Camellia Oil: 5 Reasons Why Your Skin and Hair Need It Now

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The camellia mesmerizes, with striking white, pink, and red ruffled petals reminiscent of a tropical island. But this stunning flower doesn’t come from Kauai; it hails from China and Japan. Also called the Japanese rose, the camellia was once the flower of society’s elite, but today, it enjoys global popularity. Still, the comely camellia promises more than pretty décor. Camellia oil comes from the cold-pressed seeds of the same plant, the Camellia japonica.

According to the American Camellia Society, more than 200 camellia plants exist, but Camellia japonica is most often used in beauty.

In addition, according to Tatcha skincare founder Vicky Tsai, camellia oil has been a favorite geisha beauty secret for over 300 years. Tsai tells Byrdie Magazine even today’s geishas use camellia oil to combat aging and keep their skin and hair silky.

This magical oil isn’t only for geishas, though. See below for five reasons your skin and hair need camellia oil, and learn how to add it to your beauty routine.

1. Camellia is packed with skin- and hair-friendly nutrients

Camellia oil: a geisha beauty secret for hair and skin
Camellia oil, a geisha beauty secret for glossy hair, by Andres Victorero / iStockPhoto

First, camellia oil contains a cocktail of nutrients that rejuvenate your skin and hair. According to Oleo Botanicals and beauty retailer MyKirei by Kao, camellia oil is rich in oleic, linoleic, and palmitic essential fatty acids. In addition, the oil contains squalane, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, B, D, and E.

Together, these nutrients fight aging and nourish, protect, and repair your skin and hair.

2. Camellia makes hair shine and may work faster than coconut oil

Geisha beauty secret: camellia oil for silky hair
Geisha beauty by Shalom Rufeisen / Canva

According to long-time fans, camellia oil lends hair brilliant shine. Jennifer Thomson, a marketing associate, says she switched to camellia oil after years of conditioning her hair with coconut oil.

“I’ve been pretty amazed by how shiny my hair looks,” she says. “After comparing results from both oils, I’ve found my hair looks shinier and feels softer after using camellia oil. I used to leave coconut oil on my hair overnight, but I get similar results after using camellia oil for an hour or two.”

So, does coconut oil or camellia oil work best for hair? That’s for you to decide. Results may vary, so you might want to experiment to see which oil works best for you.

3. Camellia oil keeps skin smooth and youthful

Healthy skin by janiecbros / Getty Images via

Popular in anti-aging skin care, camellia oil helps keep the skin smooth and wrinkle-free, another reason the oil remains a favorite geisha beauty secret. According to Oleo Botanicals, camellia oil hydrates your skin’s deepest layers to fight wrinkles, dryness, and environmental damage. Better yet, the oil lends skin a silky texture while making it look refreshed.

4. Camellia oil is hydrating and lightweight

Camellia japonica oil hydrates your skin and hair without weighing down hair or leaving skin greasy. Another benefit? The oil also hydrates skin while locking in moisture to prevent water loss.

According to MyKirei by Kao, camellia oil weighs about the same as your skin’s natural sebum, so your skin quickly absorbs it. Plus, the the oil’s lightweight texture prevents you from leaving behind the grease trail you would when using other oils.

Sabbatical Beauty’s Asian Powerhouse Serum / Beauty and Travel Reviews

Sabbatical Beauty’s Asian Powerhouse Serum is one product to try. I can personally vouch for it after buying it two weeks ago. I’ve already noticed a brighter, more rested appearance, and I’ve been impressed with the results.

This serum contains a powerful blend of camellia oil, ginseng, turmeric, mushroom and goji berry extracts, and other nutrients. 

Camellia oil hydrates skin, ginseng brightens, and sake evens skin tone and helps fade scars. Plus, turmeric and mushroom extract fight inflammation and aging.

To use, apply after cleansing and layer it under your other serums.

Tatcha Gold Camellia Oil for skin and hair
Tatcha Gold Camellia Oil, a geisha beauty favorite / Beauty and Travel Reviews

Tatcha’s Gold Camellia Beauty Oil ($98) is another product to try. You can use it as a body, face, or hair oil.

This beauty potion contains camellia oil and squalane (from olives), which nourish and hydrate your skin and hair. Plus, green tea, macadamia, licorice, algae, and rice extracts brighten skin and repair your hair.

Apply two to three drops to your skin and hair twice daily. Another beauty trick: Apply Tatcha’s Gold Camellia oil on a beauty blender and dab it on the tops of your cheekbones to give your skin a glow.

You can even use the oil to smooth self-tanner or dab it on your eyelids to make your eyes pop.

5. Camellia strengthens and protects hair

camellia hair oil: a geisha beauty secret
Cocojojo camellia hair oil / Beauty and Travel Reviews

Another beauty benefit? Camellia oil strengthens, protects, and smooths hair while taming flyaways and frizz. To use, apply the oil to dry hair, concentrating on the areas where you need it most.

Or you can use the oil as an overnight treatment. Just apply it to your hair before bedtime, and then rinse it before shampooing in the morning.

Cocojojo’s camellia oil is one product to try. Prices start at $15.99, with sizes ranging from 8 oz. to a gallon. Use at least once per week for best results, and you’ll see shinier hair in no time.

Final Thoughts

Camellia oil has been a favorite geisha beauty secret for ages, but you can also use the oil to nourish your hair and skin. Use it to hydrate your skin, tame flyaways and frizz, and fight wrinkles and aging.

Or use the oil as an overnight hair treatment to soften hair and boost shine.

Now, enjoy your new skin and hair, and check back for more beauty recipes and skincare tips.

Note: The ideas presented here do not replace your doctor’s advice. Please consult your doctor before trying new products or starting a new skincare routine.


29 thoughts on “Camellia Oil: 5 Reasons Why Your Skin and Hair Need It Now

    1. Yes, I think camellia is an excellent alternative to coconut oil. I’ve found that both oils boost shine, but camellia oil is lightweight and creates less mess than coconut oil. Sometimes I even use both oils as an overnight hair treatment.

      Have you tried camellia oil yet?

  1. A lot of great suggestions here. I wouldn’t mind checking out the Tatcha oil everyone is always raving about. Thank you very much!

    1. Thank you, and you’re welcome! Yes, Tatcha has great camellia oil, and I love that it’s multipurpose. You can use it on your face, body, and hair.

    1. Definitely! Anyone can use it, but just make sure you rinse it well if you use it as an overnight hair treatment!

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