Quintis has researched and discovered several cosmetic uses of Indian sandalwood, or Santalum album, including as a powerful antioxidant and alternative to cannabidiol (CBD).
“Sandalwood is known as a fragrance in cosmetics, but we find very good evidence for the use of sandalwood as a cosmetic active ingredient. In our opinion, there are so many therapeutic benefits of sandalwood oil sandalwood “, said CEO Richard Henfrey.
He added that Indian sandalwood oil can move towards a more minimalist approach and deliver more consumer benefits with fewer ingredients.
“There’s a real trend in cosmetics and skincare right now towards simplicity and the idea that you have one ingredient that could do the job of two or three ingredients. We are certainly interested in exploring this. [Indian Sandalwood] is more than a beautiful perfume. A small amount in a premium skincare product adds natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity to your skincare regimen.
Henfrey revealed to CosmeticDesign-Asiathat the company is currently exploring the use of finely ground Indian sandalwood as a powder that could potentially replace talc.
“What we have found is that very finely ground hardwood confers many benefits. It is a very creamy powder which restores the benefits of the oil and which has a really interesting mattifying effect. The way it absorbs light can help smooth skin tone and reduce the appearance of wrinkles – and it smells fantastic too.
“He is sure to come back to Indian Sandalwood”
With such potential for Indian sandalwood beyond perfumery, Quintis expects demand to increase in the future.
“We will harvest twice as much this year as we harvested last year. We have many opportunities to supply all of these industries. We are also planting our first new plantation in about five or six years,”Henfrey said.
However, the company is now battling the troublesome reputation of Indian sandalwood grown over the past two decades as an unsustainable resource.
Indian sandalwood has been on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species since 1998 and is still classified as a vulnerable species today.
“The last time an assessment was made in 2018, the situation was worse than it was in 1998, showing that it continues to be overstretched, overstretched,” Henfrey said.
Today, the Indian sandalwood trade is strictly controlled by the Indian government, but Henfrey said there was “without a doubt”a gray market for illegal transactions still exists.
These problems have driven manufacturers away from Indian sandalwood and towards other species. There are over 15 different species, including Australian, Fijian, Hawaiian, and Pacific sandalwood.
“However, it is the Indian sandalwood that has the highest biological activity, the best evidence and the greatest tradition of use”,Henfrey said.
“Part of our job is to get to the root of the message that you no longer have to worry about buying Indian sandalwood, because there is a sustainable, legal and ethical source.”
In the early 1980s, Quintis was part of a successful Australian government trial to grow Indian sandalwood. Since then, the company has built up an ethical and sustainable supply of Indian sandalwood, with around 5.5 million trees on 12,000 hectares of land.
Henfrey said the company has continued to plant more trees over the years and expects its supply of Indian sandalwood to be “in a position of equilibrium”in about four to five years.
In February, the company announced that it had developed a 10-year sustainability plan to secure Indian Sandalwood’s future. The report explores the actions needed to prioritize the long-term supply of Indian sandalwood.
the Hands on Future Report highlighted several initiatives, including Quintis’ use of distillation technology which claims to reduce energy consumption by up to 75% while maintaining high quality sandalwood oil.
Henfrey told us that this technology is now responsible for about 50% of its production.
He added that the company is committed to investing more in this technology and hopes to increase its capacity to around 80% over the next four to five years.