camellia oil – beauty secret of desert skincare
posted by: d. smith – founder of genbotanicals – reprint with permission from the wawaza.com 01/10/2018
camellia flower is my winter beauty. with great care and patience, my winter garden holds three varieties of camellia, displaying a stunning contrast of bloom against the red twig dogwoods in. growing camellia flower rewards my own appreciation of beauty and diversity in our high desert. this said, it is the therapeutic essence of the wild camellia japonica seed oil that I want to share with you. afterwards, I hope that you will come to appreciate camellia oil as I have for its excellent skin benefiting properties .
because I incorporate camellia oil and teas into our desert skincare line, I want the insight from the professionals at Wawaza – Traditional Japanese Beauty & Wellness. I feel its important that my customers know where I source our camellia seed oil. the different varieties of camellia flower, and how the rich oil is harvested and processed. and so, for a better understanding of one of the most treasured oils in skincare let’s learn more about camellia oil by the team at Wawaza,
camellia oil benefits
the true japanese camellia native to southern japan, also called rose of winter, and Tsubaki in japanese is an excellent emollient for keeping skin and hair moist and supple. approximately 82% of its fatty acids are composed of Oleic fatty acid (Omega-9). as a remarkable transdermal carrier and very effective in enhancing skin’s ability to retain moisture, it delivers cell rebuilding nutrients and bioactive compounds (collagen and elastin) into skin. these nutrients and compounds repair damage caused by dryness, sun exposure and aging. And too, it is a rich source of Palmistic and Omega-6 Linoleic fatty acids, as well as numerous anti-aging polyphenol antioxidants.
additionally, camellia oil is non-greasy and absorbs very quickly. It permeates deep into lower layers of skin, promoting cell growth and giving skin support and flexibility. an excellent all-around moisturizer for skin as well as for hair. Japanese Camellia oil is best when wildcrafted by cold-pressing seeds of the wild camellia japonica flower , and unrefined by any chemicals.
camellia oil varieties
The name “Tsubaki” is believed to have been shortened from “tsuya-ba-ki” or “shiny leaf tree”. the Tsubaki tree blooms in winter and early spring, when the much-admired beauty of its flower is a common sight in cities and in countryside. Its all-important seeds are harvested in fall. the camellia family of plant includes a very large number of species. Besides the all important camellia japonica (Tsubaki), the camellia family includes many other plants such as camellia sinensis (the common tea plant) and camellia oleifera (notable for its edible properties). Though they all are commonly referred to as “camellia”, they have important differences and should not be confused.
camellia japonica, oleifera, and sinensis differences
The most classic Camellia japonica variety is the traditional red Camellia known as Yabu-Tsubaki (wild Camellia.) The oil from its seeds is known in Japan as Tsubaki-abura.
Yabu-Tsubakis are easy to recognize. They are dark pink to red, with 5-7 petals which connected at the bottom in a cup shape. The upper-sides of the leaves have a distinct waxy coating which sparkles in the light.
Notable source of edible oil. Very similar to olive oil in composition, with its fatty acids containing about 72% Oleic acid. The oil from its seeds is commonly known as Oil-seed Camellia as well as Tea-seed Oil.
the plant which all teas come from. two major varieties of Camellia sinensis are: var. sinensis (small-leaved teas), and var. assamica (large-leaved teas). leaves of various species produce all teas including green (Sencha, Matcha,..), black (Darjeeling, Ceylon,..), Pu-erh (Qing Cha, Shu Cha,..) and Oolong (Jade, Wu Yi,..). the oil from its seeds is known as Tea Oil Camellia.
vitamin e and sunblock claims
although there are numerous claims that camellia oil is rich in vitamin E, such claims are simplistic at best, and can be misleading. Vitamin E comes in many forms. Notable ones are Tocotrienols, the so-called “super vitamin E”, and the more common (and much less effective) Tocopherols. while camellia oil contains only moderate levels of the Tocopherol variety vitamin E (about 60 mg/1000 g), it is not a noteworthy source of Tocotrienols at all.
common claims of Camellia oil having significant sunblock properties are highly exaggerated. In fact, all vegetable-based oils, including camellia oil, have a low SPF (about 3-5) and should not be used as a primary sunblock regimen.
use in combination with rice bran oil
some prefer to apply Camellia oil in combination with rice bran oil to take advantage of their different benefits. among other things, rice bran oil is a significant source of Tocotrienol, as well as an anti-aging antioxidant called Gamma-oryzanol. mixing the two oils together is not the best way to go, since it cuts the effectiveness of each oil in half. Instead, they are best applied separately. both get absorbed into skin rapidly, and one can be applied in about 15 minutes after applying the other.
harvesting – collection of matured seeds
the traditional Japanese method for collecting Camellia seeds is to gather the seed pods by hand after they have fully matured. this is a time consuming, manual process which ensures that the seeds are at their peak maturity and have reached their maximum potential. the oil pressed from such seeds has an exceptionally deep
find pure, cold pressed and unrefined camellia japonica oil in gen’s japanese camellia face oil.
this post is a reprint, copied with permission, from the Wawaza website. The introductory paragraphs are my own. I wish to thank the team at Wawaza for all their help and being a great source for genbotanicals camellia seed oil. For more information on Wawaza products, please visit the link below.