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Coveted for thousands of years for its alluring scent and therapeutic benefits, Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) is an exquisite species with a sacred history. It is especially well-known today as a luxurious and essential perfumery ingredient for fragrance houses and brands.

Beyond its aromatic allure, Indian sandalwood has been recognised by science as a proven natural powerhouse with therapeutic and mind-calming properties, including efficacious anti-inflammatory effects.

As an active natural ingredient and anti-inflammatory agent, Indian sandalwood is a powerful millennia-old addition to products that heal, soothe and target a range of conditions such as acne, eczema and the visible signs of ageing. Now, skincare brands globally are harnessing Indian sandalwood’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties to create formulations with efficacy that address some of our most challenging skin issues.

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Understanding Inflammation

Inflammation is the body's natural response tactic to heal itself from injuries and fight infections.
There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute is the immediate response to sudden body harm, such as stubbing your toe or cutting your finger. Sending white blood cells to surround and protect the area creates redness and swelling that begins the healing process. Inflammation, in this instance, is essential. Without it, illness, injuries and infections cannot heal. 
Chronic inflammation is a response by the immune system that continues long after an infection or injury. By failing to shut down its response, it can undermine the wellbeing of the body's eleven systems, leading to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. 
Anti-inflammatory agents are intermediaries that reduce the production and activities of pro-inflammatory cytokines (i.e. small proteins that control the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells) and block immune cells travelling into tissues.
One of the most valuable natural anti-inflammatory agents for acute inflammation is Indian sandalwood.

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Sandalwood Works as an Anti-Inflammatory 

Indian sandalwood is good for healing. Research shows that Indian sandalwood oil is one of the most effective, scientifically tested, naturally occurring skincare ingredients. Containing powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-MMP and anti–tyrosinase properties, it is a crucial ingredient for holistic and cosmetic applications for its ability to protect and heal the skin. Indian sandalwood acts on three inflammatory pathways:

1. Inhibition of PDE enzymes
• Indian sandalwood oil has been found to inhibit the activity of (Phosphodiesterase (PDE) enzymes., 
• It also catalyses the production of pro-inflammatory mediators such as TNFα, MCP-1 , IL8 and IL6, which are involved in the inflammatory cascade. 
• Indian sandalwood oil's anti-inflammatory properties help cool and soothe irritated skin by reducing redness, itching and inflammation.
2. Suppression of Arachidonic Acid Pathway 
• Active constituents α and β santalol of Indian sandalwood oil are found to suppress the inflammatory mediators of the arachidonic acid pathway.  
• Prostaglandin E2 and Thromboxane B2 are key mediators of inflammation and common markers in assessing inflammatory reactions.
• These mediators are suppressed by inhibiting COX and LOX enzymes by Indian sandalwood constituents. 
3. 11β-HSD1 Activation
• Indian sandalwood oil is found to down-regulate skin inflammation by activating the enzyme 11β-HSD1.
• Activation of 11β-HSD1 regulates cortisol levels locally in keratinocytes to suppress inflammation.
• Indian sandalwood oil acts through the olfactory receptor OR2AT4 to activate 11β-HSD1.


Indian Sandalwood in Skincare

Indian sandalwood is beneficial for healing thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties derived from concentrated sesquiterpenoid compounds and alpha-santalol content, which exhibits therapeutic properties when absorbed through the skin.

Science shows Indian sandalwood aids various skin conditions, such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and eczema and reduces the appearance of rashes, redness and irritation while promoting healthier skin.

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Indian Sandalwood Effectively Reduces the Appearance of Acne

Indian sandalwood's powerful anti-inflammatory properties make it a proven treatment for taming inflammation and the appearance of acne by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 and IL-8, which play a role in the development of acne. Its anti-microbial properties inhibit the proliferation of Cutibacterium acnes (Propionibacterium acnes) bacteria growth, reducing inflammation and acne’s appearance.
Indian sandalwood possesses astringent properties that tighten and tone pores by precipitating proteins and absorbing water, reducing oiliness and sebum and the appearance of large pores. This action also prevents clogging, which reduces acne breakouts, making Indian sandalwood not only healing but also an effective preventive measure.

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Combining thousands of years of knowledge with cutting-edge science, Indian sandalwood is more than a luxurious and captivating scent. With its countless applications, active compounds, and therapeutic benefits, Indian sandalwood is a multifunctional beauty ingredient for skincare formulations, specifically targeting inflammation-related health issues. 
Quintis is the global leader in the supply of premium, ethical, and sustainable Indian and Australian sandalwood raw materials. Ours is 100% pure, natural oil distilled from Indian sandalwood heartwood, which is a proven, strong anti-inflammatory agent.

Contact us to find out more about the anti-inflammatory properties of our Indian sandalwood and discover the innovative ways you can harness the power of Indian sandalwood in your skincare products.

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