Oshima Tsubaki Oil is one of those really Japanese products that has been around for decades. Almost everybody no matter their age or gender has tried it at some point or at the very least, have heard of it. There’re a few Japanese companies that make tsubaki (Japanese for Japanese camellia flower) oil but Oshima is the most well known and famous — after all, Oshima (a very small island in Japan) is renowned for their Japanese camellia flower!
This oil is marketed now as a hair and scalp treatment product since that is what most people are using it for but back in the days, it was actually a multi-purpose oil. It’s very economical too!
For the hair: I use a few drops on damp freshly washed hair to smooth and protect my hair. It works better than any other salon product or oils I’ve tried. A drop or 2 on dry hair to tame flyaways and frazzled ends. My hair looks super healthy and soft with no build-up to worry about. It works wonders on flaky irritated scalp too (perhaps due to chemical processing).
For the skin: I use it on arms and legs (sometimes mixed into a base) to give skin a really nice healthy glow. A drop or 2 takes care of any cold weather-induced flakiness without leaving my skin greasy as well.
I also want to make a few notes since it seems that there’s some misinformation going around online about the oil:
The oil actually has a faint floral scent if it is really fresh. Unless you live in Japan and you buy directly from the company, the oil is not going to smell like anything. Either way though, the oil shouldn’t smell bad or unpleasant at all. If yours has an odd odour, it has gone rancid and should be tossed. According to the package insert, the shelf life for unopened product is 3 years if stored in a cool dark place. Once opened, it’s good for 6 months to a year maximum.
Camellia japonica is the species of the flower in Oshima and the type found there is red (as pictured on the box). Camellia oleifera is the most common type of camellia flower (typically white) used in for pressing oil outside of Japan and it’s originated from China. Most online shops with “camellia oil” carry the latter type.
Anyway, I’ve used Oshima Tsubaki Oil since I can remember. I have not tried other brands but why buy imitations when there is the original from a renowned source available?
Oshima Tsubaki Oil in the 60ml glass bottle is ¥1,182 from Amazon Japan.