I'm a long-time believer in oils, and though I tend not to discriminate, there are certainly a few that I consider favorites. This is especially true when it comes to oils I apply to the sensitive skin on my face.
My typical go-tos include rosehip oil—which I recommend to pretty much anyone looking for an affordable, but effective moisturizer—and maracuja is another favorite, as is argan. Finally, tea tree oil diluted with any of the above makes for a pleasant sensory experience and keeps my skin clear.
Recently, though, I've dabbled into the world of camellia seed oil, and I'm absolutely hooked.
While it's a new-to-me oil, it's actually been circulating the skincare market for quite some time (centuries, in fact, with common users being geishas striving for lush hair and supple skin).
The flower itself grows in Southern Asia during the winter months and its oil has multiple uses not limited to the skin. All that said, it does some seriously good things for your face.
Camellia oil runs the gamut in terms of pricing, and cost typically has to do with the quality of processing, whether other ingredients are included, and packaging/brand value. The product I've been using costs $30 for 20mL and comes from flowers on Korea's Jeju island. It's 100% camellia oil.
One reason I'm such a big fan of rosehip oil is because it's a dry oil and absorbs quickly into the skin. In other words: it leaves the skin dry to the touch and doesn't leave behind any oily residue. Camellia is also a dry oil, only I find that it absorbs even more quickly than rosehip. It's also a thinner oil with a near water-like viscosity, so it defies the traditional concept of oil, in general.
So basically, if you're at all wary about the idea of putting oil on your face but you're still intrigued by the magical world of facial oils, camellia is an excellent place to start.
A couple tiny drops are all you need to cover lots of ground. The oil absorbs within five minutes, leaving your skin feeling surprisingly silky, plumped with moisture, and glowing. Unlike many oils, it never feels greasy or heavy, but is instead airy and light.
Interesting fact: the reason it absorbs so quickly into the skin is because its molecular weight is a near-match to the skin's. Science!
But what can Camellia do for your skin long-term? Lots of things!
- It's rich in antioxidants and vitamins. In fact, compared to other botanically derived oils, it has one of the highest levels of naturally occurring antioxidants. This protects your skin from free radicals and other damage caused by the environment.
- It's also rich in fatty oleic acid (super-moisturizing), polyphenols (these provide natural UV protection and promote cell renewal), vitamins A, B, D and E, and plant proteins.
- It's super-duper moisturizing, yes, but it's also able to retain moisture very efficiently. That means you're keeping all the good stuff in while keeping the bad stuff out.
- It's noncomedogenic, so don't worry about it clogging your pores. Yay!
Have I sold you on this stuff, yet? Or were you already a fan? Let's talk about our favorite oils for the face (and bod, why not?)!