I’ve been using Tsubaki oil – aka camellia seed oil – on my face for many years. Back when i had younger – and much oilier – skin, it helped to normalize sebum production, and heal acne scars much more quickly, all while keeping my skin properly hydrated. That may not seem necessary when one has oily skin, but I assure you, it is – oily skin tends to get quite dehydrated, with all the oil-controlling products and acids we generally like to attack it with. Dehydration leads to more oil production, and then you have yourself a viscous cycle where the spots never seem to end…a hard lesson I learned after many dollars spent at the dermatologist and nearly a year on tetracycline.
Tsubaki is a dry oil, so it sinks immediately into the skin – and actually penetrates into the lower layers, because its composition is similar to sebum, helping to stimulate collagen production in tests involving human subjects (i suppose they wouldn’t use naked mole rats); and best of all, unlike many other “beauty oils” on the market out there, it won’t clog your pores. Of all the beauty oils i’ve used, it’s one of the very few that has never once made me break out.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration for me to attribute at least part of my skin’s good condition, at my age, to the use of Tsubaki oil on and off over the past 25 odd years. I’m 47, and don’t have a lot of wrinkles. Yes, this is partially genetics, but i’ve had a fairly stressful life, and that sort of thing shows in the face, no matter how good one’s genes are. So I’ve obsessively taken care of my skin, with a few periods of slacking off here and there. I can only wonder how much better it would be, had i been more consistent…but i’m back to using camellia oil daily now. Over the next few months, I’ll be testing out several different formulations to see which i prefer and will share my thoughts here.
The brand i’m currently using is the very reasonably priced Boscia’s Tsubaki Beauty Oil. There are many different options out there, and some are quite exorbitantly priced. They all claim to be cold-pressed, which is best to get all the benefits of the seed – which is rich in Omega 6 linoleic fatty acids, as well as antioxidants and anti-aging benefits. It’s also known to speed up wound healing (hence the help it gave my healing pimples back in the day), and is a natural sunscreen. The Geisha apparently also used it to cleanse the face, as well as put it in their hair to make it shiny and beautiful. When i had long hair, i did this – and i can attest to its use in this arena. It made my hair smell pretty nice, too.
Because of Camellia Japonica’s efficacy, many Asian – and even Western – beauty companies use it in their skincare formulations; and they’ll charge a pretty penny for it. A good example of this would be the luxe company Tatcha, who uses it as the heart of their marketing for all their products – claiming having “discovered” an “ancient Geisha beauty secret” by way of the founder of the company having fortuitously befriended one of these women, who apparently trusted her enough to impart to her this closely guarded secret (I’d tell you, but then I’d have to strangle you with the strings of my shamisen…). I’m referring in particular their Gold Camellia Beauty Oil, for which they charge $95 per one ounce. That’s all very precious and cute and all, and the packaging is admittedly very pretty, but I can assure you those Geisha weren’t paying the equivalent of $95 for an oz of the stuff when you can get it in its pure form from a reputable wholesaler for about $10. Camellia oil isn’t even first on the ingredients list. Coconut oil is (like, are you f’n kidding me?). And, it contains fragrance, red algae (both to which many people can have pretty nasty allergic reactions), and alcohol. And for some reason, gold. Does that justify the cost, when it does absolutely nothing for your skin? Many people love this oil, which is great. However, i cannot see dropping nearly $100 for a product that has coconut oil as its first ingredient, and a bunch of irritants, and alcohol – the ultimate drying agent – for god’s sake.
Not when you compare it to an oil like Boscia’s, for instance – in which the Camellia Japonica oil is the first ingredient; you also get rice bran oil, squalane, sandalwood, and a few other goodies for your skin. I’ve used sandalwood on my skin as well – it’s great for adding clarity and a glow. Rice brain oil is very hydrating and contains anti-aging properties. Boscia’s Tsubaki oil contains no added fragrance, or alcohol. Or algae, i probably need not add…and it’s only $36.00 for 1.7 oz, currently at Sephora – regularly $46.00. That’s a pretty big difference, for more product, and better ingredients.
Another camellia oil product i’m really wanting to try is the Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum by Blossom Jeju. Again, the camellia oil is the first ingredient, there’s no alcohol, and while there is fragrance added, it’s the last ingredient on the list. It’s also got lots of other goodies in it, like aloe, rosemary, licorice root and blueberry. It’s also $64.00
You can, of course, get just pure camellia oil if you don’t feel like messing around with a bunch of other products mixed in – i just like to get more punch for my dollar.
Now, onto my Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil review!
What’s really nice about this face oil is how little i have to use to spread it all over my mug. The first time i opened it, i used about 6 drops, and that was waaaay too much – i had to spread it all the way down to my clavicles and all over my hands and in my hair so as not to waste it. Which i guess is fine, but i’d rather not use so much every time. About 3-4 drops should do it for the face and neck, after you’ve applied your toner and essence, and i also apply it after my I’m From Ginseng Serum, right before my C-Serum or any other actives – because my skin is super sensitive and this provides a nice barrier. You may not want to do it that way, but if you have sensitive skin, that’s how i recommend using it. I use it twice a day. I do apply it under my eyes and on my lids as well – because it’s such a dry oil, it doesn’t interfere with makeup application in any way. Even my liquid eyeliner!
My experience with this oil is that it doesn’t cause any breakouts, even under the eyes – none of my dreaded hives, and it makes my beloved Drunk Elephant C-Serum spread so much easier (it can be kind of tacky). My primer also goes on better, and my skin in general is just better hydrated, finer textured, and my fine lines around my eyes are looking smoother again. There’s probably no real hope for my nasolabial lines except injections, as i’ve had those since i’ve been in my mid-twenties; but they do appear softened when i do all my hydrating layers, and when i put this on, they don’t look quite so…sharp. I notice this particularly first thing in the morning, when my face is especially dehydrated lately (winter is brutal here in Chicago). I’m hoping over time, they’ll soften up a bit more.
This oil has a light, pleasant, natural fragrance. So far there are absolutely no negatives that i can see, particularly for the price. It helps with hydration, it’s pleasant to use, i especially see a difference under my eyes when i use it – with healing up any redness/hives and smoothing fine lines. You can also use it on the lips – mine are always peeling, and i can go a whole day without wanting to pick at them when i smooth this on them before i put on my lipstick. I’d love to find a lip balm with camellia oil in it!
I’d definitely purchase this oil again – it’s got fairly simple, effective ingredients, plays well with my other products, doesn’t cause any reactions, smells lovely, and above all, works. I like finding beauty products that do what they say they will, and don’t try to jack you with an absurd price tag for the sake of some goofy, fad-based concept and pretty packaging. Not that the bottle isn’t very pretty, indeed!
Do any of you have a favourite beauty oil? Tell me about it! So i can steal it and try it out.
Hope you all enjoyed today’s post, and are getting ready for a great New Year’s Eve! See you back here tomorrow.
XO – Monday
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