The UMA Oil Files: Why Sandalwood Is a Sacred Ingredient for Beauty and Wellness

Sandalwood is one of the most potent and precious essential oils that we use at UMA. Long used by cultures around the world, it's an incredibly rare ingredient that is becoming more and more difficult to find. Allow us to indulge you on a quick virtual trip to India, Sandalwood's native country, to learn more about the ancient history of this small tropical tree and its power-packed oil that boasts unparalleled skin and wellness benefits. 


Indian Sandalwood has sacred roots. A medium-sized evergreen and tropical hardwood tree, it has been growing on plantations in India for centuries. The rich, fragrant wood and its oil is esteemed and used in in various social and religious rituals throughout India and other parts of Asia, as well as Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It was common to see large caravans laden with rich sandalwood traveling about. Woven around its essence has always been a cloak of regality.

Roughly 250 years ago the Indian government began to closely regulate sandalwood. Only estates that were already established, which included the Uma Estate, were allowed to grow it. Regulations have loosened in the last ten years, but governmental restrictions still mandate who can and cannot harvest and sell sandalwood. This makes real sandalwood oil a true luxury.

Harvesting and Distillation

Once the sandalwood trees have reach maturity and been harvested, keeping the valuable oil-rich roots intact, they're ready for extraction. Extracting the essential oil from sandalwood tree requires a lengthy, intensive steam distillation. Given the high upfront investment cost and extended lifecycle of the tree, few have wanted to dip their toe into the specialized farming that sandalwood requires.

Skin and Health Benefits

All this talk of government regulation and intense farming investments likely begs the question: Why does the Uma Estate continue producing sandalwood essential oil? The answer lies in the oil’s incredible benefits. Intensely moisturizing and incredibly brightening, sandalwood works in harmony with your dermis’ natural processes to boost luminosity. Studies shows the phytochemicals also reduce inflammation and treat various skin ailments including acne. It is the secret to dewy, luminous, youthful skin, which is why we incorporate it into our like Ultimate Brightening Face OilAbsolute Anti Aging Face OilTotal Rejuvenation Night Face OilBeauty Boosting Day Face Oil, and Absolute Anti-Aging Body Oil

Aromatherapeutic Benefits:

Various cultures and religions have incorporated sandalwood oil into their religion and social rituals because of its rich, sweet, indulgent aroma. In India, Ayurvedic practitioners have been incorporating it in their treatments for centuries. It's also a coveted ingredient used in Aromatherapy today. Sandalwood actually regulates the body’s limbic system, which regulates emotion and stores memories and is tied to the part of your the brain that controls the sense of smell. (All over, it’s pretty crucial to your mental and emotional wellbeing.) Using sandalwood essential oil in aromatherapy can reduce tension and anxiety by regulating emotional control aspects of the limbic system. It’s one our favorite ingredients for wellness oils, which is why we made sure to include it on our wellness blends: Pure CalmPure Bliss and Gorgeous for Good. 

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