Neem For Treating Acne – Is It The Solution To Your Acne Problem?
Acne is a skin manifestation that occurs when the pores in our skin become blocked, giving rise to bacterial activity. These outbreaks are characterized by inflammation and redness and appear on the facial region, the neck region, the chest area and the back. This blockage is a result of excess of oil secretion from the sebaceous glands that traps dirt and other material leading to the blockage. Other causative factors also include a stressful lifestyle, unhealthy diet, imbalance in hormonal levels, poor eating habits and certain medicines.
There are chemical based acne treatment formulations but these are not only expensive but do not give the desired results. However, Indian Lilac or Neem, as it is commonly called, is an excellent natural home remedy that is not only affordable but also effective and has been used for centuries to treat different health issues1.
Beneficial Qualities Of Neem
- The inherent medicinal properties of neem2 fight against bacteria, fungus and also exhibits anti-oxidizing effects that fight against free radicals.
- It improves the skin tone by its astringent property and reduces scarring of the skin.
- Neem has the potential to reduce swelling and redness.
- It reduces the blocking of skin pores by keeping the oil secretion at an optimum level and also acts as an excellent natural moisturizer.
- Neem helps in the healing of acne3, reduces scarring and keeps the skin looking healthy. This is because of the presence of vitamin E, fatty acids, ascorbic acid and carotenoids as its natural ingredients.
- Neem gently cleanses and tightens skin pores to prevent bacterial activity and acne formation.
Treating Acne With Neem
You can use neem alone or combine it with other ingredients to treat acne. There are many forms of this natural medicinal plant so the choice is entirely yours to choose the one that suits you the best.
This is one of the most effective methods to treat acne.
Procedure – Make a smooth paste by crushing fresh neem leaves on a mortar and pestle with some water. Apply the paste with a cotton ball onto individual acne and leave it for 30 minutes. Wash off with water and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.
Turmeric & Neem
Another excellent and effective method to get rid of acne.
Procedure – Thoroughly mix proportionate amounts of turmeric powder and fresh minced neem leaves with water to make a consistent paste. Gently massage the paste onto to acne with a cotton ball and leave it for 20 to 25 minutes. Wash face with a gentle cleanser and dry off. Repeat procedure every day. Alternately, fresh neem leaves can be boiled before making the paste.
Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth) & Neem
Procedure – Make a paste with 1 tbs. of freshly minced neem leaves, 1 tbs. of Multani Mitti and rose water. Apply the paste on individual acne and leave it for 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.
Sandalwood & Neem
Procedure – Make a paste with equal amounts of powdered neem and powdered sandalwood with water. Massage onto face with finger tips and leave it for 25 minutes. Wash off with warm water and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.
Dilute neem oil with either coconut oil or olive oil or any other carrier oil to prevent any irritation.
Procedure – Take a few drops of neem oil and olive or coconut oil and mix properly. Apply onto individual acne with a cotton ball and gently massage for 2 minutes and let it dry or leave it overnight. Wash off with water and dry the area. Repeat procedure regularly till acne is removed.
Yogurt & Neem
Procedure – Take fresh neem leaves and crush to a powder. Mix 1 tbs. of gram flour and 1 tbs. of the neem powder with yogurt to make a smooth paste. Massage gently onto the affected area for 3 minutes and leave till dry. Wash off with water and dry the area. Repeat procedure regularly.
Water & Neem
Procedure – Add fresh neem leaves to two cups of boiling water. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from stove and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Strain and discard neem leaves and pour neem infused water into a spray bottle. Wash affected area with water and then spray the neem infused water onto it. Repeat procedure twice in a day.
Turmeric, Coconut Oil & Neem
Procedure – Make a paste of organic turmeric powder and water. Boil ten neem leaves and then make a paste. Take a quarter tea spoon of turmeric and neem paste each and mix properly. Apply paste to the affected area with finger tips till dry and then wash off with water and dry. Separately mix a quarter tea spoon of neem paste and 2 tbs. of coconut oil and apply onto the affected area. Leave it overnight. Repeat procedure every night.
Calamine Powder & Neem
Procedure – Make a paste with sufficient amount of neem leaf extract and calamine powder. Apply onto acne by gently massaging with finger tips. Leave till dry and then wash off with water and dry. Repeat procedure every day. Alternately, sandalwood powder can be used in place of calamine powder.
This method helps to get rid acne on the back.
Procedure – Prepare a bath and add a bunch of fresh neem leaves along with a couple of drops of neem oil. Soak in the bath for about 10 to 15 minutes and then shower off with plain water. Repeat procedure thrice weekly.
Cucumber & Neem
Procedure – Blend a peeled and chopped cucumber till a smooth consistency. Mix this properly with either neem paste or neem oil and gently massage onto affected area till dry. Wash off with water and dry. Repeat procedure thrice weekly.
Honey, Yogurt, Lemon, Turmeric & Neem
This combination helps to get rid of bacteria, soothes the skin and reduces scarring.
Procedure – Crush some sun dried neem leaves to a fine powder and mix with turmeric powder. Take 2 tbs. of this powder and mix thoroughly with 1 tbs. of yogurt, 1 tsp. of lemon juice and 1 tsp. of honey to a smooth paste. Massage gently onto the affected area and leave it for 20 minutes. Wash off with water and dry. Repeat procedure regularly to get rid of acne.
Lemon Juice, Rosewater & Neem
Procedure – Make a paste with powdered neem leaves and sufficient lemon juice and rosewater. Massage gently onto affected area and leave it for 20 minutes. Wash off with water and dry. Repeat procedure thrice weekly.
French Clay, Rosemary, Eucalyptus & Neem
Procedure – Thoroughly mix equal amounts of French clay, eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil and neem oil. Apply onto affected area and leave it to dry. Wash off with warm water. Repeat procedure twice weekly. DO NOT exceed recommended application as this will make skin dry.
Basil, Honey & Neem
Procedure – Take dried basil and grind to powder. Mix powdered neem leaf with basil powder and add sufficient raw honey to make a paste. Massage gently with finger tips onto affected area and leave it for 5 minutes or till dry. Wash off with water and dry. Repeat procedure regularly.
Grape Seed Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar & Neem
An effective treatment for acne on the back.
Procedure – Take neem oil and grape seed oil in 1:1 ratio and mix properly. Add 2 parts of organic apple cider vinegar to it and stir well and transfer mixture to a spray bottle. Spray onto affected area and leave for a couple of minutes. Wash off with water and dry. Repeat procedure regularly.
Procedure – Take 2 ounces of powdered neem leaf or fresh neem leaves and add to 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 10 minutes after removing from stove and strain off neem leaves. Add lemon juice and raw honey for taste. Drink on a daily basis to prevent acne and skin health.
An effective method to remove acne.
Procedure – Either directly drink 2 to 4 tsp. of neem juice twice to thrice daily or add neem juice to tea, fruit juice, smoothies or even water and drink the mixture.
Milk, Turmeric & Neem
Procedure – Take proportionate amounts of powdered neem and turmeric powder and mix with sufficient amount of milk to make a smooth paste. Apply the paste with finger tips onto face and leave till dry. Wash off with warm water and dry. Repeat procedure regularly.
Cystic Acne And Neem
The naturally occurring potency of neem to fight against bacteria and microbes is very effective in treating cystic acne and also in reducing inflammation4 and redness that arise because of infection. The methods listed below can be tried.
Procedure for Application – Apply the paste of neem leaf to the cystic acne and leave it till dry and then wash off with warm water. Repeat twice daily. Or take neem oil and apply onto cystic acne and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash off with warm water. Repeat procedure twice daily.
Alternately, drink water, juice or tea mixed with neem to internally detox the body and stop cystic acne forming bacteria from being active. Repeat procedure thrice daily.
The regular intake of neem capsules helps the body to get rid of toxins. It has been documented that supplements of neem enable the liver to function optimally5 and get rid of harmful matter that cause acne by breaking them down. The recommended dosage is 2 capsules along with meals but it is always best to consult a medical professional or follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Results have been seen within a week.
Things To Keep In Mind
Do a patch test to make sure you are not allergic to neem before starting treatment with any of the methods listed above.
- Do not bring in contact with eyes or nose.
- Not recommended for pregnant women.
- Keep away from babies and children as neem can cause Reye’s syndrome.
- It is always best to use fresh neem leaves but when not available neem powder can also be used.
- If an actual neem tree is available, then its soft bark can be made into a paste and used as a mask to treat acne.
- When using any of the methods listed above always use cleansers that are gentle.
- Homemade neem soap made with avocado, olive or jojoba oil is very effective.
- Always try and use or make neem based lotions and soap.
- Consult a doctor if no results are seen even after 7 to 10 days of regular use.
Following a healthy lifestyle with proper exercise, balanced diet and proper hygiene will catalyze the effectiveness of neem treatment in getting rid of acne. Remember drinking plenty of water6 and increasing the intake of protein and keeping away from carbohydrates and sugars will not only help in removing acne but also prevent their recurrence.
- U.S. National Institutes of Health. Margosa Oil (Azadirachta indica). LiverTox. Accessed 2019.
- Subapriya R., Nagini S. Medicinal properties of neem leaves: a review. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2005;5(2):149-6.
- Sinha P., Srivastava S., Mishra N., Yadav N.P. New Perspectives on Antiacne Plant Drugs: Contribution to Modern Therapeutics. BioMed Research International. 2014.
- Alzohairy M.A. Therapeutics Role of Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Their Active Constituents in Diseases Prevention and Treatment. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016.
- Bhanwra S., Singh J., Khosla P. Effect of Azadirachta indica (Neem) leaf aqueous extract on paracetamol-induced liver damage in rats. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 2000;44(1):64-8.
- Palma L., Marques L.T., Bujan J., Rodrigues L.M. Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology. 2015;8:413–421.
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