The camellia flower originates from the Asian continent. Available in red, white, pink, or yellow, it is renowned for its numerous properties. It has been used for a long time, particularly in China, Korea, and Japan. Let's explore the benefits of a topical application of camellia oil.
What are the benefits of camellia oil for the skin?
- Benefit No.1: Camellia oil promotes the suppleness and elasticity of the skin
- Benefit No. 2: The anti-inflammatory activity of camellia oil
- Benefit No. 3: The antioxidant potential of camellia oil
- Benefit No. 4: Camellia oil has nourishing properties
- Benefit No.5: The moisturising properties of camellia oil
Benefit No.1: Camellia oil promotes the suppleness and elasticity of the skin.
Synthesised by fibroblasts, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is responsible for the elasticity, flexibility, and resilience of the skin. The issue is that over the years, the synthesis of collagen slows down. This promotes the appearance of wrinkles, the loss of firmness and elasticity of tissues, and the sagging of the skin.
A study conducted on human fibroblasts has revealed that kaempferol, a flavonoid in camellia oil Camellia japonica, significantly inhibits the secretion of metalloproteinases (MMP-1) induced by TNF-α. These are involved in the proteolytic degradation of collagen. Consequently, by inhibiting their action, we encourage the preservation of collagen, which helps to maintain the suppleness and elasticity of the skin. The results are promising, however, it should be noted that this study was conducted on cell cultures, which limits the ability to draw definitive conclusions about its effectiveness on human skin.
Benefit No. 2: The anti-inflammatory activity of camellia oil.
Camellia oil Camellia oleifera primarily contains 90% unsaturated fatty acids. These compounds have demonstrated their ability to reduce levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β and TNF-α, by disrupting the NF-κB signalling pathway. Further studies have revealed that the polyphenols present in camellia oil can mitigate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and block the activation of the NF-κB signalling pathway.
Another study has provided evidence suggesting that camellia oil may be effective in soothing inflammation related to psoriasis. Specifically, epigallocatechin gallate, a catechin that is part of polyphenols, has been observed for its ability to inhibit the production of cytokines IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22 and IL-23 in mice. These cytokines play a central role in the genesis of psoriasis. Consequently, camellia oil proves to be an effective agent for soothing skin inflammation, particularly those associated with dermatological conditions such as psoriasis.
Benefit No. 3: The antioxidant potential of camellia oil.
Camellia oil Camellia oleifera contains squalene, a natural lipid belonging to the triterpene category. This compound is distinguished by the presence of six double bonds, creating electron-rich areas that give it the ability to serve as potential electron donors to free radicals. These, which are unstable molecules that have gained or lost an electron, are responsible for oxidative stress, a process linked to the acceleration of skin ageing.
Furthermore, camellia oil also contains vitamin E. This compound has a free hydroxyl function carried by the aromatic ring that captures free radicals and stabilises them by providing the missing electron. By acting as electron donors, squalene and vitamin E are able to stabilise free radicals, which helps to mitigate oxidative stress and its harmful effects on the skin, thereby contributing to slowing down the signs of premature ageing.
Benefit No. 4: Camellia oil has nourishing properties.
Camellia oil is rich in omega-6, particularly linoleic acid. This can interact with ceramides, lipids naturally present in the skin that promote cohesion between the cells of the stratum corneum. Indeed, linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid for the formation of a certain category of ceramides, the acylceramides. When linoleic acid comes into contact with ceramides, an esterification reaction occurs, during which these two elements combine to form the skin's protective barrier, impervious to external elements.
Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that in instances of skin dryness, a decrease in the level of linoleic acid in the skin is observed. Therefore, the application of a skincare product containing camellia oil, which is rich in linoleic acid, proves to be beneficial, particularly for individuals with dry skin. This nourishes the epidermis, contributing to healthier and better-protected skin.
Benefit No.5: The moisturising properties of camellia oil.
Camellia oil contains linoleic acid, a deficiency of which can lead to a weakening of the skin barrier and an increase in insensible water loss, resulting in drier skin that is more prone to irritation. Furthermore, this oil is among the richest natural oils in oleic acid, a compound naturally present in thehydrolipidic filmof the skin. Consequently, the application of camellia oil works to strengthen the protective barrier function of the hydrolipidic film against external aggressions, thereby preserving the hydration of the epidermis by limiting water loss.
Note: There are different varieties of camellia which are distinguished by their composition, which can lead to differences in properties.
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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).