Limited Edition: Cleansing Balm with Organic Camellia Oil

Limited Edition: Cleansing Balm with Organic Camellia Oil

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Huile végétale de camélia.

All 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 boasts various benefits for the skin and hair. That's why it's increasingly being included in our skincare products. What should we 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 such as the Camellia sinensis, a tea extract.

These flowers have been utilised over generations in Asia, particularly in Japan, Korea, and China, due to their properties against skin ageing. 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 under the names of Camellia oleifera or Camellia japonica.

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

  2. Seed Drying : Following the harvest, the seeds are separated and then dried to reduce their water content. The drying can occur naturally in the open air or with the aid 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 a slight refinement process to eliminate any impurities and enhance its stability.

At the end of this process, an oily fluid of yellow colour 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.

Camellia oil has a diverse biochemical composition that underpins its virtues. The table below summarises the various active ingredients found in camellia oil, along with their main associated properties.

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

What are the skin and hair benefits of camellia oil?

Due to its richness in fatty acids and its comprehensive biochemical composition, camellia oil possesses intriguing 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. Furthermore, a study has shown that camellia oil inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Consequently, camellia oil proves to be an effective agent for alleviating skin inflammation, particularly those associated with dermatological conditions such as psoriasis, but also for 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 recognised 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 the acceleration of skin ageing and the onset of white hair. Consequently, the use of camellia oil could help slow down the appearance of premature ageing 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. Consequently, 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.

  • Imparts 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 fibres 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 risks 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. It is therefore 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, particularly recommended for dry and damaged hair, as well as for curly and frizzy hair. Enriched with biolipid complexes, it coats and smooths the cuticle. It also acts on the scalp which it soothes, hydrates and nourishes 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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