Rainforest treasures; Sandalwood takes care of the skin and mind
Rainforest treasures; Sandalwood takes care of the skin and mind
Sandalwood is a hard, heavy and fragrant type of wood. Sandalwood grows wild in tropical rainforests in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Sandalwood is one of the most expensive woods in the world. It has been very popular for hundreds of years and continues to do so. The story of the wild sandalwood is quite sad, although there is some hope in the horizon. Fortunately, sandalwood has been cultivated. This is how we will continue to enjoy fragrant sandalwood in the future. How, then, is sandalwood related to cosmetics? The story of the sandalwood is very interesting. Keep on reading to learn more about this marvellous tropical tree.
Sandalwood is a tropical tree
The Santalum album (Santalum album) is originally native to the tropical rainforests of India. There are a dozen different look a-like species of sandalwood.
Santalum spicatum is a variety of sandalwood that is grown commercially in Western Australia. The sandalwood oil used in cosmetics comes from Australia. Australian sandalwood oil can be used safely as it is grown sustainably. Today, Australia has overtaken India in sandalwood production. However, Indian sandalwood oil is of higher quality and significantly more expensive.
Other sandalwood species
- White sandalwood
- Hawaiian sandalwood
- Sandalwood in Fiji
- Red sandalwood
Other tree species are also used as a substitute for the rare sandalwood. The red sandalwood is obtained from the red tree Pterocarpus santalinus, which belongs to the bean family. This species of wood may be the same one used in ancient times in the temple of King Solomon.
The sandalwood is a parasite
The sandalwood is actually a parasite. To succeed, it needs an authentic and the right kind of rainforest biotope around it. Sandalwood does not take nutrients directly from the soil but absorbs phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium from other plants. Sandalwood also does not grow in the open area but requires shade from a humid, hot jungle to thrive.
Sandalwood lives about a hundred years. It never grows very tall. Only 4-6 meters, sometimes up to 10 meters high, a small tree forms small groves. The bark of the tree is brown at a young age. As it gets older, it turns almost black and forms red cracks. The inside of the tree is green and drill.
The wild sandalwood is an endangered plant
Sandalwood has been used for centuries completely unsustainably. Old, wild sandalwoods are hardly found in nature anymore. The smuggling of sandalwood is incredibly common. In nature reserves, this happens all the time despite careful guarding.
Planting and growing sandalwood is challenging
There have been attempts to grow sandalwood in many different countries. Unfortunately, genuine natural sandalwood is still the best in quality. Cultivated trees do not succeed in creating as intense a scent as they can in wild-growing trees.
Sandalwood always needs a parent plant. It can only live as a parasite after forming an efficient food chain with the surrounding plants. Especially at a young age, the environment is very important for the well-being of the tree. It is really easy to understand that creating such a biotope is challenging. Indeed, most planted sandalwood dies at a young age.
Sandalwood can only be utilized at the age of about 15-30, depending on the variety. The trees grow really slowly.
Sandalwood has a very wide user base
There is a Hindu culture in India that has always valued sandalwood in religious ceremonies. Fragrant sandalwood was used to make furniture for Hindu temples. Incense also often contained sandalwood.
One of the most important uses for sandalwood has been in Ayurveda medicine, which is an ancient Indian folk medicine. Sandalwood is still used in Ayurveda to treat the flu, liver and gallbladder problems, mental health problems, muscle problems, digestive problems, scabies and haemorrhoids.
Ground sandalwood is used in the paste used in India to make caste marks.
Aromatherapy has been quite popular since ancient cultures. Sandalwood oil is still used in aromatherapy to promote mental and physical health.
Due to its refined aroma, sandalwood oil has been commonly used as a base fragrance in the perfume industry. Indeed, most of the essential oil of sandalwood is used for the needs of the perfume industry.
Sandalwood was once used to make furniture. Today, it is not anymore possible. Small items made of sandalwood, on the other hand, are quite popular. Scented sandalwood beads and rings are popular. The scent of sandalwood relaxes and soothes.
Sandalwood combs take care of the hair. Small amounts of essential oils are released from sandalwood combs to repair damaged hair and reduce electricity.
Sandalwood contains valuable oil
The essential oil contained in sandalwood is very valuable. The oil is separated from the wood by steam distillation. Wood contains about 0.3-0.6% essential oil. The sweet, strong and very durable scent has made sandalwood oil a favourite product in the perfume industry. The scent of the sandalwood itself lasts for about 40 years. Sandalwood objects are best identified by the scent.
The essential oil obtained by steam distillation from sandalwood is particularly strong and therapeutic. The free fatty alcohols contained in sandalwood oil are known as alpha-santalol. Pure sandalwood oil has a minimum fatty alcohol content of 90%. This kind of oil is way too strong. Sandalwood oil sold to consumers is therefore always diluted. Pure sandalwood oil is mixed with jojoba or some other oil. There is usually about 10% of sandalwood oil in the mixture. The concentration varies depending on the supplier. Contact your dealer for more information on safe use of the oil.
Beware of synthetic sandalwood oil
Because sandalwood is a very rare type of wood today, there are also synthetic variants of sandalwood oil for sale. Synthetic sandalwood oil smells the same as genuine but does not have the same therapeutic effects. When purchasing sandalwood oil, check the authenticity of the oil.
The Benefits of Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil is an important ingredient in cosmetics. As I have already said, sandalwood is one of the most prized scents in perfumes.
Calm down and stress relief
Sandalwood oil has remarkable therapeutic properties. It is used in meditation as a means of calming the mind. In aromatherapy, sandalwood is a very valuable and used fragrance. Sandalwood calms and reduces stress and improve the Quality of sleep. Sandalwood reduces anxiety and helps the mind calm down and ground. Sandalwood brings out the spiritual side of man and helps free oneself from the tyranny of intellect.
Acne and irritated skin
Sandalwood essential oil is very antiseptic. Use sandalwood in products intended for irritated skin. Sandalwood essential oil also does good for acne. It soothes inflammation and brightens the skin. Sandalwood oil also has a restraining effect on sebum production. This feature also helps in the treatment of acne skin.
Sandalwood oil also has a calming effect on insect bites. The cream containing sandalwood oil soothes the itching by cooling the skin.
However, do not use sandalwood essential oil on broken skin or open wounds.
In India, sandalwood oil is used to treat irritated skin along with rose hydrolate. These ingredients support each other in the treatment of irritated and acne prone skin.
Sandalwood essential oil contains ingredients that support normal cell growth. That is why sandalwood has traditionally been used to treat scars. Sandalwood oil also improves skin elasticity and nourishes and moisturizes the skin. These properties are good when you want to fade scars. Sandalwood oil has been found to be effective on scars, especially in combination with honey.
Sandalwood brightens the skin and evens out the uneven colour of the skin. This is due to the Ayurvedic effects of sandalwood oil. According to Ayurveda, darkening of the skin is caused by excessive heat. Sandalwood oil cools down and soothes the skin.
Another factor that makes sandalwood oil brighten and lighten the skin is the alpha-santalol it contains, which blocks an enzyme called tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is a key factor in the synthesis of the skin pigment, melanin. Another tyrosinase inhibitor used in cosmetics is vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. I’ve written about vitamin C on one of my blogs before.
Treatment of aged skin
Sandalwood oil has been found to reduce the formation of wrinkles on the skin. Sandalwood contains a significant number of effective antioxidants that have an anti-aging effect.
Sandalwood is used in cosmetics in many different ways
By far the most famous sandalwood product is the essential oil of sandalwood. However, sandalwood is used in a wide variety of cosmetics.
A product familiar to many is sandalwood soap. Sandalwood soap soothes and brightens the skin. It is suitable for daily use on most skin types.
Powder from sandalwood is a very useful product. There are two types of sandalwood powder available, red and white. White sandalwood powder is a very medicinal product used in Ayurveda to treat various ailments. Red sandalwood powder is suitable for skin care, for example for acne prone skin.
Sandalwood hydrolate is a by-product of the production of sandalwood oil. Sandel hydrolate is used in the manufacture of lotions, hair cosmetics and lotions.