From acne to dark spots, skin problems are hard to face. They’re even trickier to fix, and commercial products don’t help much. Why slather your skin with chemicals? Doing this may cause even more problems, so better watch out. The solution might be as simple as sandalwood essential oil.
In the ancient practice of Ayurveda, sandalwood has a long history as a natural skin remedy.1 This fragrant wood is traditionally used in both food and cosmetics. When applied to the skin, the major compounds are gentle and don’t cause toxicity, making sandalwood a brilliant choice for your holistic skincare routine.2 It’s also super versatile and targets more than one skin problem. Finally, you won’t need to deal with bottles and tubes of different products. Here are its benefits for your skin.
1. Fights Acne
Essentially, pimples are tiny bacterial infections caused by Propionibacterium acnes. That’s why you need sandalwood essential oil in your life! As a powerful antibacterial, it’ll kill bacteria and keep acne under control. This remedy is also gentler than harsh salicylic acid.3
2. Reduces Inflammation
Dealing with angry skin? Reach for sandalwood oil. It downregulates pro-inflammatory proteins while inhibiting pathways behind inflammation.4 Use it to calm down irritation from acne, extreme weather, sun, or allergies.
3. Lightens Hyperpigmentation
Age spots, acne scars, and dark circles are common forms of hyperpigmentation. Treat it with sandalwood oil, a remedy that lightens melanin buildup. The high level of sesquiterpenoid alcohols will do wonders for enhancing fairness. 5
4. Controls Psoriasis
Psoriasis affects 2 to 3 percent of people around the world. This chronic autoimmune disease can be frustrating, but sandalwood oil shows promise. In a 2017 study in Frontiers of Pharmacology, researchers found that its anti-inflammatory effects are so powerful that it reduces psoriasis symptoms.6
5. Cools Sunburns
When you’ve had too much fun in the sun, sandalwood oil can help. Its cooling properties will feel amazing on sunburned skin. For an extra soothing effect, mix it with aloe vera gel.7
6. Wards Off Skin Cancer
Every year, 5.2 percent of new cancer cases are melanoma, or cancer of the skin.8 It’s extremely common! To limit your chances, use sandalwood oil. It contains alpha-santalol, a chemoprotective molecule that may stop cancerous cells from spreading.9
7. Treats Common Warts
Sandalwood oil is a painless, gentle remedy for removing common warts.10 These warts are, well, common! They’re non-cancerous infections caused by the humanpapilloma virus (HPV) that often develop on fingers. Chemical treatments are effective, but according to a 2016 study in Clinical Pediatrics, sandalwood oil works just fine.11
How To Use Sandalwood Oil
As always, dilute 5 drops sandalwood essential oil in 1 tablespoon carrier oil. Skin-friendly options include apricot, grapeseed, and almond oil. Always do a patch test to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation. Sandalwood is also available as a powder. Add it to clay or honey for a natural, blemish-fighting mask.
|↑1||Rao, Suresh, Sanath Kumar Hegde, Manjeshwar Poonam Baliga-Rao, Jyothi Lobo, Princy Louis Palatty, Thomas George, and Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga. “Sandalwood Oil and Turmeric-Based Cream Prevents Ionizing Radiation-Induced Dermatitis in Breast Cancer Patients: Clinical Study.” Medicines 4, no. 3 (2017): 43.|
|↑2||Burdock, George A., and Ioana G. Carabin. “Safety assessment of sandalwood oil (Santalum album L.).” Food and Chemical Toxicology 46, no. 2 (2008): 421-432.|
|↑3, ↑4||Moy, Ronald L., Corey Levenson, Jeffrey J. So, and James A. Rock. “Single-center, open-label study of a proprietary topical 0.5% salicylic acid-based treatment regimen containing sandalwood oil in adolescents and adults with mild to moderate acne.” Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD 11, no. 12 (2012): 1403-1408.|
|↑5||Sharma, Khemchand, Namrata Joshi, and Chinky Goyal. “Critical review of Ayurvedic Varṇya herbs and their tyrosinase inhibition effect.” Ancient science of life 35, no. 1 (2015): 18.|
|↑6||Sharma, Manju, Corey Levenson, Ian Clements, Paul Castella, Kurt Gebauer, and Michael E. Cox. “East Indian Sandalwood Oil (EISO) Alleviates Inflammatory and Proliferative Pathologies of Psoriasis.” Frontiers in Pharmacology 8 (2017).|
|↑7||Ghatnekar, Angela V., Tuan Elstrom, Gautam S. Ghatnekar, and Teresa Kelechi. “Novel wound healing powder formulation for the treatment of venous leg ulcers.” The Journal of the American College of Certified Wound Specialists 3, no. 2 (2011): 33-41.|
|↑8||Cancer Stat Facts: Melanoma Of the Skin. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. National Cancer Institute.|
|↑9||Dickinson, Sally E., Erik R. Olson, Corey Levenson, Jaroslav Janda, Jadrian J. Rusche, David S. Alberts, and G. Timothy Bowden. “A novel chemopreventive mechanism for a traditional medicine: East Indian sandalwood oil induces autophagy and cell death in proliferating keratinocytes.” Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 558 (2014): 143-152.|
|↑10||Warts. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑11||Haque, Malika, and Daniel L. Coury. “Topical Sandalwood Oil for Common Warts.” Clinical Pediatrics (2017): 0009922817691536.|