Sandalwood Nut Oil Research

 


WESTERN AUSTRALIAN SANDALWOOD

SANDALWOOD NUT OIL

CONSUMER RESEARCH REPORT


 

Introduction:

 

WA Sandalwood Plantations (WASP) is the largest Western Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) plantation manager in the world with more than 10,000 hectares of plantations established in their natural growing area, Western Australia’s Wheatbelt. The early plantations were established around 10 years ago. From 5 years of age sandalwood trees produce nuts that contain a high proportion of oil.

 

Analysis of this oil shows that it is rich in a novel, natural compound, Ximenynic acid (XA) that is known to assist in the protection of the skin from lines and wrinkles whilst stimulating blood circulation to give an overall healthier look (1, 2).

 

As many of the plantations are older than five years of age, WASP is in a position to supply nuts on a consistent basis in volumes sufficient to produce significant quantities of sandalwood nut oil for the cosmetics industry.

 

Wisper Forestry Services (WFS) is a sister company to WASP and is responsible for the extraction and distribution of all by-products from the sandalwood nuts. WFS recently concluded an efficacy trial on Sandalwood Nut Oil;

 

Summary Highlights of Efficacy Trial Results:

 

Face:

 

  • 72% of participants have stated that their facial skin felt tighter and therefore showed a reduction in lines on their face during the 90 day trial period
  • 80% said that their face felt more moist/supple than prior to the trial and felt this was directly linked to the sandalwood nut oil
  • 65% showing a significant reduction in flakiness.
  • 50% showed an improvement in skin tone and reduction in blotchiness

 

Neck:

 

  • 70% showed a significant improvement in skin tightness of their neck and a reduction in ‘wrinkle lines’
  • 75% indicated that the neck skin had improved and felt more moist and or supple than prior to the trial
  • 49% reported a more even skin tone
  • 43% reported a reduction in blotchiness

 

Hands:

 

  • 66% reported that the skin on the tops of the hand was much tighter and had improved noticeably during the trial
  • 71% indicated that their hands felt more moist and or supple
  • 54% felt their hands had a more even skin tone

 

Eyes:

 

  • Whilst the eyes were not specifically isolated in the research 60% of participants made a point of stating that they had seen a reduction in lines and puffiness around the eyes.

 

Background:

 

WA Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) Nut Oil

 

The fatty acid composition of WA sandalwood nut oil is dominated by monounsaturated fatty acids, with the major component being oleic acid (approximately 50%). The remainder of the fatty acids are longer chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in particular Ximenynic acid (approximately 30 to 35% of the total composition) and a small percentage of medium chain saturated fatty acids. This molecular composition of WA sandalwood nut oil makes it a very attractive ingredient for use in both skin and hair products. The oil helps to preserve the integrity of the cell wall, has a restructuring effect and also an anti-aging effect on the skin. WA sandalwood nut oil is nourishing and moisturizing, and it softens and revitalizes the skin naturally (1).

 

The importance of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) relates to tropism and the biochemical balance of the skin, as they make up an integral part of cell wall lipids, building up cell membranes (5). This becomes crucial in those tissues where a rapid cell renewal is required, as with epidermis. The activity of PUFA and in particular of Ximenynic acid (also known as Santalbic acid) finds further important confirmation in the traditional use in areas where Australian sandalwood grows naturally. Anecdotal evidence suggests that poultices of these plants have been used as “traditional masks” to treat the skin and make it smoother, tauter and more velvety by Indigenous people in Australia (6).

 

WA sandalwood nut oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for dry skin prone to ageing since it increases moisture levels and improves the function of sebaceous tissues. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and the presence of active Ximenynic acid has been shown to prevent degradation of hyaluronic acid and collagen and leads to an overall strengthening of the ECM (extracellular matrix), which in turn leads to an improvement in skin elasticity and tighter looking skin (2).

 

Other interesting properties lie in WA sandalwood nut oil, one of the constituents of which, Ximenynic acid, is of relevance to the cosmetics industry. It acts as an emollient, a lubricant and a moisturiser and has potential as an anti-ageing and anti-acne ingredient, which suggests that it may be used as a cocoa butter alternative, as well as an ingredient for shampoos, lipsticks and soaps. Section references: (2,3,4,5 & 6)

 

Sandalwood Nut Oil Extraction Process:

 

The fatty acid composition of WA sandalwood nut oil is dominated by monounsaturated fatty acids, with the major component being oleic acid (approximately 50%). The remainder of the fatty acids are longer chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in particular Ximenynic acid (approximately 30 to 35% of the total composition) and a small percentage of medium chain saturated fatty acids. This molecular composition of WA sandalwood nut oil makes it a very attractive ingredient for use in both skin and hair products. The oil helps to preserve the integrity of the cell wall, has a restructuring effect and also an anti-aging effect on the skin. WA sandalwood nut oil is nourishing and moisturizing, and it softens and revitalizes the skin naturally (1).

 

The importance of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) relates to tropism and the biochemical balance of the skin, as they make up an integral part of cell wall lipids, building up cell membranes (5). This becomes crucial in those tissues where a rapid cell renewal is required, as with epidermis. The activity of PUFA and in particular of Ximenynic acid (also known as Santalbic acid) finds further important confirmation in the traditional use in areas where Australian sandalwood grows naturally. Anecdotal evidence suggests that poultices of these plants have been used as “traditional masks” to treat the skin and make it smoother, tauter and more velvety by Indigenous people in Australia (6).

 

WA sandalwood nut oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for dry skin prone to ageing since it increases moisture levels and improves the function of sebaceous tissues. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and the presence of active Ximenynic acid has been shown to prevent degradation of hyaluronic acid and collagen and leads to an overall strengthening of the ECM (extracellular matrix), which in turn leads to an improvement in skin elasticity and tighter looking skin (2).

 

Other interesting properties lie in WA sandalwood nut oil, one of the constituents of which, Ximenynic acid, is of relevance to the cosmetics industry. It acts as an emollient, a lubricant and a moisturiser and has potential as an anti-ageing and anti-acne ingredient, which suggests that it may be used as a cocoa butter alternative, as well as an ingredient for shampoos, lipsticks and soaps. Section references: (2,3,4,5 & 6)

 

Sandalwood Nut Oil Extraction Process:

 

The extraction of the nuts has been attempted using traditional steam technology, solvent extraction, cold pressing and super critical CO2 extraction. Due to the waxy nature of the nut kernels it has been found that super critical CO2 extraction is the most efficient and clean method to gain a pure and stable oil that has remarkable longevity, clear golden colour and only a very mild odour which dissipates when mixed with creams, lotions or other vegetable oils. At this stage no commercial, natural preservative has been added but it is felt that Rosemary extract would be a suitable ingredient best added at the time of production, in a very small dosage, to assure long term stability i.e. 2 years in line with other vegetable oils.

 

Attached in Appendix A is an independently produced GC analysis of sandalwood nut oil which is indicative of the oils’ profile and chemical make-up.

 

Efficacy Trial Detail:

 

Research objective:

 

An efficacy trial was undertaken by WFS to investigate the effectiveness of sandalwood nut oil which is shown to have beneficial outcomes for the tightening of the skin; improving the suppleness and overall tone by stimulating the blood cells that can be found below the skins surface. The primary active ingredient is Ximenynic acid which accounts for approximately 30-35% of the oil. The research has been undertaken to confirm whether these benefits can be effectively delivered using either a skin cream or lotion and to gain an understanding of the ideal level of sandalwood nut oil required.

 

Research Participants:

 

The group selected comprised 36 volunteers, 94% Female and 6% Male, which is probably reflective of the real market sales split by product. None of the participants had undertaken market research in the past and so it was important to ensure that they were prepared to commit to the 90 day trial period.

 

The age mix was quite well balanced with 61% over 40, 19% 35-40 and 19% under 35. The participants came from a range of roles and environments - teachers, housewives, miners and truck drivers etc. who were located in the dry climate of Western Australia, the northern tropics and temperate Victoria. This was deliberately done to expose the trial products to different climatic and work environments.

 

WFS did not undertake any pre-selection process and so the results are felt to be representative of the likely commercial outcome that could be expected if a product were launched on the market as a skin cream or lotion line with sandalwood nut oil as the active ingredient.

 

Carrier products – creams and lotions:

 

Two carrier products were selected from a range produced in Australia for the professional therapists market – in other words these two base products are not for sale on the retail market in Australia.

 

The first product was a neutral lotion for the skin, with fast absorbency and the capacity to accept the addition of additives like essential oils and sandalwood nut oil. As a ‘lighter lotion’ it was better suited to morning use prior to make-up application and therefore acted like a barrier cream. For the research we added 5% sandalwood nut oil to this lotion. This product could also be used in the evening if preferred by participants who preferred a lighter cream for their oilier skin.

 

The second product, a cream, was selected for application at night after the removal of make-up and was taken from the same professional range as the lotion but with 10% sandalwood nut oil added. This product was absorbed by the skin at a slower rate and therefore penetrating deeply in to the skin. With 10% sandalwood nut oil it was also felt this could deliver a quicker outcome in terms of improvement to the skin. A cream of this viscosity is not always the cream of choice due to its slow absorbency and so participants were allowed to opt in or out of using the denser cream.

 

Both of the products used in the research were manufactured in a TGA facility.

 

Research Methodology:

 

The following are the base parameters used in the research project:-

 

  • The 36 participants were required to commit to a 90 day trial period using one or both products. Each participant was given one 60ml jar of each product and additional supplies were available if required.
  • Each participant was asked to pick the daily skin regime they felt could be managed for 90 days i.e. morning only, morning and evening or evening only.
  • Each participant attended an initial briefing meeting with their Team Leader where the objectives of the research were explained – the participants were not told how much sandalwood nut oil was in each product but were given an overview of the project.  Each was asked to be open and frank in their assessment of the products.
  • Each participant was given three questionnaires
    • Questionnaire 1 - established background information on their skin care regime, the products they used, frequency etc. This was completed prior to commencing the research program.
    • Questionnaire 2 – completed after 45 days and gave a progress report and initial feedback including information related to any skin reaction.
    • Questionnaire 3 – covered an overall opinion on the performance of the products during the 90 days and a personal assessment of whether there has been any improvement during the trial.
  • Each participant was photographed as follows at the start of the research and then again on completion:-
    • Face – front o Face – side o Neck

Each participant was given a A$200 voucher if they completed the research.

 

Questionnaire initial feedback:

 

As with any research there is an element of interpretation in the results that needs to be clarified to ensure that the comments can be justified and understood. Where an answer to a question is a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

 

The results are without question. Where, however, the choice was a sliding scale from 1 to 5 there needs to be some clarification on what and why numbers have been grouped.

 

In the questionnaires it was clearly stated that 1 would represent a ‘significant’ improvement and 5 would represent ‘no change’. Rather than look at each individual score the numbers have been grouped as follows:-

 

  • Scores of 1 through to 3 have been grouped together and form the basis of any comments related to a positive outcome.
  • Scores of 4 and 5 have been grouped as ‘no change’ so are effectively a neutral outcome as the participants have shown no ‘real’ improvement. It should be noted that only 6% of participants showed no change in any one area.

 

Skin types - The participants assessed their own skin and the results showed there to be 56% with medium skin type, 33% dry skin and 11% oily skin. The efficacy of the test creams were not influenced by skin type as improvement was noted to be equally balanced across all three skin types.

 

Skin irritation - is always foremost in these research trials and it was very pleasing to note that there were few reports of any reaction. The three participants that reported a skin irritation issue highlighted that they appeared to get a few more ‘spots’ initially but none found this reaction to last past the first week – it was therefore felt that this could just be a simple skin reaction to a change in product but as all three reported that their skin settled after a week they each continued to use both creams for the 90 days. This is felt to be an excellent result in light of the fact that the cream in particular, had 10% concentration of sandalwood nut oil.

 

Skin changes during the last five years - Each of the participants were asked to indicate if there had been any change in the appearance of their skin during the last five years. The following were reported changes:-

 

  • 97% indicated they had more lines around the eyes,
  • 69% felt that the forehead had increased aging/lines,
  • 67% increased lines around the mouth,
  • 61% indicated that the neck had more age lines,
  • None mentioned the hands which are often seen as an area that age more quickly than other areas.

 

 

Product types and frequency of application - Participants were asked to give an indication of their daily skin care regime and in particular, the frequency of use of creams, lotions, essential oils and vegetable oils. The results showed that prior to participating in the research:-

 

  • 36% of participants applied a product to their skin once a day
  • 58% twice a day prior to the research
  • 6% (the two men) were not using any product prior to the research
  •  

The following is a summary of the types of products used prior to the research:-

 

  • 83% of the participants use creams,
  • 31% use lotions
  • and 19% essential oil blends
  • None use vegetable oils and as these numbers add up to more than 100% some are using one or more product types.

 

Results:

 

Based on the grouping detailed earlier in the report, that is grading 1–3 have been grouped to show a positive outcome and 4-5 have been grouped to indicate minimal or no change, the  following are the headline numbers that show that there is a major benefit in adding sandalwood nut oil to skin care products:-

 

Face:

 

72% of participants have stated that their facial skin felt tighter and therefore showed a reduction in lines on their face during the 90 day trial period

  • 80% said that their face felt more moist/supple than prior to the trial and felt this was directly linked to the sandalwood nut oil
  • 65% showed a significant reduction in flakiness
  • 50% showed an improvement in skin tone and reduction in blotchiness.

Neck:

 

  • 70% showed a significant improvement in skin tightness of their neck and a reduction in ‘wrinkle lines’
  • 75% indicated that the neck skin had improved and felt more moist and or supple than prior to the trial
  • 49% reported a more even skin tone
  • 43% reported a reduction in blotchiness

Hands:

 

  • 66% reported that the skin on the tops of the hand was much tighter and had improved noticeably during the trial
  • 71% indicated that their hands felt more moist and or supple
  • 54% felt their hands had a more even skin tone

Eyes:

 

  • Whilst the eyes were not specifically isolated in the research 60% of participants made a point of stating that they had seen a reduction in lines and puffiness around the eyes.

 

The results showed that the under 35 age group reported the least improvement in their skin overall and therefore had the participants been in the older age groups it is not unreasonable to assume that the positive outcomes reported would have been higher. It should be noted that many of the under 35 group indicated that they believe that the use of products using sandalwood nut oil would assist in preventing the onset of skin aging.

 

Finally the participants were asked if they felt that they would purchase a retail product that contained Sandalwood Nut Oil as an active ingredient – 83% indicated that they would.

 

Summary:

 

The overall results of this project clearly show that the addition of WISPER sandalwood nut oil as an active ingredient in future creams and lotions will have significant benefits for the majority of consumers. Whilst none of the results show 90% plus outcomes it is very important to remember that this is not a hand selected group – they were taken completely at random, of varying age groups and were volunteers whose skin was not pre-assessed for suitability. Therefore it is not unreasonable to say that these results would be reflective of what could be achieved using sandalwood nut oil as an additive in creams and lotions to new products released to the market.

 

WA Sandalwood nut oil is now commercially available and can be used in lotions, creams, vegetable oils and hair shampoos. The resource is totally sustainable as it comes from plantations which are managed to PEFC guidelines and with an ongoing planting program, the supply of Sandalwood nut oil is assured for years to come.

Additional information and samples for trials can be obtained from:-

 

References:-

 

  1. Indena – 2012: Extract from website on Ximenoil/Ximilene (both registered trademarks of Indena)
  2. Evonik Industries 2012 - website
  3. MorazzoniP., Bombardelli E., Cristoni S.B.: “Microvasculokinetic activity of ximenynic acid” – Proceedings of the 19th IFSCC Congress (Sydney, 1996)
  4. BombardelliE., Gulielmini G.,Morazzoni P., Curri S.B., Polinelli W.: “Microvasculokinetic activity of ximenynic acid and ethyl ester” – Fitoterapia, Vol. LXN, No. 3, 1994, pp 195 – 201
  1. Cristoni A., Gugliemini G., Stucchi P., Bouet A.: “An unsaturated fatty acid from traditional African comesis” – Proceedings In Cosmetics USA, (New York,1999)

Hettiarachchi D., Liu Y., Fox J., Sunderland B.: Western Australian sandalwood seed oil: new opportunities 2010

 

Appendix A:

 

GC Analysis of sandalwood nut oil:

 

Analytical results:      
feature Method Limits Value Units
Fatty acid composition:      
Palmitic Acid C16:0 21.156.02,GCFID n.s. 3%
Palmitoleic Acid C16:1 w7 21.156.02,GCFID n.s. 1%
Stearic Acid C18:0 21.156.02,GCFID n.s. 2%
Oleic Acid C18:1 w9 21.156.02,GCFID n.s. 55%
Vaccenic Acid C18:1 w7 21.156.02,GCFID n.s. n.d.
Linoleic Acid C18:2 w6 21.156.02,GCFID n.s. 1%
Alpha Linoleic Acid C18:3 w3 21.156.02,GCFID n.s. 3%
Arachidic Acid C20:0 21.156.02,GCFID n.s. 1%
Ximeninic Acid (Santalbic Acid) 21.156.02,GCFID n.s. 34%
    n.s= not specified n.d.= not detected

 

Information provided from qualified independent laboratory.

 

Appendix B

 

Participant photographs: