It’s official: 2019 is the year of all-natural beauty. Exotic plants and holistic botanicals are rapidly taking the place of retinols, hyaluronic acids, and other synthetic ingredients that once reigned supreme. But, we’re experimenting beyond the basic aloe vera and coconut oil, and trying something a little more exotic.
What Is Neem Oil?
Like the now-popular turmeric, neem oil is an all-natural derivative of the neem plant, found in the tropical regions of India. “Neem oil is what you find more commonly used in skincare and health products,” says Annastazia Unce, licensed esthetician and owner of Kimeera Spa. “The oil is made from the pressed juices of the Neem trees fruits, nuts, and leaves. It’s been used for generations in the holy practice of Ayurveda.”
This plant has been used for centuries for its soothing benefits and complexion-clearing powers. According to Dr. Alain Michon, cosmetic physician and Medical Director of Ottawa Skin Clinic, this botanical ingredient actually has quite a few medicinal uses.
“The oils, bark, leaves, seeds, and gum extracted from the plant carry many skin-benefitting properties,” says Dr. Michon. “One clinical study showed that applying dried neem leaf extract to skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm, and scabies effectively cured 97% of cases within three to 15 days of treatment.”
While it’s anti-fungal benefits are great, what it can do for our everyday complexion is even better. According to Dr. Michon, neem oil can be used for a variety of skincare issues, including acne, dark under-eye circles, scarring, and pigmentation disorders. He also says that neem oil has moisturizing, regenerative, and anti-aging properties, making it a holy grail product for your skin. Unce adds that this ingredient isn’t limited to just your pores, either, and can be used for dry scalps and dandruff.
While this all-natural oil is great for every skin type, Unce advises using it in moderation. “Neem oil is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin, but with things consider moderation,” she says. “Because of its strength, only use neem oil until the condition has cleared. You can still use it periodically as preventative treatment. Acne skin and premature aging skin will benefit from its use the most out all the skin types, because of its fatty acid and antioxidant content.“
Want to revive your skin with this powerful complexion reviver? Here’s some of our favorite neem-infused products:
Think of a toner as your last defense for cleansing, which is why you should use one that’s infused with the balancing power of neem oil, as well as a trifecta of skin-refining chemical exfoliators: glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids.
For a truly natural treatment, grab Unce’s favorite pick. This oil has just two ingredients: neem oil and hydrating olive oil.
This fan-favorite is a godsend for anyone who wants a crystal-clear complexion. It’s infused with neem, salicylic acid, and the ultra-clarifying tea tree oil.