Neem Oil, an essential ingredient of natural cosmetics, traditional healthcare and organic farming. Here we explore the uses and benefits for skin care.
Peanut, garlic and sulfur. No, it’s not the recipe of an Indonesian dressing, but the distinctive scents that can be detected in the rather pungent smell of neem oil. Despite the intense odor, or better thanks to it, neem oil is used around the world as an essential ingredient of natural cosmetics, traditional healthcare and organic farming.
Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of an imponent evergreen tree (Azadirachta Indica) properly dubbed as Sarva Roga Nivarini (able to heal all illnesses) in Sanskrit or Shajar-e-mubarak (blessed tree) in Arabic.
In India neem oil is the one omnipresent grandma popular remedy, widely employed for the daily care of skin and hair or to heal any kind of ailments. Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicines both prescribe neem oil for a variety of medicinal uses, especially to treat skin disorders, from diabetic ulcers to fungal infections and even leprosy.
Scientific studies have verified that the composition of neem oil includes several elements particularly beneficial for skin care. The high content of antioxidants, fatty acids and anti-bacterial compounds makes neem oil an invaluable ally of skin health and beauty.
Let’s see in details all neem oil benefits for skin and how to apply it for specific cosmetic purposes.
Antioxidant and Anti-ageing for a Younger Skin
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Rich in antioxidants, neem oil is employed in the cosmetic industry for its anti-ageing properties. It is known to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, the two compounds that mainly contribute to a full and elastic skin structure.
Regular application of neem oil helps preventing skin thinning, dryness and wrinkling, also improving the uniformity of skin complexion and texture.
How To Use It
Thanks to the high content of oleic acids, neem oil bears a good resistance to oxidation and can be safely mix with lotions, other carrier oils or essential oils for maximizing beneficial properties and improving the smell.
To fully enjoy the benefits of applying neem oil on face, it’s recommended to use it every day diluted into your favorite night cream or into a carrier oil that suits your skin type.
For tendentially dry skin: choose sweet almond, avocado and olive oil.
For tendentially oily skin: prefer jojoba, grapeseed and rosehip oil.
Moisturizing and Nourishing For a Softer Skin
Neem oil is almost entirely composed of triglycerides, i.e., complex compounds of fatty acids, and it’s therefore most beneficial in case of dry skin and dry scalp. It provides excellent nourishing properties, with a percentage of stearic acids comparable to cocoa butter.
Thanks to its composition, neem oil gets readily assimilated into the hydrolipidic film of skin, hindering skin moisture loss, giving extra nourishment and regulating pH balance and sebum secretion. Local applications make the skin softer and smoother.
It can be used to restore skin moisture after sun or dry weather exposure, as it helps to reduce the pain, to cool down irritations and to minimize the redness.
How to use
Add some drops into a handful of your body lotion for a moisturized, nourished and silky skin.
In the same fashion, add to shampoo for preventing dandruff and hair thinning and loss.
In case of irritated skin or sunburns, enhance the moisturizing effect of neem oil mixing it with aloe vera gel or white yogurt.
Healing and Soothing For A Smoother Skin
Popular uses of neem oil include application on small wounds, burns, scars, moles. Scientific evidences confirm that neem oil provides a regenerative effect on injuries, promoting blood circulation and connective tissue growth.
Neem oil is effective in treating pimples and warts, and minimizing moles and scars. It speeds up the healing process, helps skin regeneration, improves strength and elasticity of new tissue, and reduces scar thickness and appearance.
Thanks to its exfoliant and restorative action, it naturally evens out skin tone, providing a valuable remedy for skin pigmentation.
How to use
To reduce scars and fine lines, gently rub a small quantity of neem oil directly on the skin and let it dry overnight. Before to apply pure neem oil on skin, perform a patch test on the inner crook of your elbow, to be sure you are not allergic to any of neem oil components.
To minimize and prevent hyperpigmentation, treat the affected areas with a simple DIY toning mask, made mixing neem oil with turmeric powder and aloe vera gel.
Anti-inflammatory and Antiseptic For A Purer Skin
Recent researches have demonstrated the presence of anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and even antifungal compounds in neem oil. By the virtue of these properties, neem oil can effectively address all kind of skin infections and impurities.
Bactericidal effect of neem oil efficiently reduces skin germs responsible for acne, herpes, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and foot or nails fungal infections. In addition, neem oil contains a natural pesticide (azadirachtin) that helps repelling insects from skin and fighting bugs infestation.
How to use
For acne treatment, apply pure drops of neem oil on pimples and let it absorb for several minutes (up to half hour) before to rinse it out. It immediately gives relief to redness, irritation and itchiness, and prevents the reappearance of the problem in the long term. Combine neem oil with clay once per week to increase the purifying and astringent effect of the mask.
To keep mosquitoes away, apply directly on skin a thin layer of a natural insect repellent made mixing neem oil with coconut oil or witch hazel as carriers, preferably scented with a combination of eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and/or tea tree essential oils.