Camellia oleifera is a type of green tea plant that originated in China. It is most commonly known for the edible oil that can be extracted from its seeds, which is known as tea oil or camellia oil. The leaves of the Camellia oleifera plant have similar properties to the related species of green tea plant known as Camellia sinensis.
In skin care, Camellia oleifera leaf extract provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe and protect the skin. One of the most important components in Camellia oleifera leaf extract is the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). After topical application, EGCG has been shown to provide significant preventive effects against photocarcinogenesis and phototoxicity in mouse studies. In human research, topical application of EGCG results in decreased oxidative stress and an increase in antioxidant enzymes after UV irradiation, according to a 2001 study in the journal Carcinogenesis. Even though Camellia oleifera leaf extract is less popular than Camellia sinensis leaf extract, it is still a beneficial skin care ingredient that can provide preventative anti-aging benefits.