As a timeless oil found in ancient beauty rituals from every empire in history, sandalwood (Santalum album) has found its place in today’s cosmetics as an ingredient for all skin types. Clinical studies show sandalwood’s efficacy in combatting intrinsic and extrinsic signs of premature aging to allow us to evolve into our skin no matter our age. So, it only makes sense that sandalwood has made its way into the era of ageless beauty.
The term “ageless” has been on product labels for a while now, replacing ageist descriptions such as “anti-aging,” “youth,” and even “restorative.” It’s inevitable: our skin is going to change as we get older. Ageless beauty is about choosing products with ingredients that offer us the best benefits at every age.
Today we’re presented with a wider representation of beauty in media and pop culture to fit varied needs in skin color, texture and age. As of this article, #beauty has more than 413 million posts; #agelessbeauty has over 233,000 posts; #aginggracefully has nearly 478,000 posts; and #sandalwood has 1.8 million posts on Instagram. Social media trends are clearly showing us sandalwood’s potential to intersect the beauty sphere.
Santalols and Skin
Today, sandalwood continues its role as a multifunctional beauty ingredient. Its sesquiterpenoid compounds, santalols, are key players in treating premature aging and inflammation. “The main active compound is the alpha-santalol which is also the major constituent of the essential oil, between 41-50%,” explains Danny Hettiarachchi, Quintis Sandalwood’s Product Manager. Current studies are looking primarily at alpha and beta santalols as active ingredients in easing and curing our skin’s imbalances.
Several factors such sun, pollution and imbalanced microbes could lead to skin inflammation, resulting in premature aging. Sandalwood oil has shown its efficacy towards easing inflammatory processes on our skin.
Aging is a result of nature and nurture. Our genes play a large role in how our bodies produce collagen, hyaluronic acid and other compounds responsible for healthy skin. Our lifestyles also influence the condition of our skin; and oftentimes, we look to our skin to give us an indication of how we’re taking care of ourselves. Breakouts, eczema and dryness are all indicators of an imbalance, whether it’s hormonal or environmental. Are we getting enough water? Enough nutrients from whole foods? Are we protecting our skin from UV/UVB rays?
Vitamins A, E and C have long been recognized as key antioxidants to combat premature aging both inside and outside of our skin. As a result of oxidative stress, (those flying free radicals we face every day from airborne pollutants and irritants) our skin requires anti-oxidant barriers to prevent inflammation, hyperpigmentation and sun damage. “Santalols act on upregulating antioxidant enzymes,” explains Hettiarachchi. Sandalwood oil has similar activity to antioxidants with known anti-aging activity such as quercetin, vitamins E and C.
Sandalwood oil has shown its efficacy towards easing inflammatory processes on our skin.
Sandalwood’s efficacy on skin brightening is also another benefit for ageless beauty products. In combination with other ingredients, we can use the oil as an effective and safe brightening agent to even out skin discoloration, or melasma. Studies also show its ability to treat reduce hyperpigmentation and inflammation as a result of acne.
An ageless oil, sandalwood has offered its myriad of skin care benefits dating back to ancient civilizations. When we think of ageless, Indian sandalwood’s properties are continuously relevant. The oil resides deep in the heartwood of the Santalum album tree where we cultivate the plants for 15 years before preparing them for harvest.
Quintis is also the only Indian sandalwood oil provider which complies with the British Pharmacopoeia standards, ensuring the highest quality sandalwood oil for cosmetic formulations.
From the oil included in face washes, creams and gels, to the wood chips ground into a powder for face masks, sandalwood is a one-stop beauty ingredient to enhance our skin’s health regardless of age.
Written by Deniz Ataman