Neem Oil and Neem leaves have been used in skin care for thousands of years. It is a highly treasured oil in India and is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine for many skin issues. We are now seeing Neem Oil rise in popularity across Europe and more recently, in the United States.
What Is Neem?
The Neem Tree is an evergreen tree that is part of the mahogany family and is a common feature of the drier regions of India, Southeast Asia and parts of Africa. Neem bark, leaves, fruit, seeds and oils all contain medicinal qualities. Many of these qualities play an important role in healthy skin care. Scientific studies have shown Neem to have properties that are:
Antiviral – inhibits the growth of viruses
Anti-fungal – inhibits the growth of fungi
Antibacterial – destroying the growth of bacteria
Analgesic – providing pain relief
Anti-inflammatory – reduce certain signs of inflammation, swelling or tenderness
Antimicrobial -destroying the growth of microorganisms
1. Anti-Aging with Neem
Neem Oil is used in skin care because it’s loaded with nutrients. Neem contains extraordinarily high levels of antioxidants that help to protect the skin from environmental damage. Neem also contains carotenoids (similar to carotene) which provide high antioxidant compounds that help defend the skin against age-promoting free radicals.
Neem Oil is especially high in important fatty acids and vitamin E and is easily absorbed into the skin without leaving skin greasy. Once absorbed, these powerful properties work to rejuvenate the skin’s cells and restore elasticity.
When used regularly, this blend of compounds, makes Neem perfect for smoothing wrinkles and fine lines while helping to prevent the signs of aging. The saturation of antioxidants and vitamin E will help restore a youthful glow to dry or damaged skin and balance skin tone.
2. Neem will Improve Acne Prone Skin
Neem Oil is ideal for acne-prone skin because it can help to soothe irritation and inflammation, clear up pimples and remove bacteria from the surface of the skin that can cause more break-outs.
Neem oil contains an aspirin-like compound that helps with acne conditions by ridding the skin of acne-causing bacteria. It also helps reduce redness and inflammation.
The high fatty-acid content in Neem Oil is said to prevent and treat scars from acne and is non-comedogenic. Its leaves are also an excellent exfoliant that can be used in a facial masque to pull out impurities and tighten pores.
3. Soothe Dry Skin & Eczema with Neem
Eczema is a very common inflammatory skin condition characterized by extremely irritable, dry, red, itchy skin. At it’s worst, skin really flares up, and can become raw, and cracked and can cause secondary infections.
The root cause for eczema lies in our genes, so eczema usually runs in families. Neem Oil, can relieve eczema symptoms, but it will not cure the root causes for eczema. But due to its ability to reduce inflammation and heal abrasions, it can be very soothing for eczema sufferers.
The nimbidin and nimbin are two anti-inflammatory compounds that are found in the Neem Oil which helps to relieve swelling and redness. A third is Quercetin, which is well known as a compound that supports the body’s ability to respond to inflammation by inhibiting both the manufacture and release of histamine and other irritants.
Emollients are what dermatologists recommend for eczema. Substances that fill the gaps and cracks in the skin, prevent moisture loss, and restore the protective barrier. Since Neem is especially high in important fatty acids and vitamin E and can quickly penetrate outer layers of skin, it is extremely effective in healing dry and damaged skin. Its strong antiseptic properties will also help to keep bacteria and secondary skin infections at bay.
4. Treat Nail Fungus, Ringworm & Athletes Foot
Nail fungus, ringworm and athletes foot are all common fungal infections of the skin. Since Neem extracts are some of the most powerful anti-fungal plant extracts around, Neem is a great natural alternative to over-the-counter creams from the drugstore.
Gedunin and nimbidol, compounds found in the leaves of the neem tree are powerful anti-fungal agents that destroy fungi, which cause athlete’s foot, ringworm, and nail fungus. Neem extracts have proven in laboratory experiments to be toxic to more than 14 cultures of common fungi that invade the skin.