A good alternate? Aussie firm eyeing opportunities for Indian sandalwood as a CBD alternative following China ban

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

A new scientific review revealed that Indian sandalwood oil has more scientifically-proven benefits than CBD oil. [Quintis]
A new scientific review revealed that Indian sandalwood oil has more scientifically-proven benefits than CBD oil. [Quintis]

Related tags sandalwood CBD Australia China

Australian sandalwood supplier Quintis is eyeing new opportunities in China’s cosmetic space after a new scientific review revealed Indian sandalwood oil has more scientifically-proven benefits than CBD oil.

Quintis Sandalwood is a supplier of Indian and Australian sandalwood raw materials, including oil, powder, logs and chips for multiple industries for use in fragrance, cosmetics, as well as incense and religious carvings.

Previously, the company told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that it has been placing more emphasis on the cosmetics side of the business, believing it could tap into the demand for natural products in the market.

Now, Quintis is looking to target the Chinese market on the back of a new review revealing that Indian sandalwood oil, or Santalum album,​ has more substantiated benefits than cannabidiol (CBD).

In May, China enforced a law that bans the production and import of cosmetics containing CBD, Cannabis sativa kernel fruit, cannabis sativa seed oil, as well as cannabis sativa leaf.

“The main reason we looked into this is because of China’s ban on CBD in cosmetics. That created a vacuum in the market, and we saw an opportunity with customers looking for multipurpose active ingredients,” ​said Dr Dhanushka Hettiarachchi, Ph.D., product manager for Quintis Sandalwood.

China is one of the oldest markets for the company, where it supplies sandalwood for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as religious incense and carvings.

Quintis hopes this latest study into Indian sandalwood as a good option effective alternative to CBD oil could help boost the demand for its products in the cosmetics sector.

“Our leading customers are Europe and US at this stage, and we are actively getting to the cosmetic side in China, which is a big market, very complex with the very high-end expensive product ranges as well as the huge mass market as well.”

Key benefits and claims

According to the firm’s scientific review, Indian sandalwood oil has more scientifically-proven benefits compared to CBD oil making it a good alternate in cosmetic applications, especially in skin care.

In addition to matching CBD with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties, Indian sandalwood is known to have more properties, including anti-microbial, anti-blue light, anti-pollution, and skin brightening.

Furthermore, Indian sandalwood is known for its aromatic benefits, an area the company said it was continuing to research into.

Although CBD has been a popular cosmetic ingredient in recent years as a relatively ‘new’ ingredient, there are comparatively fewer studies on topical applications and more research was required to prove its efficacy and potency, said Hettiarachchi.

In contrast, Indian sandalwood is backed by years of research and has a long history of use in cosmetics dating back to ancient times.

“Within the Indian subcontinent, and even in China, it goes back to the Tang Dynasty. There have been recordings of its use as a cosmetic ingredient. But you can’t say the same thing about cannabis. It has been used as a medicine, as long as sandalwood but it has never been recorded as a cosmetic ingredient,” ​said Hettiarachchi.

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