If there is one natural ingredient that you should have in your beauty cabinet, it is definitely neem. Also known as Indian lilac, neem has immense benefits for your skin and hair.
Both the neem leaves and its oil contain a bunch of active compounds that offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Several beauty products like soaps, bath powders, shampoos, lotions and creams contain neem as one of the main ingredients.
Whether it is acne, wrinkles, blackheads, fine lines, dandruff, hair loss or uneven skin tone – look no further, neem can solve these beauty problems easily and naturally.
Here are the top 10 beauty benefits of neem for your skin and hair.
Note: When applying neem oil, always do a patch test before using neem oil on skin. At times, it can cause skin irritation.
1. Combats Dandruff
Neem has effective antifungal properties that help fight dandruff.
Along with fighting the fungal infection, it is effective at reducing any inflammation of the scalp caused by scratching. It also relieves dryness and itching, two common symptoms of dandruff.
A 2010 study published in the International Scientific Research Journal reports that antifungal extracts can be taken from neem leaves extracts and used in the treatment of dandruff.
You can use any of the following home remedies 2 or 3 times a week until your dandruff is gone.
- Boil a handful of neem leaves in 4 to 5 cups of water until the water becomes green. Strain and allow the neem-infused water to cool. Use this solution as a final rinse after shampooing your hair.
- Mix 3 to 4 tablespoons of neem powder and sufficient water to make a paste. Apply it on your scalp and hair. Leave it on for 30 to 40 minutes, then shampoo your hair as usual.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of organic, cold-pressed neem oil in 2 tablespoons of warm extra-virgin olive oil and massage it gently into your scalp. Wash it off after 30 minutes.
2. Treats Acne
Neem has diverse therapeutic properties, such as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, which help in the treatment of acne. It not only kills the bacteria causing the breakout but also reduces the inflammation associated with acne and pimples.
Plus, it helps alleviate the pain and itching associated with acne.
- For daily treatment, mix 10 drops of organic, cold-pressed neem oil in 1 teaspoon of warm coconut oil. Apply it gently on the affected area and let it sit for 1 hour. Then, rinse it off using lukewarm water. Do this once daily.
- For a weekly treatment, boil equal amounts of neem leaves and orange peel in water. When soft, remove them and grind them into a paste. Add a little honey and lemon juice to the paste and mix thoroughly. Apply this pack on your face, allow it to dry and then wash it off. Use this pack once or twice a week to keep your skin acne-free.
3. Shrinks Large Pores
Neem also provides an effective remedy for tackling problems like large pores as well as blackheads and whiteheads.
It works as an excellent exfoliating agent that helps pull out impurities and tighten pores.
- For daily use, 2 drops each of of neem oil and plain water on a cotton ball. Wipe your face with it before going to bed. Leave it on overnight and rinse it off using lukewarm water the next morning.
- For a weekly facial mask, mix 2 teaspoons of neem powder with a little water to form a paste. Mix in a pinch of turmeric powder. Apply it on your face, allow it to dry and then rinse it off using lukewarm water.
4. Soothes Dry Skin and Eczema
Eczema, a common inflammatory skin condition that causes extremely irritated, dry, red and itchy skin, can also be treated with neem.
Neem can help reduce the inflammation and heal the abrasions. It also prevents moisture loss from the skin and restores the protective barrier.
You can choose either of the following remedies to use once or twice a week.
- Dilute a few drops of neem oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Optionally, add a few drops of lavender essential oil.
- Apply the mixture on the affected area.
- Allow it to dry on its own and then rinse it off using lukewarm water.
5. Evens Out Skin Tone
Neem is also great for treating uneven skin tone.
The antioxidants in it are extremely beneficial for reducing melanin production and making the skin tone even. It also reduces dark spots and blemishes. Its anti-inflammatory property helps get rid of any redness as well as swelling.
Plus, it helps open up clogged pores and deeply cleanse them to give you an even skin tone.
- Grind 10 to 12 neem leaves to make a paste.
- Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of turmeric powder and mix thoroughly.
- Apply the mixture as a facial pack.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes, then wash it off with water.
- Use this pack daily and you can see results in 2 weeks.
6. Prevents Skin Infections
Neem contains antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that make it quite effective for treating skin infections, such as ringworm, tinea cruris and others.
It also soothes irritation and reduces inflammation without drying the skin.
- Boil a handful of neem leaves in water until they turn soft. Strain out the leaves and add the neem-infused water to your bath water. Taking a bath with this water a few times a week will help keep skin infections in check.
- Also, massage your skin with a mixture of two tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of neem oil. Do this 2 or 3 times a week.