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Sandalwood Oil & Acne

author image Amy Lucas
Amy Lucas is a writer for the Underground Health Reporter and Gaiam websites, and for She has written for business and personal websites and been published in educational publications, including Random House's "1,296 ACT Practice Questions" and in her own series of SAT books and DVDs, "Private Tutor SAT, Your Compete SAT Test Prep Course."
Sandalwood Oil & Acne
Jars of essential oil on a table with towels and lavender flowers. Photo Credit: Almaje/iStock/Getty Images

Sandalwood oil is a highly effective, but gentle essential oil that is used to treat many common skin conditions, such as burns, cuts, rashes and acne. Sandalwood oil is a key ingredient in many lotions and soaps due to its pleasing woody scent and healing properties. If you are suffering from skin irritations such as acne, there is no need to purchase an expensive treatment lotion. Sandalwood essential oil in its most potent form, as an oil or powder, has been lauded as a powerful acne fighter.

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How Sandalwood Oil Fights Acne

Sandalwood is an age-old Ayurvedic treatment for skin ailments. A by-product of the sandalwood tree, sandalwood oil contains antimicrobial properties that make it a powerful herbal antiseptic. Sandalwood oil battles the bacteria and oil that block pores and cause blackheads and pimples. A 2007 clinical trial published in the February 2008 edition of Food and Chemical Toxicology found that sandalwood oil and its components contain antiviral, anticarcinogenic and bactericidal properties.

How to Use Sandalwood Oil

There are several different ways to treat your acne with sandalwood oil. Before applying sandalwood oil to infected or irritated areas, test a small patch of your skin for an allergic reaction. While mild, sandalwood oil is still a concentrated essential oil that can cause a severe allergic reaction when applied to the skin undiluted. Mix sandalwood with water or a carrier oil, such as rosehip oil or evening primrose oil, before applying to the skin.

Sandalwood Oil Treatments for Acne

To make a sandalwood acne paste, mix 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder with 1 teaspoon of tumeric powder, 1 teaspoon of water and a dash of camphor. The consistency should be a thick paste. Apply to acne and wear as an overnight mask.

A sandalwood rosewater mask should be less thick than the sandalwood acne paste and should be spread over the entire face, chest, back--anywhere you have an outbreak of acne or a rash. Blend 2 teaspoons of sandalwood oil with approximately ΒΌ cup of rosewater. Let the mask dry for 20 to 30 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.

To make a sandalwood and lime treatment, combine equal parts of sandalwood oil, tumeric powder and lime juice. Blend until you have a mixture that is easy to spread. Leave on the skin for 20 to 30 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.

If your skin is acne-prone but feels dry and rough, opt for a sandalwood massage treatment to leave skin cool, conditioned and soft. Combine a few drops of sandalwood oil with half a cup of carrier oil and massage gently into skin.

The Dwindling Sandalwood Supply

Sandalwood oil is one of the most popular essential oils, but it is also one of the most endangered and expensive. Demand is so high that sandalwood trees suffer from widespread illegal poaching and harvesting. Sandalwood oil is one of the most adulterated oils; it is either largely diluted or combined with a carrier oil or aroma made up of synthetic chemicals. Be selective; if looking to use sandalwood oil for its healing properties, look for a pure sandalwood oil. Use this treasured essential oil wisely. Sandalwood oil grows more potent with age, so if used sparingly it may last you a lifetime.


Never ingest sandalwood oil, or allow it to come in contact with the eyes or mucous membranes. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should not use sandalwood essential oil unless prescribed by a health care practitioner.

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