Clean Beauty Tips & Techniques 8 Simple Ways to Use Palo Santo Oil in Your Beauty Routine By Emily Rhode Emily Rhode Writer Dickinson College Arcadia University Emily Rhode is a science writer, communicator, and educator with over 20 years of experience working with students, scientists, and government experts to help make science more accessible and engaging. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and an M.Ed. in Secondary Science Education. Learn about our editorial process Updated October 9, 2022 Fact checked by Olivia Young Fact checked by Olivia Young Twitter Ohio University Olivia Young is a writer, fact checker, and green living expert passionate about tiny living, climate advocacy, and all things nature. She holds a degree in Journalism from Ohio University. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Alexander Ruiz / Getty Images Clean Beauty Products Tips & Techniques 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. 1 of 8 Dry Scalp Mask kazmulka / Getty Images 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. Ingredients 2 tablespoons oatmeal6-8 drops of palo santo oil2 tablespoons water Steps Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Apply the mixture directly to your scalp and massage in well. Leave the treatment in for one hour for best results. Wash everything out with a mild shampoo. Condition and style as usual for less irritation and itching. 2 of 8 Shine-Boosting Hair Mask Aleksandr Shulichenko / Getty Images 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. Ingredients 4-5 drops palo santo oil2 tablespoons jojoba oil Steps Mix the oils in a small bowl. Apply the mask to dry hair and scalp.Let the mask soak in for up to one hour.Wash out with a mild shampoo. Rinse with cool or cold water to close the cuticle. 3 of 8 Hydrating Face Mist RunPhoto / Getty Images 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. Ingredients 4 tablespoons rose water1 tablespoon witch hazel8-10 drops palo santo oil Steps In a glass spray bottle, mix all ingredients and shake until well mixed.Spritz face liberally with face mist.Allow face mist to air dry. 4 of 8 Face Cleansing Oil Dmitrii Ivanov / Getty Images 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. Ingredients 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil4-5 drops tea tree oil8-10 drops palo santo oil Steps Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight reusable glass container.Place a small amount of oil on a reusable cotton pad and apply it to the face in circular motions, loosening dirt and makeup.Rinse with lukewarm water. 5 of 8 Hair Mist Makidotvn / Getty Images 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. Ingredients 1/4 cup brewed green tea1/2 cup water1-2 drops palo santo oil1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted1 teaspoon tea tree oil Steps Mix all ingredients in a glass spray bottle and shake until combined. Lightly spritz over hair, concentrating on the ends for added moisture.Leave in until dry. 6 of 8 Clay Face Mask Iryna Kaliukina / Getty Images 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. Ingredients 1 tablespoon bentonite clay1 teaspoon matcha powder1 teaspoon honey1 tablespoon full-fat milk2-4 drops palo santo oil Steps 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.Apply to your face in an even layer and let the mask sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat to dry. 7 of 8 Leave-in Conditioner Elenathewise / Getty Images 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. Ingredients 1/2 cup raw shea butter3 tablespoons coconut oil4-5 drops palo santo oil Steps In a microwaveable bowl, melt the shea butter and coconut oil together.Mix in the palo santo oil.Pour the mixture into an airtight reusable glass container and store in the refrigerator until the oils harden into a solid.Apply the mixture to shampooed hair, starting at the ends and working up to the roots.Leave the conditioner in place for 10 minutes.Rinse with lukewarm water. 8 of 8 Hydrating Massage Oil Carol Yepes / Getty Images 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. Ingredients 2 tablespoons jojoba oil2 tablespoons sweet almond oil2 teaspoons palo santo oil1 teaspoon vitamin E oil Steps In a microwaveable bowl, melt the shea butter and coconut oil together.Mix all the oils and store in an airtight reusable glass container.Place 10 to 12 drops in the palm of your hand and rub hands together vigorously to warm up the oil.Use it to massage your sore muscles and lock in moisture at the same time. View Article Sources 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 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 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.