Camellia oil, known as “tea oil” or “tea seed oil” (INCI: Camellia sinensis seed oil), is a light, non-greasy, really affordable oil filled with oleic acid, polyphenols, and vitamins! It is generally cold pressed and comes from the seed of the tea plant, not the leaves. You can even cook with it (the smoke point is 485F)! But don’t confuse it with tea tree oil – they aren’t even remotely the same thing.
Camellia oil contains 8% palmitic acid (C16), 2% stearic acid (C18), 79% oleic acid (C18:1), and 7% linoleic acid (C18:2). The oleic acid contained in camellia oil is as high or higher than olive oil (up to 83%) and avocado oil (up to 80%) without being as heavy an oil as those others. Camellia oil offers all the great stuff we want from oleic acid – it is well absorbed by the skin, offering softening, moisturizing, and regenerating properties, and it offers anti-inflammatory benefits. Considering using it where you use olive oil but want a lighter lotion or product!
Camellia oil contains a lot of polyphenols in the form of tannins and catechins. The catechins offer antibiotic properties and research into green tea polyphenols is showing some promise in preventing UV related skin damage (although preliminary studies show that camellia oil doesn’t seem to have a suppressive effect on skin cancer induced on mice). The tannins in camellia oil make it an astringent oil with a dry feel, so it’s good for hair care products or other creations where you want a light, dry feel.