Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood (Santalum album) Leaves and Flowers

Source: Several species in the genus Santalum.  Essential oil is most often produced from the species Santalum album.
Type of Treatment: Essential Oil -Naturopathic Medicine
How it Works: Sandalwood essential oil may have antibacterial and/or anti-inflammatory properties that may help improve acne symptoms.  Sandalwood is also commonly used in aromatherapy applications.  However, there is little evidence that any of these sandalwood based treatments are effective in treating acne.


Sandalwood oil is produced from the wood of several species of closely related trees in the genus Santalum.  Sandalwood has a long history of use in naturopathic and ayurvedic medicine, as well as in cultural and religious rituals.  The wood of the Santalum species have a rich and and long-lasting fragrance that has been valued for centuries.

Sandalwood trees grow naturally throughout central and southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands.  Harvesting generally involved cutting down the entire tree.  The combination of their high-value and slow growth rate has caused Sandalwood trees to become a threatened species in some regions.  Therefore, it is important to purchase Sandalwood products that have been produced by sources that utilize sustainable practices.

Composition of Sandalwood Oil

Primary Components of Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood essential oil is composed largely of two closely related molecules, alpha-santalol and beta-santalol.  These molecules are the source of sandalwood’s rich fragrance.  Most sandalwood oil is composed at least 80-90% santalol.

Sandalwood Oil in Acne Treatment

Chipped and Powdered Sandalwood

Sandalwood oils are not frequently used in the treatment of acne vulgaris.  While sandalwood is popular for aromatherapy applications, it is not a common ingredient in essential oil preparations for topical use.  Studies have indicated that sandalwood oil may have some mild anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial activity.  However, very little research exists about the specific relationship between sandalwood oil and acne.

Related Articles

An Overview of Naturopathic Medicine in Acne Treatment
An Overview of Essential Oils used in Acne Treatment
What causes acne?

Additional Information

Sandalwood @ Wikipedia
alpha-Santalol @ Wikipedia


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