There has recently been a rise in products featuring the oil or extract of the Camellia family of plants as the main star. The majority of the products use the leaf extract from the green tea plant Camellia sinensis or the seed, lead, or flower oil of Camellia japonica, both of which are under the same Camellia family of plants native to Asia. In fact, the leaves of Camellia sinensis are often used for the teas we drink and the oils pressed from their seeds, also known as tea seed oil, are used for cooking. Here is what makes ingredients from the popular tea Camellia plant so enticing for our skin.


Camellia japonica

Camellia japonica oil, also known as ‘Tsubaki’ in Japanese, is the main ingredient used in the majority of the Asian skin care products that are marketed as a Camellia flower product. In fact, this ingredient has been traditionally used for cosmetics in East Asia, to keep the skin and hair healthy.


A study in Camellia japonica looked at whether the plant extract could promote collagen production in the skin’s cells known as fibroblasts as well as support the skin barrier. As the skin ages, it tends to lose the ability to retain moisture resulting in dry skin and rough skin. Camellia japonica oil was found to be capable of keeping the skin moisturized and increase collagen production. A sensitivity test was also done on 30 subjects and no irritations were observed where the oil was applied on the skin for 72 hours.

Ultraviolet rays damage the surface of our skin and cause our skin to form dark spots, sag, wrinkle, and lose elasticity in the long run. Camellia japonica oil is known to contain antioxidants due to the presence of polyphenols, which act as a defense against ultraviolet radiation. The Camellia japonica leaf extracts from new green leaves were also found to have the ability in reducing levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) present in skin cells. ROS are caused by UV rays on the skin and promote cell damage.


The mechanism of Camellia japonica oil actually contains compounds that allow it to possibly have the ability to soothe and inhibit inflammation of the skin.  Although there are no human studies, future clinical studies will hopefully look at the anti-inflammatory effects.


Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis is commonly known as the green tea we often drink and find in markets. Compared to Camellia japonica, this ingredient is less prevalent in skin care products. Even so, like Camellia japonica, it contains free radical fighting polyphenols.

Oil Control

The oils on our face, also known as sebum, are what fill our pores, enlarges them, and cause acne. 10 male volunteers applied an emulsion containing 3% Camellia sinensis leaf extract for 8 weeks.  A significant decrease of over 50% in sebum production was noticed.


If you would like to find out more about the awesome benefits of Camellia sinensis, check out the article below!

Green Tea for the Skin


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