Indian sandalwood oil may protect skin from environmental stressors, says recent study


A recent study found that Indian sandalwood oil protected skin from oxidative stress induced by urban dust and blue light.

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A study published in Cosmetics1 found that Indian sandalwood oil (from Quintis Sandalwood, based in Perth, Australia) protected skin from oxidative stress induced by urban dust and blue light. This follows an in vitro and ex vivo study which determined that found Indian sandalwood to be a potent antioxidant that could protect skin from environmental stressors. In the current study, 22 healthy human subjects had products containing 0.1%, 1% and 10% sandalwood oil, placebo, and a comparable control (alpha-tocopherol) on different zones on each of their upper backs. After seven days, subjects were exposed to environmental stressors using a controlled pollution exposure system (CPES) and blue light at a wavelength of 412 nm.

Sebum was sampled on each investigational zone following the last exposure, with the level of squalene monohydroperoxide (SQOOH) being the primary endpoint. Researchers observed a dose-dependent decrease in SQOOH on the zones treated with 10%, 1%, and 0.1% of the sandalwood oil formulation compared to untreated zones. The highest concentration of sandalwood oil (10%) showed the highest protective efficacy with the lowest amount of SQOOH.

“Many recent cosmetic trends have focused on retaining skin health and promoting positive aging of skin when exposed to pollution and visible blue light from the sun. We are excited that this study further emphasises the power of Indian sandalwood oil in protecting the skin against environmental damage, further proving the multipurpose nature of this precious ingredient in cosmetics,” said Dhanushka Hettiarachchi, PhD, technical products specialist for Quintis Sandalwood, in a press release. “Given these ongoing reinforced results, the benefits of Indian sandalwood oil are clear and there is a significant opportunity for cosmetic brand to consider incorporating Indian sandalwood oil into their formulations as a protective and anti-aging active with multifunctionality ingredient in cosmetics and dermatology, opening up the potential to offer those benefits to consumers through a range of topical products.”


  1. Kolanthan VL et al. “Clinical evaluation of Indian sandalwood oil and its protective effect on the skin against the detrimental effect of exposome.” Cosmetics, vol. 9, no. 2 (2022): 35,
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