Neem oil ! relief for common skin conditions and maladies such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, hyper-pigmentation, rosacea, blemishes, skin rash?
when you make something that works, you want to tell everypone about it ! many customers came back to say how the neem soap bar and neem oil helped restore their skin and calm down inflammation for many common skin conditions.
After so many made the effort to share their experience either in person, via email, phone calls and online testimonials I felt motivated to write about the ingredient to the best of my knowledge and compare the reviews to see who could benefit from Neem in its many forms, I also reviewed its sustainability, origin, uses, and the best way to extract with minimum interaction, what i call from plant to product with minimum steps in between. this is something you can also do at home with some basic equipment I will show you this in the video coming up in june, if your interested.
The following blog is split into 2 parts.
1. My attempt to break down useful information about Neem oil and document the marketed claims about the ingredient that derive from cultural word of mouth to mainstream press.
2. My personal theory' where I attemt to substantiate the claims made about Neem oil, who is using it with great effect and who should probably not use it, in particular, the type of neem oil used to maintain its efficacy.
I hope you enjoy my findings, please comment below.
Neem oil : origin / uses
“Neem is an ingredient that has been around for thousands of years – known in India as the village pharmacy”.
Most commonly it is cold pressed from the seeds of the Neem tree. A main componenet in anti malarial skin protection, it grows abundantly and without the need for pesticides. Neem is anti viral, anti fungal and has broad spectrum anti microbial ability which is why it came to my attention. It can be used neat and added to products to be used in personal skincare.
Neem is vastly used in agricultural farming of plants, crops and flowers, it is yellow brown once extracted, has a bitter taste and a strong nutty aroma and Componenets of neem can be found in many products today. These include toothpaste, cosmetics, soaps and pet shampoos that benefit form the main active component 'Azadirachtin'.
Neem oil can really help relieve common skin conditions and maladies such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, hyper-pigmentation, rosacea, blemishes, melia and skin rash.
Here are the top seven claims Neem oil is known for.
- Used widely as a key ingredient in the treatment of acne, spots, pimples and rashes
- Neem is especially suited to combating skin with infections and other disorders.
- Excellent for use on fungal infections on the skin and scalp
- Revered as a hair and scalp conditioning oil particularly used in the treatment of lice.
- Calming and soothing for rosacea
- Evens skin tone, useful in hyper-pigmentation
- Excellent for hair conditioning
Three main points that most likely contribute to making Neem effective
1. Fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and actives and allergens in neem oil
Fatty Acids – the main fatty acid in NEEM oil is oleic acid and We all know about fatty acids in oils and the most friendly fatty acids for our skin is oleic acid, at 52.8% it acts also like a degreaser lifting dirt and grime from the skin and washing it away. Hydrating the upper layers of skin keeping it soft and supple and hydrating. Oleic acid is used in many products for these reasons btu in a soap bar the cleansing or oil stripping effects are considerably more gentle to our skin.
2. All oils are considered to be anti inflammatory, for the neem oil this could mean calming, and soothing to skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis and eczema. Naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in neem oil such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Rich in protein, minerals, these could contribute to a rich antioxidant/free radical scavenger.
3. Active ingredients that could make neem effective such as nimbin and nimbidin compaounds, azadarachtin whichis the main component in anti malerial products. Carotenoids and quercetin (strong antioxidant and anti inflammatory). All these result in making neem oil an antifungal, anti microbial, anti bacterial, and anti inflamaotory.
Which skin types and conditions can benefit from using neem
- Neem is especially suited to dry skin types as a nourishing oil but also effective for excessively oily skin with infections and other disorders.
- Various types of reactive skin conditions like acne, pimples, spots and rashes
- Has shown to be really effective against spots, rashes and acne on the chest, arms and back
What is the best way to apply it
Recommended Usage levels:
- 2 - 5 % in carrier oil
- In toothpaste used at 2% (seek further advice if you want to try this).
- In shampoos 10% (can be diluted into the shampoo as and when you need it, its not advisable to add to the entire bottle of product as the produt is already stable and additional ingredients may alter it over time.
- In soap bars 10%
- In mouth rinse as a steeped leaf concoction (leaves only)
How to blend in a carrier oil: Use 46 drops of oil in a carrier oil of choice, jojoba, evening primrose or high oleic sunflower oil, any MTC oil, avoid thicker heavier oils.
The smell is quite strong, if used regularly I advise just 1 ml / 23 drops per 100 ml of carrier oil. I advise Jojoba oil as the best suited if you need something a bit more non-comedegenic. I.e. non pore clogging.
Neem oil applied directly to the skin : (patch test before using) apply a cotton bud sized amount to a specific area or apply diluted liberally over the skin, scalp, hair. Wash off thoroughly after 20 minutes. Remember the smell is quiet strong,
Neem soap : (my recommended and favourite method of application) use anywhere on the body, face, hair, in the shower or at the sink. Use warm as opposed to hot water for best results. Twice daily is advised when needed, decrease usage when the problem is clearing up.
Neem as mouthwash: I am not qualified to advise on oral concoctions but personally I have used neem leaves in mouthwash, steeping for 20 minutes and cooling the water to use as mouthwash.
Use as a hair conditioner or to remove lice, leave Neem in for 10 minutes and then shampoo out. The aroma is quite strong so consider this before attempting.
Note* Neem is solid at normal room temperature, but liquidifes in the hand, you may need to warm the bottle in a ban marie or warm on top of a radiator. Blend with other carrier oils to use Neem on wider areas for more frequent usage. Although not unpleasant, blending in another oil can lower the scent of Neem.
My personal theory
Neem seed soap bar and neem oil should be in everyones bathroom cabinet on standby for those pesky breakouts and be considered a really potent tool for more serious skin conditions.
Neem oil soap in liquid form is used in gardening by spraying onto flowers and plants, it suffocates any bacteria on the plant surface. In relation to skin care the neem oil used on plants is 100% saponified i.e. made into a soap, so perhaps the soap bar also leaves a barrier but with a loaded content of anti microbial oil and actives due to the 5% additional oils added to the soap formula during the process known as saponification.which is good news, Now, some people use the oil neat, but for odorous reasons it is not popular with many even if diluting at a 1% ratio, If using neat I recommend using a cotton bud size drop on to an area and cleaning off after 20 min.
In the cosmetics industry the neem oil is regulated at 3% maximum leave on in a product and more in a wash off product, last time I checked, it may have gone down as the notoriety of the oil becomes more established and its potency and effectiveness well recognized.
So regarding spots, rashes and acne in general it can be effective by eliminating bacteria causing acne by cleaning away any excess oil, sebum, debris and leaving behind a film of oil that acts as an antimicrobial layer which possibly reduces a build up of bacteria on the skin.
In my experience Neem soap was excellent in clearing bodily acne, the type found on the arms, back and chest.
I found no reason to suggest the neem oil has an effect on hyperpigmentation or rosacea.
Back arms and chest: This is where the best results have been achieved over a broad age range, skin type and ethnic background. And its quick.
Psoriasis on the hands. The explanation for how neem bar treats psoriasis is unclear, it could be that the gentle cleansing of the neem bar is less harsh than common soaps and that the antibacterial element helps maintain a healthy skin barrier in the same way as mentioned earlier, the best results I have seen with psoriasis is on the scalp, the bar used as a shampoo bar seem to work well for many.
Regarding eczema it is more accurate, eczema skin is usually already inflamed and tender, any products further drying or stripping any oils will just increase inflammation the ph. of a product especially soap especially unfortunately hand made soap has a higher ph. than mainstream chemical based soaps. So we can only observe the reaction on eczema skin type and try to understand what is happening. The neem bar has a slightly lower PH, which is due to a signature manufacturing process we use to make all our bars which also leads to a longer lasting bar. There is only 5% coconut usually responsible for the cleansing detergent effect of soap on skin. So I should note, that the neem bar is just an addition to eczema skin care products. This bar in no way can take the place of steroid cream, e 45 cream, betnovate etc. but will be a good choice as a neutral wash off non aggressive soap product and for many can be a natural non aggressive alternative to the mainstream products.
The skin is water proofing to anything outside, its your first barrier of defense, so oils are not likely to penetrate easily, shorter chain and medium chain fatty acids can penetrate the first few layers of skin and thereby treating the upper layer. Neem is a strong antibacterial so if you happen to have a situation such as acne that is creating bacteria on the skin surface neem oil can help.
So that’s my observation and conclusion regarding the claims made about nem oil and neem soap but don’t take my word for it. listen to the testimonials from customers and the future testimonials from al the people testing it out on our behalf.
btw. In the is blog I wanted to find out what really works and what is simply a misleading claim. To do this I used a pure source of neem oil used neat and in a soap bar. The only criteria I had for the ingredient is that is must be a very small gap between picking the plant and it reaching the user, i.e. it is raw, unrefined, cold pressed, and organic.
Finally, in conclusion: before starting this blog we already had acquired several testimonials for neem soap bar and the oil. And currently testing 14 more people from varying skin types. Our goal is to reach 100 users of varying skin types, cultural backgrounds and ages.
If you or someone you know could benefit from using this bar, don’t hesitate, dm me, call or email, or go directly to the web page in the link below to fill in the skin consultation form. I will then send you out a bar to test.