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Difference Between Cedarwood And Sandalwood | Cedarwood Vs. Sandalwood

Cedarwood oil and sandalwood oil are very popular essential oils that are famous for their unique scents. Both Cedarwood and sandalwood have been used for centuries for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits (1). They have been used as a part of traditional medicine for ages.

Both oils derived from the wood of trees and thus are wood oils. They have a warm and woodsy scent that is grounding and also promotes calmness. Both oils have a smoky, woody scent to them.

Despite these similarities, there are certain differences as well between the two. In this post, the difference between these two oils is discussed in detail.

What Are The Key Differences Between Sandalwood And Cedarwood Oils? 

Following are some of the key differences between Sandalwood and Cedarwood based on their properties and characteristics:



Derived from

Sandalwood trees
Cedar tree (coniferous tree)


Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Astringent
Anti-fungal, Anti-aging, Antioxidant


Treat sunburn, reduces blemishes, fade away scar, remove blackheads and helps in skin tightening
Heal itchy skin, reduces fine line & wrinkles, reduce acne, improves skin quality


Australian Sandalwood, East Indian Sandalwood and Hawaiian Sandalwood
Cedarwood atlas, cedarwood himalayan, cedarwood texas, cedarwood virginia

Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood essential oil is derived from sandalwood trees that are more than 80 years old through the steam distillation process (2). In the case of sandalwood, it is stated that the older the tree, the stronger the aroma. Following are some of the benefits of sandalwood oil:

1. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Sandalwood oil has high anti-inflammatory properties mainly because of the presence of two active compounds, α-santalol and β-santalol (3). These compounds are so powerful because of which sandalwood can be used as an alternative to some medications.

Also, because it is a natural plant extract, it has no side effects. Because of its high anti-inflammatory properties, sandalwood can treat sunburn, psoriasis, acne, etc., which creates skin inflammation.

2. Antiseptic Properties

Sandalwood essential oil contains natural antiseptic properties and antibacterial properties that help restrict the spread of infections (4). It is great for healing fungal and bacterial infections. It helps release toxins from the body, and this makes your skin healthy. Sandalwood has properties that reduce blemishes and discoloration of the skin and thus make your skin even tone.

3. Skin Healing and Scar-reducing Properties

Sandalwood is rich in antioxidant properties that help heal skin quickly (5). Using sandalwood oil can help heal a scar mark rapidly. Also, because of its skin discoloration reduction properties, it helps fade away scars very quickly. The antioxidant properties help fight free radicals and also help heal deep tissue damage.

4. Astringent Properties

Sandalwood also contains natural astringent properties that help in tightening the skin and also reduce large pores (6). It helps remove blackheads and ingrown hairs. Because of its astringent properties, sandalwood is used in many creams, as well as men's products like aftershave oil or cream.

5. Calming Properties

This is one of the most effective properties of sandalwood. Sandalwood offers mental clarity and promotes peace and relaxation. Sandalwood is also related to spirituality and is used in many spiritual ceremonies (7). It is used in meditation, prayers, etc.

Different Varieties of Sandalwood

  • Australian sandalwood is mainly used in perfumes because of its toasted musky scent notes.
  • East Indian sandalwood is usually used in ayurvedic medicines and blends.
  • Hawaiian sandalwood has a creamy and tropical undertone and is less on the sweet side.

Cedarwood essential oil

Cedarwood comes from the cedar tree, which is a coniferous tree and is found in the mountain region.

1. Antifungal Properties

One of the key features of Cedarwood is that it contains antifungal properties that help heal itchy, sensitive skin (8). It treats and prevents fungal growth on the skin. It is best suitable for dry skin issues and to treat skin conditions like eczema.

2. Improves Blood Circulation

Cedarwood is a warming oil and increases blood circulation stimulating blood flow to the skin (9). Thus, it offers you healthy glowing skin. It also promotes collagen production and improves skin quality. It is highly moisturizing that keeps skin hydrated and nourished. It absorbs easily into the skin, making it a perfect oil for all skin types.

3. Anti-aging Properties

Cedarwood has properties that fight free radicals. It tightens the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Also, it helps in reducing sagging skin and gives you younger-looking skin.

4. Antioxidant Properties

Cedarwood has antioxidant properties that help heal the skin. It also promotes new cell regeneration. Cedarwood helps fight free radicals and improves skin quality.

5. Purifying in Nature

One of the key properties of Cedarwood is that it is purifying in nature, which means that it helps in clearing the skin by removing impurities and dirt from the skin. It also manages sebum production on the skin and thus reduces excess oil generation on the skin. Thus, reduces the chances of acne and other skin issues caused due to excess oil. It also improves skin complexion.

Different Varieties of Cedarwood

  • Cedarwood atlas has sedative properties that promote relaxation and induce sleep. It is also used in clearing congestion.
  • Cedarwood Himalayan is used in insecticides and also for its antifungal properties to prevent infection.
  • Cedarwood, Texas, is famous for its grounding properties that help in reducing headaches. It is also used in bug and insect repellants.
  • Cedarwood, Virginia is used for its properties that help in stiff joints, relieve sore muscles and tensions and promote relaxation.

Cedarwood And Sandalwood Oils And How To Use Them?

Cedarwood oil is extracted from cedarwood trees, whereas sandalwood oil is extracted from sandalwood trees. Both oils can be used in many different manners, as follows:


Both cedarwood oil and sandalwood oil can be used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation and relieve stress. They can be diffused with the help of an essential oil diffuser.


 A few drops of these essential oils can be added to a warm bath for a relaxing and grounding experience. It helps add extra moisture to your skin.


Both oils can be used in massage to promote relaxation and relieve stress. They can be blended with other carrier oils such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and essential oils for a customized massage experience.

Skin and Hair Care

Both oils can be used in skin and hair care to soothe dry, itchy skin and promote hair growth. They can be added to a moisturizer or hair oil for added benefits.

You can also use them in a compress by mixing them with water and applied to the affected area to relieve aches and pains.

*Note: It's important to use essential oils safely. Always dilute them with carrier oil before applying them to the skin. Essential oils blend well with carrier oils and serve their purpose. It is recommended to do a patch test before using them on large areas of skin. And it's important to avoid using essential oils on babies, children, or pregnant women without consulting a doctor first.


Both oils are great for skincare and have somewhat similar earthy fragrances. Both can heal and soothe the skin and fights different symptoms of skin conditions. Both oils are anti-infectious, which helps prevent skin infections. Cedarwood is insecticidal, whereas sandalwood oil is used for spiritual purposes.

Sandalwood oil is slightly sweet as compared to cedarwood essential oil. Both oils are antispasmodic and thus help reduce muscle pain and spasms. These oils also form part of aphrodisiac oils.

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