You may know sandalwood by its rich, woody scent, which is very popular in all types of products. Harvested from the heartwood of the sandalwood tree, sandalwood oil not only smells great, but has natural properties that help moisturize dry skin and more.
Sandalwood oil hydrates and restores radiance.
A Little Bit About the Ingredient Itself
Scientifically called Santalum album, sandalwood is a medium sized evergreen tree found in India, Nepal, and Australia, as well as other areas. Other names include white sandalwood, and East Indian sandalwood. The tree is parasitic, and gets a portion of its food and nutrients from other plant species. That makes it a bit harder to grow than other types of trees, as it needs a certain set of conditions to be able to thrive.
Sandalwood can grow to a height of 65 feet in India, though in other areas it’s often smaller, reaching only 4-8 feet. It likes cool climates and moderate rainfall, with plenty of sunshine. It’s often found in rocky environments, and can tolerate stony or gravelly soils, though if it’s grown in rich and moist soils, it will be deficient in oil.
The leaves are oval shaped with pointed tips, shiny green on top and bluish-gray at the bottom, and the flowers range from purplish-brown to violet, green, and red. Fruits appear twice a year, between April and May and October and November, and are round with a supple flesh over a stone-like seed.
The roots of the tree attach themselves to the roots of the host plants, which may include a number of other plants like Acacia, Cassia, and Bombusa. The wood varies in appearance depending on the age of the tree, ranging from a dark brown to a deep gray.
Traditional Uses of Sandalwood
Traditionally, sandalwood was used in Chinese and Indian medicine to heal urinary infections, digestive problems, persistent coughs, and throat irritations. It’s long been used in perfumes, and is reputed to help hold the scent of other lighter oils that may otherwise dissipate quickly. The oil has a place in temples and personal altars, as well, as it helps to calm and focus the mind.
Sandalwood's Benefits to the Skin
The heartwood is considered the most precious part of the sandalwood tree. Older trees have more of it, so are more highly prized. The oil is extracted from this heartwood primarily by steam distillation, which helps release the oil from the cells of the wood. This method also yields oil with the best aroma. There are other extraction methods as well.
Sandalwood oil has also been used for centuries in skin care, especially for soothing dry skin. Studies have also found that sandalwood is good for oily skin. Here are some of the other benefits:
- Cleanser: Sandalwood helps minimize the appearance of your pores.
- Emollient: Sandalwood soothes and softens skin, so it stays hydrated longer.
All these properties together make sandalwood the perfect ingredient for helping produce a softer, smoother, and firmer look. Give it a try in these products:
- Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin
- Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin
- Anti-Aging Facial Oil
- Citrus Stem Cell Serum
Do you use sandalwood in aromatherapy applications? Please share your tips.