Camellia oil is one of Japan’s most valued hidden secrets to ageless beauty. It’s a secret that has been passed down for centuries, maybe even millennia. If your skincare regimen includes a facial oil, you probably have tried the more known oils like jojoba or rosehip seed oil. Camellia oil performs just as well, but it’s a strong multitasker and smells pleasant to boot.


Before we dive into the hype of camellia oil (justified or not), let’s take a look into its history. Camellia oil, also called oil-tea camellia, camellia seed oil, tea oil, tea oil camellia, tea seed oil, or teanut oil, is derived from the plant camellia. It’s found throughout eastern and southern Asia. It’s famous in this region. In China it’s called cháhuā (茶花, ‘tea flower’), tsubaki (椿) in Japan, or dongbaek-kkot (동백꽃) in Korea.

Camelia flower, photo by Yoksel ? Zok

Teanut oil is obtained from the camellia plant or the tsubaki plant as it’s called in Japan. The oil is extracted by cold pressing of the seeds of the plant. Since no heat is involved in the process, all properties of the extract are fully preserved.

Tea seed oil is used for a long time for various purposes such as food and light oil, medicine, cosmetics, and hair grooming. It’s told that teanut oil is a treasured beauty secret of the ageless Geishas in Japanese culture for centuries. But you’d be tickled to know that it was also favoured by the Sumo wrestlers to anoint and protect their mane. Because camellia oil is less thick and sticky than other oils, it was the go-to oil for skin and hair care.

Besides its obvious remarkable skin restorative and hair reviving properties Camellia oil is also cholesterol-lowering, analgesic, neuroprotective, anti-diabetes, and anti-allergic. That’s all for its history and health benefits, let’s move on to the beauty section.

The power of Tsubaki oil

There are many reasons why tea oil was so revered by the Geishas.


Camellia oil is a rich source of essential vitamins (such as A, D, and E) and minerals. As you see, these are the most powerful antioxidants. These vitamins are likely the most notable reason for their anti-ageing properties. These help to improve skin elasticity, nourish skin cells, and prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Also, great for preventing sun damage.

Vitamin A is known for its anti-ageing properties, but it also encourages healthy skin cell production. Vitamin D is needed for the growth and repair of new skin cells. Lastly, vitamin E helps skin and hair to retain moisture, making the oil excellent for skin and hair conditioning

Essential fatty acids

Besides the antioxidant composition, the camellia seed oil is also rich in essential fatty acids. These are palmitic, oleic, linoleic fatty acids which are nourishing and help maintain moisture, making the skin smoother, softer, and less prone to fine lines.

It’s a light oil

On the on hand, the molecular weight of camellia oil is an almost identical match for the skin. On the other hand, it contains an abundance of triolein, which is also a component of human sebum. Both allow it to absorb quickly and thoroughly, leaving it silky smooth without the greasy feeling.

While tea seed oil provides your skin with just the right amount of moisture, it won’t clog your pores. Lastly, it doesn’t oxidise easily, so it allows pleasant use to the very last drop.

How to use it?

As a multi-purpose oil, you can use camellia for your hair, scalp, nails, and skin in general. It can be used by itself or blended into custom formulations.


Incorporate camellia oil into your skincare just like any other facial oil. Dab a few drops onto your hands and rub your palms together to spread the oil into a thin layer. Press it onto your skin. As it absorbs readily, you can use it both underneath makeup during the day and when you go to sleep at night.

Body moisturiser

Apply the amount of oil that works best for you right after showering or taking a bath onto damp skin. You can concentrate more on those areas that are especially dry. Apply it as often as you need.

Nail and Cuticles Care

You can also use camellia oil to soften dry or brittle nails and rough cuticles. It will keep your nails nourished, smooth, and shiny. Add a few drops of oil to a cotton pad and wipe nails and cuticles.

Hair care

As an emollient, camellia oil works as an excellent moisturiser both for skin and hair. It’s commonly used as a leave-in conditioner. Take the amount you prefer, and apply it to damp hair such as after taking a shower.

Condition your lashes

Exactly as with your hair, you can strengthen and condition your lashes. Your lashes are just as susceptible to the effects of environmental factors and need just as much TLC. Tea oil camellia goes deep within the follicles to nourish and strengthen them. Add one to two drops of oil to your mascara to get beautiful, soft lashes.

Did you know about the hidden secrets of Japanese women and the ancient Geishas? Sign up for our newsletter for more Asian beauty secrets.

Save The Best Kept Secret In Skincare - Camellia Oil for later

Leave a Reply