From fighting pests in the garden to its inclusion in skin and body care products, the benefits of neem oil are endless, and it has a variety of uses. In cosmetics, neem oil can be found in a range of lotions, creams, hair and makeup products.
This odorous oil comes from the seed of the tropical neem tree, giving it its name. Neem trees — also known as Indian lilac and Azadirachta Indica — are native to the Indian subcontinent and even grow in the southern part of Iran.
The resulting oil is high in fatty acids and nutrients, which can be beneficial to the skin and hair.
When purchasing neem oil, you’ll want to find an organic, cold-pressed oil such as the neem oil we stock that is Soil Association certified. This type of oil is brown to greenish-brown in colour and is likely to go cloudy in colder temperatures. The oil should be stored in a dark, cool place when not in use.
The most distinctive thing about neem oil is its pungent smell. The oil itself is incredibly potent, which means sometimes it’ll need to be diluted so that it doesn’t have overpowering effects. The strength of neem oil means that it is not safe for use by pregnant people, those trying to conceive or anyone that is nursing. Those with sensitive skin may also choose to stay away from this type of oil or, at the very least, conduct a skin patch test before application.
Mixing neem oil with other carrier oils can decrease its potency and dilute its strong smell. We recommend blending neem oil with sesame oil, lemon essential oil and myrrh essential oil to form a nail discolouration and strengthening treatment. Alternatively, neem oil can be used in tandem with citronella essential oil as an insect repellent.
Neem oil can be used in beauty regimens and skincare to help treat dry skin and wrinkles and help to stimulate collagen production. Read on to find out more about neem oil’s other benefits.
Neem oil is a great ingredient to use in foot cream to help prevent athlete’s foot. The potent oil helps to maintain healthy skin, meaning fungal cells could be less likely to form when the oil is applied to the feet regularly. Athlete’s foot is the most common fungal infection, but others include fungal nail infections and severe dandruff.
You can make antifungal foot cream with neem oil at home using our three-stage recipe.
Amongst neem oil’s fatty acids profile is Omega 9. Neem oil’s possession of Omega 9 means this ingredient can help tackle signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and age spots.
Using Omega 9 within your skincare regimen will help to keep your skin soft, supple and radiant. In doing this, you can improve the way your skin feels. For this same reason, neem oil can help improve the texture and appearance of stretch marks. A 2017 study highlighted neem oil as an anti-ageing candidate.
As well as being a great addition to skincare, neem oil can be added to many hair products including hair packs, shampoos, pomades, treatments and conditioners. The rich Omega 9 content helps to keep the hair shaft soft while taming frizzy hair, and it could also help to reduce dandruff in some cases. Neem oil is also rich in vitamin E, which helps skin cells to regenerate — such as the ones on your scalp.
We recommend combining neem oil with jojoba oil to create hair oil pomades and hot oil treatments. Alternatively, small amounts can be used neat on the hair and left to sit to promote hair shine.
You can make hot oil hair packs with neem oil to treat split ends using our one-stage recipe.
Given the vast benefits of neem oil, there are plenty of candidates that will find it useful –– and not just from a cosmetic standpoint. Gardeners looking for a low-cost insect repellant formula or those interested in natural beauty and organic skincare might purchase neem oil to add to their stash of ingredients.
Skincare fiends will enjoy neem oil’s high Omega 9 content for use in anti-ageing skin and body care while haircare fanatics can play with its vast uses for hair and scalp treatments.
Those with specific concerns may also find a transformative use for neem oil. If you struggle with frequent fungal infections, neem oil could be used as an alternative to over-the-counter creams with a short shelf life. Similarly, if you have acne-prone skin, neem oil could become a skin staple helping to calm the area and clear the remnants of breakouts. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before using neem oil as an alternative antifungal and acne treatment.
The only people that shouldn’t use neem oil are those that are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive due to its high potency. For first time users, a skin patch test is strongly advised. This is where a small amount of neem oil is applied to the skin for a ten-minute period to track irritation, allergic reactions and side effects.
Want to reap the benefits of neem oil? Buy Soil Association certified organic Neem Oil from one of the UK’s leading providers of organic beauty and natural skincare.
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