What Is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is an oil that is derived from the tropical neem tree. It has a long history as traditional medicine to treat skin conditions, remove pests from plants and help heal skin.
Neem oil has a strong odour, part of the reason why it works so well against pests. Despite its smell, neem oil also contains a number of fatty acids and vitamins that may explain the benefits that are usually attributed to the ingredient.
Neem oil is often used in skincare products such as moisturiser, body lotions as well as hair products and make up. While neem oil has only recently began to gain popularity in contemporary skincare and cosmetics the preliminary studies seem to suggest that it may help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, make support collagen production, may help to support wound healing and may even be useful in the treatment of warts and moles.
the good: Neem oil is a fat-rich oil that contains antioxidants such as vitamin E, helping to improve the appearance of the skin.
the not so good: Like many plant-derived ingredients, neem oil is not particularly well studied for its efficacy and safety. There are a few studies that suggest that it may be beneficial for acne, wound healing and wrinkles but there isn’t enough evidence to support these claims yet.
Who is it for? All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.
Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients.
Keep an eye on: Keep an eye out for further research into this ingredient.
What Are The Benefits of Neem Oil?
Neem oil, as a plant-derived ingredient contains an array of compounds and isn’t simply just one ingredient. Neem oil contains fatty acids, limonoids, vitamin E, antioxodants and calcium. These compounds all contribute to the benefits that neem oil may provide to the skin.
In a 2012 study that looked at the potential use of neem oil in helping to heal post-operative wounds, neem oil was found to help the healing process. This study was a small study conducted with nine participants so it is important to remember that more research needs to be undertaken before this benefit can be attributed to neem oil.
However, the potential wound healing benefits of neem may be beneficial for those who experience blemishes, have disruption in the skin barrier such as eczema or dermatitis or for specific wounds. The potential benefit to these skin conditions have been further explored in research conducted on acne in 2013.
As neem oil is a fat-rich oil that contains a number of antioxidants it may have benefits for aging skin. In a study conducted in 2017 on mice, neem oil improved dryness and the appearance of wrinkles. This research would need to be furthered to determine if these benefits can also be illustrated in human participants. However, generally speaking fat-rich oils usually help to reduce transepidermal water loss or TEWL. TEWL occurs as we age, where our skin is unable to maintain its natural water content as it once did.
Can You Apply Neem Oil Directly On Your Skin?
Pure neem oil is considered to be very potent. For this reason it is usually diluted into other oils, serums and moisturizers when used in products. It is generally recommended to use a diluted form of neem oil or when it has been professionally formulated into a product. However, you can use neem oil directly on the skin when treating acne or acne scars. Just keep in mind that it is a potent oil and should be discontinued if irritation or sensitivity occurs.
Is Neem Oil Good For Acne?
Neem oil may help to support the natural healing of the skin, potentially reducing the time it takes for wounds to heal. This may be beneficial for those who experience acne as it may support the healing of blemishes. Some research has also suggested that neem oil may have an antibacterial effect against acne bacteria, which may reduce the severity of episodes.
Neem oil may also be beneficial to those who experience acne as it may help to improve support the skin’s natural barrier and provide moisture to the skin. Both a disrupted skin barrier and lack of quality oils on the skin have been linked to worsened acne.
Is Neem Oil Comedogenic?
Neem oil is a non-comedogenic oil which means that it doesn’t clog pores. This makes neem oil suitable for most skin types including congested or acne-prone skin.
Is Neem Oil Vegan?
Neem oil is an oil that is derived from plants, making it a vegan ingredient.
Is Neem Oil Safe?
As is the case with many plant-derived ingredients, the efficacy and safety of neem oil has not been well studied. Preliminary studies have suggested that neem oil is safe for use, however, more research is needed to understand this ingredient further.
Koriem KM. Review on pharmacological and toxicologyical effects of oleum azadirachti oil. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013;3(10):834-840.