Which oil do you swear by for the health and beauty of your skin and hair? Olive oil? Almond oil? Coconut oil? Or essential oils? Whatever your beauty oil preference is, you are sure to rethink it after going through this article. Here, we will be talking about a less famous natural oil called ‘camelina oil,’ which is the powerhouse of beauty. If you are game for new beauty explorations, the details of this unique skin- and hair-friendly oil will make you wonder. So, let us talk about why you should use camelina oil for skin and hair.
About the Camelina Plant
Camelina oil is obtained from an annual or winter annual plant named Camelina sativa or ‘Gold of Pleasure,’ which belongs to the Brassicaceae (mustard) family of plants. It is native to Northern Europe and Central Asia. But nowadays, it is also found in North America, South America, New Zealand, and Australia, mainly as an oilseed crop. Camelina Sativa is a small flowering shrub having tiny greenish or pale yellow-colored flowers. It often grows in flax fields and hence, is also known as ‘false flax.’ Some other names of the Camelina plant are wild flax, Scotch heather, Siberian oilseed, linseed dodder, German sesame, etc. (1)
Though the Camelina plant was considered a weed in Europe and America, it has now found multiple uses as edible oil, livestock food, biofuel, bio lubricant, etc. It is also used in cosmetics, lighting up lamps, and herbal medicines.
What is Camelina Oil?
Camelina oil, also known as ‘gold-of-pleasure oil’ or ‘pleasure oil gold,’ is a golden or dark olive-colored oil with an almond-like nutty flavor. It also has a rich herbaceous and green woody odor. It is extracted from raw camelina seeds through expeller pressing, in which the seeds are crushed to collect the unrefined oil directly. Almost 38% to 43% of the rich oil is extracted from the seeds in this way. Even though camelina seeds resemble flaxseeds, camelina seed oil tastes much better than traditional flaxseed oil and offers superior nutrition, higher stability, and lower rancidity at the same time. Like the camelina plant, the camelina seed oil is also quite versatile and can be used in cooking, skincare, haircare, cosmetics preparation, etc.
Hydrogenated camelina oil is prepared by adding hydrogen to camelina seed oil. It is also widely used in personal care, skincare, and hair care products.
Composition of Camelina Oil
Before diving deep into the beauty benefits of camelina oil, it is essential to explore its composition and unique oil properties. As said earlier, it is an expeller-pressed, unrefined oil, which contains no added heat, chemical solvent, or other refining agents. Here is everything else that makes the oil immensely beneficial:
- Contains lots of essential fatty acids or EFAs (6% saturated fatty acids, 30% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 64% polyunsaturated fatty acids)
- Known for 31% linolenic acid, 23% linoleic acid, 17% oleic acid, 11% eicosenoic acid and 8% palmitic acid (2)
- One of the richest natural sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids (as high as 45%)
- Enriched with the fairly rare alpha-linolenic acid or ALA (almost 39% of omega-3 essential fatty acids)
- Holds the ideal ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids
- Comes packed with natural antioxidants, especially tocopherols and phytosterols
- Each 100 g. of oil contains as much as 110 mg. of vitamin E (gamma-tocopherol)
- A great source of vegetable proteins (anywhere between 27% and 32%) (3)
Being rich in natural antioxidants, camelina oil is very much resistant to both oxidation and rancidity. This gives the oil a highly stable shelf life unlike many other edible oils (4). It can also be stored without any special condition. Moreover, the high vitamin E content and 475-degree F smoke point make camelina oil suitable for heat applications like cooking, baking, etc.
Benefits of Camelina Oil for Skin
The high-fat content of camelina oil makes it a high-performance skincare oil. Given below are the reasons that make the plant oil an excellent deal for the skin:
1. Maintains the Health of Skin
Essential fatty acids are needed to make our skin healthier, maintain proper skin functionalities, and treat various skin conditions. As our body cannot produce EFAs naturally, topical application of camelina oil can deliver it to our skin in significant amounts. Being loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL), dermatitis, and visible skin abnormalities. (5)
2. Keeps the Skin Well-Hydrated
Camelina oil is highly recommended for dry and sensitive skin due to the abundance of the antioxidant vitamin E, moisturizing cholesterol, and a phytosterol called brassicasterol in it (6). It creates a healthy barrier all over the skin to enhance its natural preventive properties. This helps maintain the hydration of the skin’s surface by reducing the loss of its natural moisture, especially in premature and newborn babies. It also averts bacteria and other harmful foreign substances to enter broken skin.
3. Treats Inflammatory Conditions
The EFAs, especially alpha-linolenic acid, present in camelina oil contribute to its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It provides our skin with a huge amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps in reducing inflammation as well as swelling while relieving and soothing the skin efficiently. The oil can treat several inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc., by easing dryness, redness, itching, chafing, etc.
4. Protects from Photoaging
The high vitamin E (tocopherols) content of camelina oil offers excellent protection to our skin against photo-oxidation by combatting UV radiation-induced free radicals. The antioxidant properties of the vitamin not only avert sun damages but also minimize the appearance of aging signs caused by the sun’s harmful rays during prolonged sun exposure. Hence, massaging the skin regularly with camelina oil makes us look youthful.
5. Improves Texture of Skin
The nourishing and moisturizing fatty acids in camelina oil make it an amazingly effective emollient (skin conditioning agent). It hydrates the skin, restores its natural moisture, and nourishes it from inside to enhance its tone and texture. Eventually, the skin becomes remarkably softer and smoother.
Camelina oil penetrates the skin deeply and gets absorbed into it fast without leaving any oily or greasy residue. It also makes the skin look rejuvenated and more elastic, there.
Benefits of Camelina Oil for Hair
When applied topically to the hair, camelina oil can again offer incredible benefits. Check out below how the natural oil can give a significant boost to your tresses:
1. Keeps Dandruff Away
Massaging the scalp with camelina oil is a superb hair care treatment as it contains linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, almost 10 times higher than other similar oils. It regulates oil production in the scalp, locks in must-have moisture, and provides adequate nourishment to treat dryness and flakiness. As a result, the scaly and irritated scalp becomes healthy, relieved, and free of pesky dandruff.
2. Makes Hair Soft and Healthy
Warming up camelina oil and massaging the scalp gently work as a perfect hot oil conditioning treatment for hair. Moreover, the antioxidants in the oil combat free radical damage to keep the hair shafts protected from environmental factors. All these turn the hair softer, smoother, and healthier.
3. Enhances Hair Shine
As camelina oil comes loaded with omega-3 essential fatty acids, it makes the elasticity and the texture of hair better. The hair starts looking well-moisturized and shiny, sans the feeling of greasiness.
4. Repairs Damaged Hair
If your hair is damaged and brittle, camelina oil can help restore its health by repairing the damaged hair cuticles and moisturizing them profoundly. It covers the hair follicles with a protective coating so that the damaged hair shafts get stronger and grow healthily.
5. Prevents Premature Graying
The antioxidant properties of camelina oil also play a crucial role in preventing the premature graying of hair.
Health Benefits of Camelina Oil
While the topical application of camelina oil is more effective for our skin and hair, consuming it regularly is also quite beneficial for our health. Following are some excellent health benefits of the natural oil:
- Ensures healthy cell function in the body
- Helps in keeping the cardiovascular system healthy
- Lowers the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
- Reduces the risks of fatal cardiac diseases
- Regulates inflammation and alleviates arthritis symptoms
- Improves the functionality of the central nervous system (CNS)
- Protects the body from cognitive issues (dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.)
- Makes the immune system stronger
- Keeps eye problems (like macular degeneration) at bay
- Eases menstrual symptoms
How Safe is Camelina Oil?
Camelina oil is known to be certified ‘risk-free’ as it received a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016. Hence, it is completely safe and healthy to use.
Camelina oil or ‘gold-of-pleasure oil’ is a rich, golden oil extracted from the raw seeds of the Camelina sativa plant through expeller pressing. The versatile oil is used in cooking, skincare, haircare, cosmetics preparation, and so on. Camelina oil comes packed with essential fatty acids, natural antioxidants, and proteins. It is the richest natural source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) with an ideal ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids. It maintains the health of the skin, keeps it well-hydrated, treats inflammatory skin conditions, protects from photoaging, and improves the texture of the skin. It also keeps dandruff away, makes hair soft and healthy, enhances hair shine, repairs damaged hair, and prevents premature graying of hair. While the topical application of camelina oil is more effective for our skin and hair, consuming it regularly is also quite beneficial for our health. The oil is also certified ‘risk-free’ by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How to Use Camelina Oil for Skincare?
Add camelina oil to your regular skincare products or massage your skin with natural camelina oil.
Is Camelina Oil Good for Acne?
Yes, the anti-inflammatory and intense moisturizing properties of camelina oil make it a great choice for acne.
Is Camelina Oil Better than Olive Oil?
The ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids in camelina oil is much healthier than olive oil. Hence, it is undoubtedly a better option.
Is Camelina Oil the Same as Camellia Oil?
No. Camellia oil is a carrier oil used for injecting vitamins into the body directly. It is extracted from the nuts of wildcrafted Camellia japonica through the method of cold-pressing.
- “Camelina sativa”, Wikipedia.org
- “Camelina sativa Seed Oil”, CosmeticsInfo.org
- “Agronomic and Seed Quality Evaluation of Camelina sativa in Western Canada,” ResearchGate.net
- “Chemical Characterization of Camelina Seed Oil,” RUCore.libraries.rutgers.edu
- “Camelina sativa Seed Oil for the Skin: Topical Application,” Lowens.ca
- “Camelina sativa Seed Oil”, InciDecoder.com