7 Incredible Benefits of Sandalwood Powder for Skin

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

If you have been looking for a natural treatment for any skin condition, sandalwood powder is an ancient and a legendary remedy. Before adding it to your health regimen, it is important to understand what it is and what potential benefits it may hold for your skin.

What is Sandalwood Powder?

Sandalwood powder is the dried and crushed form of sandalwood, which is a type of wood belonging to the Santalum genus. This wood is considered sacred by different cultures around the world and is widely used in religious ceremonies of Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese and Japanese traditions. Aside from this religious significance, sandalwood extract and sandalwood paste is widely used for natural healing treatments. Sandalwood powder is produced when a stick of sandalwood – a yellow and highly fragrant wood is ground down into powder. [1]

Once you have the completely dried powder, many people choose to make a paste with this powder by mixing it with a small amount of water, and occasionally including other spices, such as saffron, to increase its potency. The most common usages of this powder and paste relate directly to skin health, as it is packed with santalol, which is an active ingredient in this wood and is a powerful sesquiterpene. Most importantly, anecdotal and formal research has shown that sandalwood has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, and disinfectant qualities, thereby making it an ideal solution for many skin conditions.

Sandalwood Powder Benefits for Skin

The best sandalwood powder benefits for your skin include its ability to moisturize, exfoliate, heal and whiten your skin, among others.

Prevents Acne

The antiseptic, exfoliating, and antibacterial qualities of sandalwood powder and paste make it an ideal solution if you regularly struggle with pimples and acne. The rough texture of this powder can help clear out dirt and grime from your pores, while the antiseptic compounds clear out bacterial infections or stubborn sebum that cause inflammation and breakouts. [2]

Sandalwood stick and powder on a table with a mortar and pestle

Sandalwood powder and paste is used in many religious activities in India. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Anti-aging Properties

There are a number of antioxidant properties in sandalwood powder, allowing it to reduce oxidative stress in the skin, relieving the appearance of wrinkles and age spots, while also boosting elasticity and making you look younger for longer! [3]

Treats Sunburn

Following a long day out in the sun, your skin will be feeling pretty tender, but applying some sandalwood powder to the area of inflammation can soothe the discomfort, speed the healing process, moisturize the skin and prevent excess skin peeling, which can leave scars behind. [4]

Whitens the Skin

Many people in Asian countries use sandalwood powder in a paste to lighten the appearance of their skin. In some religions, sandalwood paste is applied on the forehead almost daily, but in regular medicinal use, it is often placed on blemishes or discolored areas of skin to unify the tone of the face or body. [5]

Moisturizes the Skin

If dry skin is something that you are constantly wrestling with, sandalwood powder can install its oils directly into the skin, making it more receptive to moisture and less likely to crack in the sun or wind. [6]


Perhaps the most common use of sandalwood powder, the minute gritty nature of this powder will help to scrub any dirt and grime from your pores, allowing your skin to breathe, while also clearing out ideal spots for bacterial infections to hide. [7]

Speeds up Healing

The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of this powder not only speed the healing process for wounds, burns or scars but also protect that area from potential infections while the healing is taking place. [8]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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