Sandalwood has been in use since the ancient Vedic times. Initially, it was part of religious offerings and was mainly used as incense. Through the ages, the medicinal properties of this versatile ingredient have been established. The ancient women of India valued it as a cosmetic aid and for its fragrance. The inner wood of the sandalwood tree is used for extractions. Both the oil and the paste have been used in healing, as tonics, as well as local applications. The paste has a cooling effect and was widely used to relieve prickly heat and other skin conditions. The tradition of applying sandalwood on the forehead developed due to its cooling effect. The fragrance of sandalwood is also said to have a calming effect on the mind.
Sandalwood oil itself has many uses. It blends extremely well with other oils and extracts and can easily be added to various formulations. Sandalwood oil is also used as a fixative in the manufacture of the world’s best perfumes. It has a sweet and exotic fragrance and is a perfume in itself. As with many natural fragrances, the aroma of sandalwood is also said to have a calming effect on the nerves. During ancient times, it was used to relieve anxiety, depression and insomnia. Today, it is used in make stress-related skin and scalp problems, like acne, dandruff and hair loss.
Sandalwood has powerful healing properties and is one of the best known natural germicidals and antiseptics. It is e specially suited to oily skin conditions and has been used to treat seborrhoeic conditions of the skin and scalp. It helps to soothe the skin in rashes, pimples, acne, boils and such eruptions. It also helps to improve the normal functions of the skin and actually enhances the beauty of the skin.
Red Sandalwood or Rakt Chandan has the ability to protect the skin from sun damage. In fact, it is an ideal protective ingredient against chemical air pollutants too. As such it is an important ingredient in protective creams. Due to its versatile action, sandalwood has been incorporated in many cosmetic products, from moisturizers to rich body lotions and cleansers. Its gentle action has also made it an ideal ingredient for baby-care products too. It has been included in after-shave and shaving preparations, due to its antiseptic properties and its subtle, woody fragrance. Apart from routine care, it has been used in therapeutic formulations, to treat acne, dermatitis, skin-sensitivity, allergic rashes, irritations, dandruff and pigmentation.
Here are some home remedies with sandalwood:
- For pimples, acne or boils, the paste can be applied on the eruptions. Add a drop or two of rose water and apply.
- Face Pack for oily and acne-prone skin: Mix multani mitti with sandalwood paste and rose water into a paste. Apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off when it is dry.
- Make your own fragrant massage oil by adding the essential oil of sandalwood. The essential should not be used by itself. Add 10 drops of sandalwood essential oil to 50 ml of any pressed oil, like olive, almond or sesame seed (til) oil. The oil will not only be fragrant, but also have protective properties.
- During summer, add sandalwood oil to your bath water. It is a natural coolant and also has a calming effect on the mind.
- For oily and combination skins, add 10 drops of sandalwood essential oil to 50 ml of rose water, to make a protective and refreshing skin tonic.
- For an anti-stress treatment, put 2 drops of sandalwood oil in a little water in your tea-light diffuser. It will help to uplift the mood and create a calm atmosphere in the room. It can also be used during meditation.