Neem is an herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s so beloved that I heard there are some practitioners in India that solely use this plant in their practice, tailoring their administration to each case in a variety of ways. While I haven’t gone that far, I do love neem – especially because its known to be particularly good for skin problems. While every healing herb has a little bit of magic in it, neem is one of my personal favs as I have seen the excellent results it has had my own and my clients’ skin.
Neem for Acne
Neem is a great blood and liver cleanser making it excellent for the skin. Our blood feeds are skin so when there is toxicity or heat in the blood this is flooded into our complexions as well. Neem’s liver cleansing properties also helps to detox our bodies but also supports hormonal health. Because so many hormones are filtered through the liver, burdened and under functioning livers can translate into hormonal acne. Taking neem internally is one of the best supplements for cystic acne as it reduces excess Pitta (inflammation) and Kapha (dampness – in this case pus). In my experience, neem capsules helps prevent cysts from forming as well as helps them go away more quickly. I recommend the capsules because neem has a very strong, bitter taste. This makes taking the herb more palatable and therefore increases consistency. As good as neem is for acne, always consult a health professional before endeavoring to take it.
Neem can also be applied topically for acne-prone and sensitive skin. Because of its calming properties, it soothes angry break outs and reduces overall redness. This is why we at Pure and Simple put it into our Pitta face oil.
It’s anti-bacterial properties also makes it excellent for problem skin – and is why it can also be used to disinfect skin infections. I always pack this oil when I am traveling as some au naturel first aid (along with witch hazel hydrosol).
above: one of my fav oil blends (Pitta face oil) containing neem oil.
But as in the taste, neem oil smells very strong. It’s scent is hard to describe as it smells nutty with a bitter and pungent after smell. I don’t actually mind the smell but this oil is used as a natural insect repellant if that’s any indication of how it can be perceived as unpleasant. To combat the scent, we mix it with other oils and so can you. Try using pure neem oil and if its off putting you can’t dilute it with some jojoba and your favorite essences.
Ah well, nothing is completely perfect! But neem is pretty close to it in my opinion. It’s effects on acne-prone skin are simply marvelous and as a former acne sufferer, I’d put up with an acquired scent and taste for clear, beautiful skin any day.