8 Simple Ways to Use Palo Santo Oil in Your Beauty Routine

palo santo oil, top view - Bursera graveolens

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Originating from the palo santo tree of Central and South America, palo santo oil has become quite the popular ingredient in natural hair and skin care products.

Bursera graveolens is found mostly in the dry forests of Ecuador and Peru and is also known as the “holy wood” or "holy stick" tree in many Indigenous cultures. The resin and oils that form after the death of the tree are thought to have many healing properties, and the wood has been used in Indigenous smudging rituals for centuries. 

The many benefits of palo santo oil can easily be integrated into a healthy and sustainable hair care and skin routine with the following eight applications.

Treehugger Tip

To be sure you’re buying the oil from a sustainable source, it’s a good idea to steer clear of the bigger retailers and look for smaller businesses that have direct connections with palo santo harvesters who are not cutting down trees.

Only trees that have already died should be used to make palo santo oil. Buying from retailers that use live tree harvesting encourages harmful practices that lead to deforestation. 

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Dry Scalp Mask

Olive oil, oatmeal and wooden hairbrush. Natural beauty treatment and zero waste concept. Top view, copy space.
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Oatmeal is often used in natural skin care products because it's thought to have moisturizing and soothing properties. You can boost those benefits by adding in a few drops of palo santo oil.

This powerful combination of ingredients can be applied directly to your dry scalp to calm irritation and add an infusion of moisture. 


  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal
  • 6-8 drops of palo santo oil
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture directly to your scalp and massage in well.
  3. Leave the treatment in for one hour for best results.
  4. Wash everything out with a mild shampoo.
  5. Condition and style as usual for less irritation and itching.
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Shine-Boosting Hair Mask

Jojoba fruits on the background of a cup with oil and green leaves. Selective focus on the anterior surface of the fruit.
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Adding palo santo oil to a DIY hair mask can boost shine and give your strands and scalp an extra shot of moisture. It’s an easy way to soothe and nourish hair while also preventing breakage and infusing it with a sweet, woody scent.


  • 4-5 drops palo santo oil
  • 2 tablespoons jojoba oil


  1. Mix the oils in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the mask to dry hair and scalp.
  3. Let the mask soak in for up to one hour.
  4. Wash out with a mild shampoo.
  5. Rinse with cool or cold water to close the cuticle.
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Hydrating Face Mist

Young woman spraying mist on face
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The astringent properties of witch hazel will help firm up the skin while rose water and palo santo oil soothe and hydrate. Apply when you need a pick me up or at the end of a long day.


  • 4 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel
  • 8-10 drops palo santo oil


  1. In a glass spray bottle, mix all ingredients and shake until well mixed.
  2. Spritz face liberally with face mist.
  3. Allow face mist to air dry.
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Face Cleansing Oil

Almond oil
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Palo santo oil combined with tea tree oil, an antibacterial, and a sweet almond carrier create a cleansing oil to help thoroughly remove the day and leave your face feeling clean and soft.


  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • 4-5 drops tea tree oil
  • 8-10 drops palo santo oil


  1. Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight reusable glass container.
  2. Place a small amount of oil on a reusable cotton pad and apply it to the face in circular motions, loosening dirt and makeup.
  3. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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Hair Mist

cosmetic nature skincare and essential oil aromatherapy .organic natural science beauty product .herbal alternative medicine . mock up.
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When your hair needs some moisture and shine, try a DIY hair mist. With antioxidant ingredients like green tea and moisturizers like coconut oil, this recipe is the perfect refresher for dry locks.


  • 1/4 cup brewed green tea
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 drops palo santo oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon tea tree oil


  1. Mix all ingredients in a glass spray bottle and shake until combined.
  2. Lightly spritz over hair, concentrating on the ends for added moisture.
  3. Leave in until dry.
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Clay Face Mask

Ceramic bowl with green clay powder and fresh eucalyptus leaves on white background. Concept of face and body care.
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This face mask is for you if you struggle with oily or combination skin. Bentonite clay and matcha help absorb excess oil while milk, honey, and aloe vera gel help to calm, moisturize, and nourish your skin. Palo Santo's refreshing scent ties it all together to make a spa-quality face mask.


  • 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon full-fat milk
  • 2-4 drops palo santo oil


  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined. You might need to add more milk if the mixture is too dry to spread.
  2. Apply to your face in an even layer and let the mask sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse with cool water and pat to dry.
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Leave-in Conditioner

Shea butter and nuts in bowl
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For thicker hair that needs some intense moisture and frizz control, try this thick conditioner that you leave in instead of rinsing out immediately. If you have fine hair, you may want to skip this conditioner and opt for something lighter.


  • 1/2 cup raw shea butter
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4-5 drops palo santo oil


  1. In a microwaveable bowl, melt the shea butter and coconut oil together.
  2. Mix in the palo santo oil.
  3. Pour the mixture into an airtight reusable glass container and store in the refrigerator until the oils harden into a solid.
  4. Apply the mixture to shampooed hair, starting at the ends and working up to the roots.
  5. Leave the conditioner in place for 10 minutes.
  6. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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Hydrating Massage Oil

Essential oils and medical flowers herbs
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The moisturizing properties of jojoba, sweet almond, and palo santo oil combine with the antioxidant properties of vitamin E oil to make a multipurpose (plus sweet, earthy-smelling) massage oil.


  • 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • 2 teaspoons palo santo oil
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil


  1. In a microwaveable bowl, melt the shea butter and coconut oil together.
  2. Mix all the oils and store in an airtight reusable glass container.
  3. Place 10 to 12 drops in the palm of your hand and rub hands together vigorously to warm up the oil.
  4. Use it to massage your sore muscles and lock in moisture at the same time.  
View Article Sources
  1. Qi, Jianyan et al. "Evaluation Of The Antibacterial Effect Of Tea Tree Oil On Enterococcus Faecalis And Biofilm In Vitro". Journal Of Ethnopharmacology, vol 281, 2021, p. 114566. Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2021.114566

  2. Prasanth, Mani et al. "A Review Of The Role Of Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) In Antiphotoaging, Stress Resistance, Neuroprotection, And Autophagy". Nutrients, vol 11, no. 2, 2019, p. 474. MDPI AG. doi:10.3390/nu11020474

  3. Rizvi, Saliha, Syed T. Raza, Faizal Ahmed, Absar Ahmad, Shania Abbas, and Farzana Mahdi. "The Role of Vitamin E in Human Health and Some Diseases." Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 2014.