Sandalwood Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

Sandalwood is one of the oldest, most widely-used oils in aromatherapy. Since ancient Ayurvedic medicine practices to Buddhist meditation, up to Egyptian embalming, it commands a strong reputation of respect in the essential oil community. And, as with many ancient practices, we can now see the wisdom of our ancestors backed by science.

Sandalwood essential oil has many applications indeed for your internal, external, and emotional health!


Derived from different species of the Santalum tree, Sandalwood essential oil has a sweet, woody aroma that is highly sought after for skin care, aromatherapy, and spiritual uses. The sandalwood tree is native to Nepal, India, Pacific islands like Hawaii and Australia, and regional areas, though other varieties can be found across the globe. Sandalwood is one of the most expensive trees in the world because of the unique composition of its wood. The aroma in the heartwood is so potent that it can last for decades.

For potency, it is distilled from the core of the tree that is the oldest and richest in the compounds that give Sandalwood essential oil its power. Santalol, the primary constituent of Sandalwood essential oil, is known to ground and balance emotions, promote restful sleep, and purify your skin.


As you investigate Sandalwood essential oil, you will find several different varieties. doTERRA offers both Hawaiian (Santalum paniculatum) and Indian (Santalum album), so you may be wondering what the difference is. Their chemical makeup and uses are almost identical, but each has a slightly different aroma. The Hawaiian variety tends to be sweeter and more feminine, while Indian Sandalwood maintains more woody, musty notes. You can’t go wrong with either of these varieties, as they are both harvested sustainably and tested to ensure purity!


Sandalwood essential oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help to keep you healthy. Inflammation is the root cause of so many of our health issues, so we want to do anything we can to combat it!

Research also shows that the santalol in Sandalwood essential oil can also keep your cells healthy by helping them renew and regenerate at a healthy rate. This helps your body internally, but it can also help wounds heal faster by stimulating new cell growth. Using Sandalwood topically in lotion and massages is a great way to harness these benefits for your body!


Sandalwood essential oil is recognized for its skin applications, and you can find it in many cosmetic products. It promotes healthy, smooth, youthful skin by soothing imperfections and promoting its overall health. It can also protect your skin from environmental threats and cleanse it to prevent breakouts. Research also shows that it may help prevent skin cancer by keeping your skin cells healthy and causing the cancer cells to die.

To get that youthful glow, dilute Sandalwood essential oil with a carrier oil or your moisturizer or toner and apply daily. Other powerhouse oils for your skin that you could combine with Sandalwood are Blue Tansy, Lavender, Frankincense, Jasmine, Yarrow|Pom, and Ylang Ylang.


Looking to give your hair a healthy shine without toxic, chemical-laden products? Give Sandalwood a try! Adding one or two drops directly to your wet hair after you shower can help to balance its moisture to give it shine and body. You can also combine it with Peppermint and Melaleuca (Tea Tree) for extra hair-boosting benefits. Because of its woodsy aroma, the man in your life may like it, too. Encourage him to use it in his beard oil and shaving products to keep his hair and skin healthy!

Sandalwood is great not only for hair health, but also for your skin after shaving. Jojoba oil most closely resembles the skin’s natural sebum, so it is a great choice for a carrier oil when using this directly on your skin. If you have some irritation from shaving, try this recipe to relieve your razor burn fast:


½ cup organic jojoba oil
¼ cup rosewater (can be purchased at health food stores)
5 drops of the following:
Lavender essential oil
Jasmine essential oil
Sandalwood essential oil
Geranium essential oil
Frankincense essential oil

Simply add jojoba oil and rosewater to a glass spray bottle. Next, add all essential oils. Shake well to combine. To use, spritz 2-3 times into palm of hands and rub onto areas of skin affected by razor burn. Don’t forget to shake before using each time!


Wouldn’t it be great to face your day with the energy and strength to confront whatever comes your way?

Sandalwood is a unique oil in that it can help to keep you alert and focused, and also relieve anxiety and tension. Research shows that the santalol in Sandalwood can quiet your mental chatter, allowing you to stay alert, focused, and energized. At the same time, it can also produce calm feelings while relieving tension and reducing anxiety. The grounding and balancing effects of Sandalwood essential oil can do wonders. It can help stabilize your mood to help you face your day with confidence, or recover from it in peace. It’s a great oil to have on hand during your morning rituals, yoga, or meditation to help you start the day off on the right foot!

One great way to relax with Sandalwood essential oil is to add it to your Epsom salt bath soak. Combine one cup each of Epsom salt and baking soda in your tub and add essential oils to produce a fragrance that will refresh your mind and body. Sandalwood blends well with floral, spicy, and citrus oils, so try combining it with Wild Orange, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Lavender, Clary Sage, or Bergamot to get an aroma that your body is craving. As I always recommend, keep your soak to 20 minutes or less so your body doesn’t reabsorb any toxins that the bath draws out. Rinse off afterward in the shower, and be sure to hydrate!


Do you ever have trouble quieting your mind before going to bed? Do you have trouble with staying asleep or just not feeling rested when you wake up? Research shows that Sandalwood essential oil may be able to help you fall asleep more quickly and achieve deep REM sleep for longer. Diffuse Sandalwood in your room as you prepare for bed, or give your sheets a spritz with it before you climb in.

My favorite way to use Sandalwood is to dilute it with a carrier oil and massage it into my neck and shoulders to remove any lingering tension and prepare my mind and body for rest. You could also blend it with Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, or Clary Sage for an extra boost!


Do you ever feel like you need a little help getting yourself in the mood? Luckily, essential oils can help! Especially during perimenopause and menopause, hormone fluctuations can make your libido suffer. Sandalwood is recognized as an aphrodisiac that can help prepare you, both mind and body, for sex.

Check out more of my essential oil tips for boosting your libido here. For now, here is my favorite room spray that can help set the mood for connection and intimacy.


6 drops Sandalwood essential oil
4 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil
3 drops Geranium essential oil
2 drops Neroli touch essential oil

Add water or witch hazel to a 2 oz. glass spray bottle. Add essential oils and shake to combine and before each use. Spray on pillows, sheets, and around the room to harness the power of these libido-boosting oils.


Whether you opt for Hawaiian or Indian Sandalwood, you won’t be sorry for the investment. From what it will do to your internal health, skin appearance, and ability to rest, you will be amazed by this oil!

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