Have you heard of the mysterious time-old geishas of Japan? They know a thing or two about Japanese camellia oil benefits. A little known fact is that the first ever geisha was a male, appearing around 1730. Bet you weren’t expecting that!

Since then, geishas have been practising in cities such as Tokyo, Kanazawa and Kyoto for all this time. The geishas are celebrated for their years of grace, wisdom and knowledge they draw upon, especially when it comes to carrying themselves with beauty and style.

A Brief Introduction

The camellia has been a part of Japanese and Chinese culture for centuries, with over 900 names in Japanese!

It’s extremely moisturising, but it also allows the skin to retain moisture, locking in hydration. This is because it replenishes skin lipids that are vital to prevent water loss from the skin. You can read more about products for dehydrated skin in this article, and camellia oil is one of them! Japanese camellia oil benefits are endless, but firstly, where does it come from?

There are three types of camellia flowers that camellia oil can be extracted from. These are camellia oleifera, camellia sinesis and camellia japonica. The latter is what people mostly use and look for when using camellia oil for beauty. One of its nicknames is Rose of Winter, because the flowers it produced are rose-like. These flowers can be pink, white or red. It’s also called Tsubaki in Japanese, translating as ‘shiny leaf tree’.

Japanese Camellia Oil Benefits

The key components of camellia oil include vitamin A, B, and E (tocotrienols), linoleic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid, and lastly all three omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. These all work together to allow all the Japanese camellia oil benefits to unfold before you.

Here are some reasons this ritualistic, traditional oil of Japan is used for skin and hair. It may also be partly why Japanese women are renowned for their ageless skin and sleek, shiny hair!


Camellia oil is packed full of anti-oxidants and omega fatty acids to fight against the signs of aging.

It is naturally rich in vitamin A, which people often apply in the form of retinol in over-the-counter products in order to fight wrinkles. Research shows that topical vitamin A stimulates collagen production which protects against the daily aggressors that attack collagen, thereby encouraging wrinkles to form.

Vitamin A may also even out your skin tone and lighten sun-induced brown spots. By increasing skin cell turnover, damaged skin cells can be shed and healthier new cells can form.

In Japan, many people use camellia oil as a massage oil, which can be especially helpful for the prevention and treatment of sagging cheeks, wrinkles and maintaining elasticity and tone of the skin. The Japanese believe in prevention, not cure, so they use massage techniques regularly to maintain the health and vitality of their skin.


As camellia oil only has a comedogenic rating of 1, it’s unlikely to cause acne or make acne prone skin worse. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help to soothe inflammation caused by acne, including red and sore skin. Camellia oil also has anti-microbial, cicatrizant (wound healing) and mild astringent properties. These are all known to help acne.

Many people with acne have less linoleic acid in their skin. As this is a component of camellia oil, applying it can top up the levels of linoleic acid. By doing so, acne is less likely to appear.

Overall Body Oil

The antioxidant and fatty acid content of camellia oil makes it a nourishing overall body oil to tend to our areas most vulnerable to become dry or flaky. This is one of the Japanese Camellia oil benefits: the power to boost the skins moisture levels of areas like the elbows, knees and heels. In fact, use all over the body for a hit of moisture everywhere.

If you apply it as soon as stepping out of the shower when the body is still damp, water will get trapped between the oil and the skin for optimal hydration. Rub gently into the skin until it’s absorbed.

Nail and Hand Care

Camellia oil can be used on nails to strengthen and soften dry or brittle nails. Smooth, shiny and healthy looking nails can be achieved by rubbing a couple of drops into the nails either with a cotton pad or with your hands. This is recommended to do after washing hands with lukewarm water. The hands can also be moisturised by camellia oil.

People often forget about the hands when it comes to looking after the skin, so they’re often the first giveaway on someone’s age. By giving yourself a hand massage with camellia oil every day, as well as feeling relaxed, you will have perfectly soft, smooth, youthful hands you can elegantly show off to the world.

Lustrous Hair

Commonly used as a hair treatment or leave in conditioner, camellia oil is deeply moisturising and nourishing for healthy, luscious locks. There is a reason why Japanese women are renowned for their shiny, sleek hair, and it’s probably camellia oil. After washing, camellia oil is carefully rubbed into the ends of hair to offer nourishment with its anti-oxidant power, promoting repair for soft, smooth hair. It’s a great choice for people who have to deal with frizzy hair! Smooth those hair cuticles down with all the vitamins, anti-oxidants and fatty acids that camellia oil has to offer!

Sun Protection

This comes with a major disclaimer. Camellia oil should NOT be used as your sun protection. With a SPF of 3-5, camellia oil can be used to boost your usual sun protection routine. Why not apply a few drops of camellia oil before make-up and sun cream for added protection from the sun’s harmful, aging rays.

Suitable for all Skin Types

The compound squalene is produced in our skins natural oil production. As camellia oil contains this, it’s viable to work with any skin type, including those with sensitive skin as it’s gentle. Those with dry skin will benefit from the rich content of oleic acid, a fatty acid that effectively penetrates deeply into the skin. This helps to increase moisture levels in the skin. A deficiency of squalene in the skin can cause premature aging. This makes camellia oil great for aging skin, keeping the levels of squalene topped up.

How to Find Organic, Top-Quality Products

The standard certifying body in the UK is the Soil Association. If a company is certified organic by these guys, you can rest assured that you are buying a product that was made ethically, sustainably, with no pesticides or GMO’s. Buying from a company with this organic label will ensure that the product is the purest possible. There is a lot of ‘green washing’ out there, where companies can write ‘organic’ on their packaging, when they’re not organic at all. Use the Soil Association licensee checker to be sure of your company.

Have you reaped the luxurious feeling Japanese camellia oil benefits yet? Will you be adding this oil as a staple in your sacred beauty routine and rituals?

Written by Jess Burman

Wellbeing writer

BA (Honours) in Writing