Power of Indian sandalwood to protect against blue light damage revealed

Clinical research has found Indian sandalwood oil is a powerful antioxidant and offers protection against blue light damage, after 2021 cellular research found it to be more potent than lipophilic antioxidant vitamin E (alpha tocopherol).

The study, commissioned by Quintis Sandalwood and published in Cosmetics Journal, is the first clinical trial proving that Indian sandalwood oil at a concentration between 1% and 10% protects the skin against the oxidative stress induced by ambient dust and blue light exposure.

The results indicated that there was a dose-dependent decrease in the levels of free radical damage, with a concentration of Quintis Indian sandalwood (1%) representing a 24% decrease in Squalene monohydroperoxide (SQOOH) compared to non-treated study areas. 

Indian sandalwood oil is the essential oil obtained by steam distillation of the aromatic heartwood of Santalum album.

To evaluate the effects of Indian sandalwood oil on skin, the level of oxidised squalene was monitored as a measurement of skin oxidation.

The study assessed the protective effect of a cosmetic product containing Indian sandalwood oil against cutaneous oxidative stress induced by environmental pollution such as ambient dust and blue light at a wavelength of 412 nm. 

“The clinical trial reinforces our previous peer-reviewed cellular research, that found Indian sandalwood oil protects against oxidative stress in vitro. The result in vivo showed skin oxidation to be lower when treated with Indian sandalwood oil when compared to a-tocopherl,” said Dhanushka Hettiarachchi, Ph.D., technical products specialist for Quintis Sandalwood.

“The detrimental impact of blue light in sunlight rays can have significant impact on skin pigmentation and skin ageing. Particles arising from ambient pollution can enter deeper layers of the skin, thereby inducing the release of free radicals and triggering an inflammatory cascade as well as skin barrier alteration,” he added.

“Many recent cosmetic trends have focused on retaining skin health and promoting positive ageing 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.”

Hettiarachchi said Quintis said it is committed to continuing to invest in studies and trials to explore Indian sandalwood oil as a multipurpose highly effective antioxidant ingredient in cosmetics. 

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