Saturday, November 28, 2015

ABS Tsubaki Abura 100% Camellia Oil

In a hurry, I grabbed what I thought was an 85mL bottle of Oshima Tsubaki Oil, because it's drier and colder now and my hair and skin are both withering up like nobody's business. Then I got home and got to work taking a few quick photos so I could try out my new goodies right away that night. It wasn't until I reached for this bottle after my shower that I realized something wasn't quite right--what I bought wasn't Oshima Tsubaki Oil at all!

Turns out I bought a generic copy-cat, ABS Tsubaki Abura 100% Camellia Oil! Check out the original Oshima Tsubaki (left) and the generic ABS (right).

But it's been a long while since I used Oshima Tsubaki last, so I don't remember it at all to compare with this ABS one. As for this ABS oil itself, unfortunately I think it's meh. First off, it feels quite heavy, like an oil from my kitchen (well, it is oil, but...). I apply it immediately after showering while my skin is still damp, and it feels like I'm slathering oil onto myself. This means lots of time invested into massaging in the oil so that it doesn't ruin my towels or my clothes. And yet the next morning, my elbows, legs, knees, and feet feel rough and scaly, as if I hadn't applied anything at all.

Recently, I've even taken to layering body lotion over the oil, and that's been helping a little bit. So it seems this oil on its own is doing jack squat. What's the point of body oil if it requires an extra layer of lotion to work? Why don't I just skip the oil and go straight to the lotion and save myself some time? Well that's exactly what I'm going do!

Another reason I wouldn't buy ABS again is that I don't know where their tsubaki is from. Sure, the product is made in Japan, but it doesn't mean the flowers are from Japan. There are many species of camellias all over Asia and it's the oil of Camellia Japonica we want! Whereas Oshima Tsubaki as a company has been around since 1927, founded first as a tsubaki oil refinery. Their tsubaki is domestically grown in Izu Oshima (I mean, duh...), an island among the cluster of volcanic islands off of the Izu Peninsula. There in Izu Oshima, they even have a Tsubaki Matsuri (Camellia Festival) to prove their pride! So even if brand and source origins aren't terribly critical--I'm not generic brand-shy after all--Oshima Tsubaki still has lots of credentials having been making this stuff for so long.

Besides, the price differs only by a few hundred yens, so it's not like Oshima Tsubaki doubles or triples ABS' price. And if the original is easily accessible and affordable, why would anyone bother with anything else but? (...except for me because I'm half-blind and was in a hurry... Ha!)


Julia said...

I'm surprised they're actually allowed to have packaging that looks so similar!

D. said...


I'm not the only one who'd picked up the generic by mistake either. My friend J. grabbed a bottle on a different occasion too, and when I told her to check and make sure she'd got Oshima, she looked and realized she'd grabbed ABS instead!!!



2catsinjapan said...

With the original Oshima isn't it that if more that 50% of their camellias come from Izu, they can call it "Oshima"?

Still, that's better than generic.
Though camellia oil from Jeju is lovely too.

PS. Lurker, first time commenter.

D. said...

Hi Anna,

Thanks for lurking, reading, and commenting! I lurk your blog too and I LOLed to your reference of Hanyu Yuzuru. I see his ads everywhere at the subway stations!

I checked Oshima's product website but couldn't find any mentioning of how much of their tsubaki is actually from Izu Oshima -- May be they buried this information for good reasons ^.^"

I haven't tried camellia oil from Jeju, at least not to my knowledge. Do you have any recommendations?


2catsinjapan said...

Hi D!

Thank you for visiting, too!!! :-)
You know, the way I found out about the minimum 50% tsubaki was at Narita airport watching one of the Japan promo films in the arrivals terminal waiting for my bus.
I was quite surprised.
They explained it by sustainability and responsible farming practices and also said that the remaining camellia percentage is still Japan grown.
It kinda makes sense when you think about it.

As for Jeju camellia, I am currently loving SanDaWha (made by Skincure) and I'm eyeing Blossom Jeju as well.

D. said...

I'd love to see that video too! Although poking around on the interweb I found these videos, not of Oshima Tsubaki but of other companies(?) and their extraction method for the crude oil, which they then use to cook with! Perhaps my search term is incorrect...

Either way, SanDaWha went onto my wishlist at Korea Depart (do you have other sources you care to share?). I found Blossom Jeju but their website is wonky...

Thanks again ^.^


Related posts

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular Posts