Have you ever walked through a dense forest during magical golden hour? The air is dry, the leaves crunch under foot, the air whispers through the pines and the last bit of the sun’s warmth diffuses a perfume of pine needles … it is SENSE-ational.
…And now, it’s a feeling you can capture anywhere through the Blue Cypress Essential Oil (Callitris intratropica), also known as Northern Australian Cypress Pine, Karnitirrikani in Tiwi, Munlark in Rembarrnga or Katanj in Jawony. Whether in the shower with a Blue Cypress Shampoo, on the go in a hand moisturizer, or throughout the day with a grounding body mist, this oil can be incorporated into just about any formulation to bring the beauty and calming nature of Australia’s forests to your formulation.
What’s Behind the Blue?
Blue Cypress Essential Oil is unique in that it is one of only a few blue essential oils derived from wood, unlike the other “blue” oils that come from flowers.…but what makes this oil actually turn blue?
Callitris intratropica wood transforms into a vivid cobalt blue oil after a 48-hour steam distillation. The oil's compounds react with each other during distillation to create guaiazulene, a compound that gives this essential oil its striking colour and acts as an anti-inflammatory, one of the reasons why it was chosen to be the official body and massage oil of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Guaiazulene is also claimed to be anti-bacterial, anti-pyretic and anti-allergenic similar to chamazulene. Australian blue cypress also has a reputation amongst aromatherapists for the topical treatment of warts and cold sores due to its eudesmol content and associated anti-viral properties.
Beyond Blue – The Beneficial Compounds of Blue Cypress Oil
Antimicrobials – Nature’s First Aid
Some of the aforementioned compounds give Blue Cypress Oil the ability to combat some bacteria. According to one study, this oil is effective against most gram-positive strains. The graph below shows the efficacy of the oil tested on specific strains of bacteria. Whether for hand soaps, healing balms, sanitizers or air purifiers, this is a great option for cleansing.
Source: Wanner, Juergen & Schmidt, Erich & Jirovetz, Leopold & Buchbauer, Gerhard & Gochev, Velizar & Girova, Tania & Stoyanova,
Albena & Geissler, Margit & De, Juergen. (2010). Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of Blue Cypress Essential Oil,
Callitris intratropica R. T. Baker. 10.13140/2.1.3539.2320.
Antioxidants – For Naturally Healthy Skin
The antioxidant compounds listed above are beneficial to numerous health functions, but are most widely valued in skincare. The oil’s moisturizing and antioxidant properties are non-irritating and non-sensitizing, which makes this oil a gentle option for all skin types. It has been reported to help soften skin, tone, clarify and even relieve symptoms of acne, rosacea and scarring. Its antioxidant properties can also protect skin and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
Out of eleven Australian essential oils tested, Blue Cypress oil showed to have the second highest antioxidant activity. Australian blue cypress oil and lemon-scented teatree oil possessed the highest activities, whereas the narrow-leaved peppermint oil had the lowest activity in the experiments.
Source: Zhao, Q., Bowles, E. J., & Zhang, H.-Y. (2008). Antioxidant Activities of Eleven Australian Essential Oils. Natural Product Communications, 3(5), 1934578X0800300. doi:10.1177/1934578x0800300531
Anti-inflammatory – For Naturally Healthy Skin
Blue Cypress Oil is also great for skin and hair due to its anti-inflammatory compounds, which are non-irritating and non-sensitizing. It is regarded as a very gentle ingredient for all skin types, helping to soften, tone, and moisturize – all qualities that support stressed, acne-prone skin. Blue Cypress is also great for hair and scalp as it can reduce inflammation at the hair follicle, stimulating nerve endings, that otherwise can reduce hair growth due to inflammation.
Pure Serenity – A Scent For Natural Relaxation
Despite the functional actives in this oil, the volatile aromatic compounds offer numerous benefits for emotional and energetic healing. It’s also anti-allergenic, which makes a perfume or body spray double up as a bug bite spray, relieving itching, rashes or dermatitis.
Its woody, smoky, honey like grounding aroma is emotionally soothing, great for meditation and mental focus and relieves anxiety. It also has a balsamic aroma with a resinous undertone with good tenacity and fixative properties.
Australian Blue Cypress brings you back to nature, serving to ground and settle you and leave you feeling rejuvenated and restored. For aromatherapy, it provides bass notes to build beautiful blends on. These oils’ deep, warm and lingering scent can be masculine, yet sensual, and create an alluring, quality and an intriguing atmosphere.
How to Formulate with Blue Cypress
Really, your options are endless, but we are seeing Blue Cypress trending in oil diffusers, potpourri, bath oil, bath salt, bath and shower gels, spa treatment oils and creams, soap and candles, hair care serums, shampoos, eye creams, nighttime well-aging wrinkle care creams, and so much more!
o Aftershave balms and creams
o Body sprays or roller perfumes
o Stress-reducing and calming applications
o Hand Sanitizers
o Herbal Bubble Baths
o Massage oils
o Botanical butters
o Sugar Scrubs
o Blends for burners, humidifiers, candles, soaps
o Air Fresheners
o Linen Mists
o Diffuser Oils
o All Purpose Cleaning Sprays
Best Oils to Blend Blue Cypress with...
o Clary Sage
o Lemon Myrtle
o Australian Sandalwood
o Tea Tree
Looking for more Australian Ingredients?
Contact our team of ingredient experts to learn more about the latest in essential oils for natural formulations!
Essentials oils can be 50-100x more concentrated than natural levels in the plant. Take caution and always mind best practices when using oils. If applying topically, they should be diluted into a carrier oil and ONLY IF they are recommended for ingestion or inhalation, be sure to follow recommended dosage.
Essential oil: Several drops rubbed into the skin. (This may be diluted at 30 ml essential oil to 500 ml of a suitable carrier such as vegetable oil.)
Ointment: Semi-solid preparation containing 5-20% essential oil (in carrier oils, creams, or lotions) for local application. (Salve)
Tincture: Aqueous-alcoholic preparation containing 5-10% essential oil for local application.
Inhalant: Add a few (2-5) drops of essential oil to hot water or to a vaporizer; deeply inhale the steam vapor.