What Ayurvedic beauty expert Shrankhla Holecek uses for skin care
“For as long as I can remember, I have always had oil, but my favorite is especially sandalwood. This is what my sister and I used as kids, my mother grew up with it, and our family has used it for centuries. It’s always a staple for me because whatever I’m struggling with it seems to solve it – whether it’s dullness, dryness or tired skin, it all seems to be easily solved with a high quality oil.
“Sandalwood has a very rich history in Ayurveda. Any skin care product in India always contains sandalwood.
“It also has an interesting connection with royalty and rarity. About 300 or 400 years ago, this ingredient was banned for cultivation in India for various reasons. One was that the royals wanted it to be very carefully managed, as they worried that involuntary production of sandalwood might cause the ingredient to lose its appeal. It was allowed to grow it by royal decree only on individual farms of individual families. The ban was in effect about 10 years ago.
“But it’s also because the plant is incredibly difficult to grow and extract—it’s a tree that takes 20 to 25 years to mature. The investment horizon is so long and high that even when the ban was lifted, people weren’t actually growing sandalwood.
“So perhaps because of its rare luxury and ingredient profile, it’s been treated with such awe that it’s only used in high-end formulas.”