses roughly 200 species of flowering botanicals, with the most popular being Camellia sinensis (used in tea production), Camellia japonica (used for decorative and cosmetic purposes), and Camellia oleifera (used for culinary and cosmetic purposes). Perhaps the most visually stunning element of these plants are their large, beautiful blossoms, appearing in various shades and gradients of lavish pink, red, and white. Camellia Seed Carrier Oil is in fact known by a number of names, including Camellia Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Camellia Tea Oil, Tea Seed Oil, or simply Tea Oil. The references to Tea Seed Oil or Tea Oil has sometimes caused confusion between Camellia Seed Oil and 'Tea Tree Oil', the latter being an essential oil sourced from the Melaleuca alternifolia botanical.
Read on to discover the history, benefits, and applications of this exotic carrier oil cold-pressed from the fruit seeds of the ornate Camellia tree!
Camellia oleifera's history begins in ancient East Asia. Camellia seeds were a treasured commodity especially in China, used to make a healthy edible vegetable oil. Indeed, historical records show that this carrier oil in China predates over a thousand years of culinary usage. It later spread slowly to other nations including the US and Europe, where the familiarity of the Camellia species until that point was limited only to decorative purposes (Camellia japonica) and tea beverages (Camellia sinensis). Rich in Omega-9 Fatty Acids and low in saturated Fatty Acids, Camellia Oil exploded in popularity as a nutritious oil touted for its health-enhancing benefits.
For centuries, China, Japan, and Korea have been known to benefit from Camellia Seed Oil for cooking, traditional medicine, and cosmetic applications. In Japan, the Geishas and their apprentices (Maikos) were believed to apply the oil on their faces to maintain their skin's perfection as well as prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging. They also incorporated Camellia Seed Oil into their painstaking hair rituals, smoothed directly over dry hair for lasting softness and shine. In traditional Chinese herbology, the oil was used as a remedy for a host of medical ailments, publicized for its reputed anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, carminative, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, and immunity-boosting effects. It was also used as a treatment for burn wounds, with the oil believed to support the skin regeneration process and accelerate healing.
Today, Camellia Seed Oil is used widely for both culinary and cosmetic purposes. Within Asia, it remains one of the primary oils for cooking, used to make savory sauces, stir-fries, and deep-fried foods. Within the cosmetics sector, Camellia Seed Oil is now used in many luxury and premium skincare, haircare, and nail care products. It is especially prominent in anti-aging and reparative applications.
Camellia Seed Carrier Oil bears a striking resemblance to Olive Carrier Oil in terms of its nutrients and fatty acid profile. Indeed, it is sometimes called the world's 'Eastern Olive Oil' or 'Oriental Olive Oil', being featured in eastern culinary applications as prominently as Olive Oil is in western nations. It is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, including Oleic and Linoleic Acids. The content of Oleic Acids (which can exceed 80%) in particular is thought to be even higher than that of Olive Oil. Camellia Seed Oil is also high in skin-rejuvenating vitamins, minerals, and compounds, including Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Magnesium, Zinc, and Squalene lipids. These nutrients collectively make the oil exceptionally hydrating, moisturizing, and protective, with high antioxidative power and lasting cosmetic benefits.
OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:
LINOLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 6) are known to:
SQUALENE is thought to:
VITAMIN E is thought to:
VITAMIN A is thought to:
Camellia Seed Oil is lightweight and absorbs rapidly to leave the skin surface looking dewy and healthy. It is also a non-comedogenic oil, making it suitable for all skin types. When applied topically, the oil acts as an exceptional emollient and hydrating agent, helping the skin look and feel smooth, plump, firm, and youthful. It improves the skin's complexion and addresses texture issues and scarring on the face and body, reducing the look of cellulite, stretch marks, wrinkles, and loose skin. It additionally supports the slowing down of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and can be highly beneficial for skin that is suffering from dryness, dullness, and flakiness.
When applied directly to the face, Camellia Seed Oil is reputed to decrease the appearance of fine lines, sun damage, and other signs of premature aging. It is a highly protective oil, being naturally rich in antioxidants including Vitamin E and Polyphenols, thereby enhancing the skin's natural ability to safeguard from external irritants.
When applied to the hair and scalp, Camellia Seed Oil hydrates, softens, adds luster, and tames dandruff. It is a regenerative oil that promotes natural recovery from heat or styling damage. Those who experience itchy, irritated, or inflamed scalps may especially benefit from the soothing, non-irritant properties of this carrier oil. Due to its nourishing composition, frequent application to the hair is believed to accelerate hair growth and add a natural sheen and bounce to hair strands.
Camellia Seed Oil is also a well-known beauty remedy for chapped cuticles or brittle nails. It helps strengthen the cuticle as well as moisturize and fortify the nails for optimal health and growth. It also adds a glossy natural shine to the nail plate, helping the hands look more appealing and countering any discoloration.
As illustrated, Camellia Seed Carrier Oil is reputed to have distinct therapeutic properties. The following summary highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:
COSMETIC: Emollient, Hydrating, Anti-Aging, Protective, Reparative, Regenerating, Softening, Smoothing, Lifting, Firming, Soothing, Anti-Inflammatory, Strengthening
MEDICINAL: Cardioprotective, Hepatoprotective, Immunity-Boosting, Cholesterol Lowering, General Health-Enhancing, Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Diabetic, Carminative
Camellia oleifera is a relatively small evergreen botanical that can reach up to about 16 feet (5 meters) in height, producing sturdy green-tinged fruits that are somewhat similar in appearance to mangosteen. Camellia fruits can take several years to produce (sometimes as long as eight years!), but the economic investment is worthwhile, with one tree providing almost eight decades of commercial value. The splendid blossoms of Camellia typically begin to appear in the month of October and can last roughly three months.
The ideal growing conditions of this botanical include damp, well-drained soils with a marginally low pH level (5-6), and adequate sunlight. Too much sun exposure, however, can cause burning or discoloration, especially when the plants are immature. Camellia plants can also be sensitive to fungal diseases, including black spot, canker diseases, and root rot.
In East Asia, the annual harvesting of Camellia fruits commences in September or October and can last until December. The color and form of the fruit is an important indicator of maturity and is used as a factor for ideal harvest time. If picked when the fruits are too immature or overripe, both the oil quality and quantity can be impacted.
Once picked, the fruits are dried under the sun to first allow them to naturally split open, which contributes to the easy isolation of the seeds. They are then dried further for several days to minimize their humidity content. The hull, or the outer shell of the seed, is removed in a process known as 'dehulling'. The cracking or pulverization of the seeds helps increase the surface area of contact for pressing. Finally, the extraction of the oil is done via cold-pressing, which preserves the oil's purity, quality, and nutrient profile. The by-product of this process, the seed cake, may lack lipids but is still high in proteins, starches, and other nutrients and is therefore transformed into animal feeds. The cake is also known to have insecticide effects. The oil may undergo further refinement such as deodorization, winterization, or bleaching to improve the clarity, purity, and odor profile of the oil.
Camellia Seed Oil is a popular cosmetic ingredient incorporated into skincare, hair care, body care, and makeup formulations. Its many forms include facial oils, eye creams, scar repair creams, body lotions, baby oils, soaps, cleansers, hair conditioners, hair oils, nail serums, and massage oils. It appears most widely in moisturizing, anti-aging, restorative, sun care, strengthening, and rejuvenating applications.
Traditionally used as a simple facial oil, it can be applied directly to the face for its skin-smoothing and revitalizing benefits, or used daily as a gentle makeup remover and oil cleanser. To make a nightly anti-aging facial oil, pour in 10 tablespoons of Camellia Seed Oil into a glass container, followed by 3 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil, 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, and 2 drops of Rose Geranium Essential Oil. Swirl to mix the ingredients together, and cap tightly. Apply onto a clean face and allow the oil to fully absorb before going to sleep.
Used as-is on the hair, Camellia Seed Oil functions as a natural leave-in conditioner that tames fly-aways, smooths split ends, and adds a rich glossy sheen. For dry hair, the oil can be used as a pre-wash treatment that helps nourish the strands while avoiding the dryness and brittleness caused by washing and conventional shampooing. To do this, simply section the hair using a comb and massage a dime-sized portion of Camellia Seed Oil onto the scalp, hair strands, and ends. Leave on for at least 15-30 minutes before rinsing off and shampooing and conditioning as usual. Once the hair is dry, a little bit of Camellia Oil can be applied once more to eliminate frizz, help with styling, add shine, and make the hair more manageable.
Due to its reparative properties, Camellia Seed Oil is an excellent ingredient for hair care products and treatments targeted at dry and damaged hair. To make a simple yet effective hair repair mask, pour in 2 tablespoons of Camellia Seed Oil, 2 tablespoons of Honey, and 2 teaspoons of Vitamin E Liquid into a heatproof container. In a double boiler or water bath, gently heat the ingredients and blend with a whisk until the honey loosens its consistency and is fully incorporated. Once the mixture has appropriately cooled down, mist a little bit of water from the hair roots to the ends, then apply the mask and comb through with a wide-toothed comb. Leave on for half an hour before washing the hair as normal. This Camellia Oil hair remedy can be done once a week to achieve softer, shinier, healthier-looking hair.
Used as a body oil after a shower, Camellia Seed Oil helps lock in moisture and is reputed to help prevent or fade away scarring, uneven tones, stretch marks, and other skin texture issues. It can also be incorporated into firming products and lotions to support the reduction of cellulite, loose skin, and mature skin ailments. To make your own Camellia firming body lotion, combine 75 g (2.65 oz) of Camellia Oil with 25 g (0.88 oz) of Emulsifying Wax, 25 g (0.88 oz) of Shea Butter, and 15 g (0.53 oz) of Stearic Acid in a heat-resistant container. In another heat-resistant container, pour in 352.5 g (12.43 oz) of Distilled Water. Heat both containers (you may use a double boiler or water bath) for about 20 minutes until the waxes, butter, and oils have thoroughly melted, and the water phase reaches its boiling point. Next, pour the water phase into the oils, butter, and melted wax, and blend well. Keep blending or stirring until the formulation has cooled. Once cooled down, you may add in 2.5 g (0.09 oz) of a Broad-Spectrum Preservative and 5 g (0.18 oz) of your own Essential Oil blend or NDA's Cellulite Synergy Blend. Mix well and decant into a jar of your choice. Use as needed.
For those who desire to strengthen or beautify nails that experience frequent peeling, breaking, or splitting, a daily massage of the nail and cuticle area with a few drops of Camellia Seed Carrier Oil can be a wonderful nail conditioning treatment. Alternatively, a DIY nail strengthening serum can be made by mixing 5 mL (0.17 fl. oz.) of Camellia Seed Carrier Oil, 4-5 mL (0.14 – 0.17 fl. oz.) of Castor Carrier Oil, 3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil and 2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil. Apply 1-2 drops of this serum daily onto nails and cuticles, repeating as often as needed.
To benefit from the body detoxifying and anti-inflammatory effects of Camellia Seed Oil, it can be applied externally as a soothing and relaxing massage oil. A recommended massage blend incorporates 30 mL (1 fl. oz.) of Camellia Seed Oil, 1 teaspoon of Vitamin E Liquid, 3 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil, 5 drops of Ginger Essential Oil and 2 drops of Turmeric Essential Oil. This blend is reputed to provide pain relief, alleviate soreness and body aches, improve digestion, and ease inflammation.
Camellia Seed Carrier Oil (Refined)
Botanical Name: Camellia oleifera
Camellia Seed Organic Carrier Oil (Refined)
Botanical Name: Camellia oleifera
Interested in discovering other history, uses, and benefits of other nourishing or exotic Carrier Oils? Learn more by reading our articles on Plum Kernel Carrier Oil, Sweet Almond Carrier Oil, Neem Carrier Oil, and Olive Carrier Oil.
New to Carrier Oils? Explore our in-depth guide to know everything about these nourishing oils, including the various types, extraction methods, and storage tips!
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, carrier oils are for external use only. Camellia Seed Carrier Oil should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with all other oils, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or another generally insensitive area of skin, using a dime-size amount of Camella Seed Carrier Oil to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours indicates that the oil is safe to use.
The topical application of Camella Seed Carrier Oil is not generally known to have side effects. In the rare chance of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.