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Hawaiian Sandalwood Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions

Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil (Santalum paniculatum) is NOT the same as traditional Sandalwood (Santulum album), usually sourced from India. Traditional sandalwood resources have begun to decline in recent years, making the switch to a newer variety a smart move on the part of distillers and oil companies, especially since the Hawaiian variety has a growth rate of almost twice as fast. Although both oils are steam distilled from the heartwood of the tree, everything from the chemical constituents to even the aroma varies between these two oils. Its aroma is soft, woody, earthy, and a little spicy. Traditionally, Hawaiian Sandalwood has been used for skin and cardiovascular support, as well as many spiritual and emotional uses.

Primary Benefits

  • Promotes healthy, smooth skin
  • Reduces the appearance of scars and blemishes
  • Enhances mood
  • Frequently used in meditation for its grounding and uplifting properties

Emotional Benefits

Similar to traditional sandalwood, it can be burned during meditation, to assist a person in balancing or centering their energy, quieting the mind, and stress (especially associated from worry).

Complimentary Oils

Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil blends well with Basil, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Bergamot essential oils. 

Depending on your uses for this oil, substitutes may include Frankincense or Helichrysum essential oils.

How to Use Hawaiian Sandalwood Essential Oil

Traditionally, Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil uses these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:

How to use essential oils!
Adults Children/Sensitive Pregnancy

Precautions of Hawaiian Sandalwood Essential Oil

Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use and use on the feet when possible. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose. Not all oils are created equal, so test brands carefully, and never use an oil in a way not recommended by its maker.

Popular Uses of Hawaiian Sandalwood Essential Oil

  • Diffuse or apply to the neck and shoulders at bedtime for a restful night’s sleep.
  • Add 1–2 drops to your favorite moisturizer or night cream for smooth, glowing skin.
  • Add 1–2 drops to a hot bath to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
  • Diffuse Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil throughout the room before and during yoga.
  • Place 1 drop in the palms of your hands, rub together, and cup over the nose and mouth while you breathe to clear confusion.

Inspiration for Using Hawaiian Sandalwood Essential Oil

Happy Hippie diffuser blend: 2 drops each Hawaiian Sandalwood, Arborvitae, and Wild Orange essential oils.

Cooling Summer Mist: Mix 4 drops Geranium, 4 drops Patchouli, 4 drops Hawaiian Sandalwood, 2 drops Ylang Ylang, 2 drops Cedarwood, and 2 drops Lavender essential oils. Fill with equal parts distilled water and witch hazel. Shake before use. Keep in the fridge for extra cooling. 

Menstrual Discomfort Blend: Massage 2 drops Hawaiian Sandalwood and 2 drops Frankincense over the abdomen and lower back to ease discomfort. (Dilute as needed.)


Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).

A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:

  • Proper plant varieties
  • Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
  • Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
  • Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
  • Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
  • Third-party testing of every batch
  • Stand behind the internal use of their oils

Beginner's Guide to Application and Precautions, from SustainableBabySteps.com

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1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3709812/