5 reasons why neem oil is your best bet against acne and other skin woes

Using neem oil for skin is a wonderful idea. Rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, fatty acids and carotenoids, it can do a whole lot for beauty, hair and skincare.
A traditional remedy to swear by when dealing with dandruff! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Chetna Pattnaik Updated: 13 Oct 2023, 05:10 pm IST

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Neem has been a part of the Indian skincare routine since forever. Women
have relied on it to treat acne and spots for centuries. The neem tree is
evergreen. Its bark, oil, leaves, and fruit have medicinal qualities.

Recently, you must have noticed that many people are vouching for the benefit
of oils. And when we’re talking about oils to treat skin issues, there’s no way
that discussion is complete without neem oil. Well-known for its antibacterial
and anti-fungal properties neem oil does a lot for beauty, hair, and skin health.

Neem oil provides a great treatment for acne control, psoriasis, dandruff,
eczema and other skin as well as scalp conditions. Extracted from the neem
fruit and leaves, it is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, fatty acids and carotenoids.

We talked to dermatologist, cosmetologist and the founder of DNA Skin Clinic,
Bangalore, Dr Priyanka Reddy, who told us that one of the main components of
neem is nimbidin, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
“Inflammation is the root cause of most skin ailments such as pimples, redness
and irritation. The anti-inflammatory properties of neem can have a soothing
effect on the skin. Not just that, even its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties
help in combating acne by clearing the acne-causing bacteria,” she says.

She tells us that the vitamin E content in neem helps reduce the appearance of
acne scars. Moreover, the triglycerides along with vitamin E help in keeping the
skin moisturized.
Clearly, neem oil comes with an array of benefits for our skin. Let us take a look
at them:

1. Treats acne and scars
The antibacterial properties of neem oil make it an excellent treatment for
anti-acne skincare. The oil eliminates bacterial infection and keeps the skin
from becoming dry. Its fatty acid components help lighten the scar and pimple
marks naturally. The anti-inflammatory contents nimbin and nimbidin
effectively reduce swelling and inflammation.

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Acne scars not sparing you alone? Know that neem oil is here for your skin’s rescue. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Anti-ageing properties
Dr. Reddy tells us that neem oil can reduce the appearance of wrinkles by
stimulating collagen production and improving the elasticity of the skin. It is
loaded with nutrients, fatty acids and antioxidants that keep the free radicals
under control which in turn makes the skin smoother and keeps ageing at bay.

3. Protection against eczema and psoriasis
Eczema is characterized by irritated, red, dry, itchy and patchy skin. It is a skin
inflammatory condition and can even be hereditary. With the help of neem oil,
you can eliminate the redness of skin, itching, irritation and swelling. Known to
be an effective antiseptic neem oil, it prevents further skin infections.
According to Dr. Reddy, neem oil can not only alleviate the scalp’s dryness and
itchiness but also encourage hair growth by providing the moisture it requires,
which establishes it as a great treatment for psoriasis as well.

Treat your eczema and psoriasis issues with neem oil. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Soothes dry skin
Dry skin is characterized by dryness, flaky skin and roughness. The high fatty
acid and antioxidants in neem oil, with potent and skin healing properties,
makes it a great moisturizer for dry skin. Not only does it aid in moisturization
of the skin but it also helps balance the pH levels.

5. Cures fungal infection
Dr. Reddy emphasizes on neem oil as an anti-fungal oil that is very effective in
treating different fungal infections like that of the toenail fungus. It is gedunin
that happens to be the key antifungal component in neem oil.

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And the award for keeping my toes fungus-free goes to: Neem Oil! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How can you use neem oil for skin?
Says Dr. Reddy: “While neem oil is generally safe to use, it is extremely potent
and may cause adverse reactions to sensitive skin. So, it is best to do a patch
test on your arm before you start using it on your face. If there are no signs of
an allergic reaction within 24 hours, then it is safe to use on the other areas of
the body.”

You can use the oil in its undiluted form to treat acne and acne scars. All you
have to do is, take a cotton swab, dip it in the oil, apply it directly on the
pimples and scars and leave it overnight. However, if you are using it for the
larger areas of your face or body, then it is best to mix it with equal parts of a
carrier oil such as coconut oil.

Remember that if you have oily skin that is prone to acne, using neem oil can
aggravate that situation. It is also important to ensure that you are using the
oil in its purest form. If you fail to see any positive results even after diligent
use of this oil, we recommend you to see a dermatologist.

Chetna Pattnaik

Understanding fitness the hard way, Chetna has finally learnt to strike a balance between her protein shake and her beer and making room for her writing desk and her gym at the same time. ...Read More

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