Homework: Ho Wood Essential Oil

 Some time ago I signed up to an intensive week’s skin care college course starting on the 14th May! I can’t wait! 5 days of lots of work and research, happy days!

Each day will cover different areas of making cosmetic products and during the week we will be building up our skills and product portfolio.

I have just received an email asking to do some homework beforehand… and we will be given homework each day!!! Here we go… I thought those days are over… But surprisingly the feeling towards homework is so different and satisfactory when associated with the subject you love and wish to know all about it.

Cinnamomum camphora at Botanic Gardens_google image

So, here are the questions

The products botanical and INCI  names

Cinnamonum camphora – commonly known as Camphor tree, Camphorwood or camphor laurel


Properties of the products in terms of skin care benefits (what kind of skin is it suitable for, how does it help skin etc)

It is a soothing agent.  The oil is used  for acne, dermatitis, general skin care, infections, scars, sensitive skin,  wounds, wrinkles.

Its properties are very similar to Camphor.

Mood enhancing properties of this oil

Ho wood essential oil is said to be an aphrodisiac (!)

Ho-wood is anti-depressant and helps facing areas in life that need changing.

Considered both emotionally uplifting and calming to the mind

One interesting fact about this oil or the plant it is extracted from (this need not necessarily be related to the oil’s use in cosmetics)

Hon Sho is a defensive tree – the exudates from its roots (the source of camphor) kills worms and other micro-organisms of the soil, and the leaves that drift into the ocean can kill marine organisms, which is why some consider this oil an environmental hazard. Epileptics should avoid this oil.


Usages for the products and any other beneficial properties

Traditionally used for deodorant, soothing agent, skin conditioner, muscle relaxant, antiseptic.

When well diluted can be used as a chest rub, or to vapourise.

 Ho Wood essential oil is great to use in a bath, cream, massage oil, and in shampoos.

Apparently it makes a wonderful massage oil.  It blends well with Basil, cajeput, chamomile, lavender, sandalwood, ylang ylang, frankincense, orange and mandarin.

If I missed anything interesting or you have something to add to my research, please feel free to comment, your help is highly appreciated!

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13 thoughts on “Homework: Ho Wood Essential Oil

  1. Oh, I love beauty and health tidbits like this! I’ll keep an eye out for these oils since D-Man is cert. to give therapeutic massages here.

    • Thanks Marina, apparently homework can be enjoyable :) I wish kids could think the same way while at school :) I am really looking forward to the course :)

  2. Hello Kristina, I came across your beautiful blog, through Marina. I love the way write it’s fresh and energetic. Soon I will try the facial mask sounds promising relaxing. Look foward to more of your great posts. Thanks for sharing your inspirations

    • Hi Cornelia, thank you so much for your lovely comment :) I am so glad you like it :) I especially recommend trying clay face masks, they are truly amazing :) I do them one a weekly basis, once is more than enough :) It only takes seconds to make such masks and they don’t coast a fortune :)

  3. Ho wood! That brings back memories of my aromatherapy classes – such a sweet woody, camphor-like scent. The essential oil can be distilled from the leaf or wood (ho leaf oil being less expensive) and ho wood oil is often distilled from a blend of Cinnamomum species. Salvatore Battaglia says there are three chemotypes of ho wood based on their chemical make-up – camphor and cineole chemotypes which have traditional therapeutic uses, and linalool chemotype which has no traditional therapeutic use although it is used in perfumery and recently in aromatherapy as a substitute for rosewood. I love the woody oils, like you say, they really help to clear your mind just like the tall trees that they come from!

    Are you doing an aromatherapy course, Kristina? Wow, if so, I look forward to reading about it. My all-time favourite aromatherapy text book remains ‘The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy’ 2nd ed, by Salvatore Battaglia. A little pricey but it has detailed therapeutic and chemical profiles of most essential oils and everything you’ll ever need to know to get started!

    • Thanks Emma, that’s great, I will add your comment to my homework :) I didn’t know much about Ho wood oil before the research :)

      It’s a skin care course I am going to attend; we will be making creams and other interesting things during those 5 days :) It’s next week, I can’t wait :)

      It looks like a great book to have, lots of good reviews :) Thanks for recommendations, I never know what the best book to buy is, there are so many!! :)

  4. Fantastic! That sounds like so much fun! Making homemade balms and creams is surprisingly easy but knowing which herb tinctures and essentials oils to blend is very satisfying. Making creams or lotions can be tricky when adding water component to the oil/wax mixture, it sets very quickly so I like to use a very fine electric whisk.

    I’d recommend Patricia Davies A-Z of Aromatherapy too as she writes about the oils in a lovely way, you’ll feel she is in your living room having a cup of tea with you. Battaglia’s is more technical. Both were on the course book list when I did my diploma at Neal’s Yard :)

    • I love making creams and you are right, sometimes, if not properly whisked, they can get grainy and electric whisk is very handy :)

      I attended a one day course some time ago and I really enjoyed so I signed up for an intensive one to learn a little bit more ;)

      I will definitely check those books out, I now really want to have Patricia in my room having a cup of tea and talking me through the secrets of oils :D Thanks Emma!

    • Hi Leigh, I took one week intensive course with Plush Folly and also one day seminar with Aromantic. Both very good. Aromatic is more hands on, since it’s only one day seminar, but they run lots of different workshops. Plush Folly gives you both theoretical as well as practical knowledge. I enjoyed the curses and can recommend :)

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