• Derived from: green tea
  • Pronunciation: (\kə-ˈmēl-yə\ sə-nən-səs\)
  • Type: Natural
  • Other names: Tea

What Is Camellia sinensis?

Green, black, oolong, and other types of tea come from the camellia sinensis plant. There are four main varieties of the plant, which is native to East, South, and Southeast Asia. Camellia sinensis is also cultivated in other subtropical regions. Its leaves and seeds can be dried and/or turned into powders, extracts, and oils.[1] The dietary and medicinal uses of camellia sinensis go back centuries, most often as a stimulant and an astringent.[2,3] Today, it is often found in bath products, detergents, makeup, and skin care products.[4]

What Does Camellia sinensis Do in Our products?

Camellia sinensis helps bind moisture to the skin. It also contains antioxidants, and as an emollient and astringent it helps soften and cleanse the skin.[5,6] Camellia sinensis leaves have a naturally high tannin content, which gives tea its signature “tart” (astringent) flavor when brewed. Tea tannins are chemically distinct from other types of plant tannins such as tannic acid. Accordingly, tea extracts frequently contain no tannic acid.[7]

Why Puracy Uses Camellia sinensis

We use camellia sinensis in our lotions as a moisturizer. The FDA has deemed L-Theanine derived from camellia sinensis generally recognized as safe (GRAS), and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review has determined that camellia sinensis seed oil is not a skin irritant.[9,10] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[11] Studies show camellia sinensis leaf extract also acts as an antimicrobial, accelerates wound healing, and can soothe a variety of skin irritations.[12,13,14]

How Camellia sinensis Is Made

The type of tea that comes from camellia sinensis depends on the time of year the leaves are harvested, the age of the leaves, the location and climate, and how the leaves are processed. The leaves are usually crushed or rolled, then dried. Processors can also extract tea oil from the plant’s seeds either mechanically or by using a solvent. Seeds that are rich in oil can also be cold pressed without the need for solvents. After the initial extraction, the oil is often refined by first treating it with caustic soda to neutralize fatty acids and remove colors. The next step involves treating the oil with activated earth to further absorb pigment. The last major step is steam distillation, which deodorizes the oil. Oils can also be hydrogenized, which makes them more heat resistant and last longer. Refining can also give the oil a lighter color.[8]



[1] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[2] Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
[3] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[4] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[5] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[6] U.S. National Library of Medicine
[7] Ashok, P. and Upadhyaya, K, “Tannins are astringent,” Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2012, Vol. 1(3)
[8] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[9] Food and Drug Administration
[10] Personal Care Council
[11] Whole Foods Market
[12] Bandyopadhyay D, Chatterjee TK, Dasgupta A, Lourduraja J, and Dastidar S. In vitro and in vivo antimicrobial action of tea: The commonest beverage of Asia. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 2005;28:(11):2125-2127
[13] Obaid AY, Abu-Zinadah OA, and Hussein HK. The beneficial effects of green tea extract and its main derivatives in repairing skin burns of rabbit. International Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2011;5:(2):103-115
[14] Pazyar N, Feily A, Kazerouni A., “Green tea in dermatology.” Skinmed, 2012 Nov-Dec;10(6):352-5

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