Extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, neem oil is a popular pesticide used in many parts of the world. It is a very effective pesticide, capable of controlling the pests and insects that destroy the crops as well as those that cause diseases in humans. But what most people don’t know is that this popular pesticide and insecticide is also a great natural skin care ingredient that protects the skin and keep it looking healthy, young and beautiful.
Jam packed with antioxidants and many essential nutrients, neem oil is often used as a main ingredient in various skin care products such as creams, lotions and soaps. The antioxidants in the oil help fight off the free radicals that cause oxidative stress to skin cells, thus preventing the occurrence of aging signs like wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. Neem oil is also rich in fatty acids that can penetrate deep into the skin and prevent dryness.
Neem oil is composed of various bioactive components, of which Azadirachtin and triterpenoidare the most important ones that give the oil its pesticidal and insecticidal properties. Depending on the process of extraction of neem oil from the neem seeds, the oil is available in various colors, including yellow-brown, green-brown, dark brown, golden yellow and red. The extraction process also affects the quality and composition of the oil.
How is Neem Oil Extracted?
As mentioned above, neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree. The extraction of neem oil can be done in any of the following three methods:
- Pressing – Neem oil can be extracted by cold pressing or 40 to 50degree centigrade temperature control pressing of the neem seeds. In this process, the seeds are first ground, dried and then fed into an oil pressing machine. The seeds are subjected to high pressure, which caused the oil to ooze out.
- Steam Distillation – In this method, the neem seeds are first dried and thentransferred into a steam boiler. The steam causes the seeds to swell up. The pressure inside the boiler is then increased, which compels the oil to come out of neem seeds.
- Solvent Extraction – This method involves crushing the kernels of neem and then soaking them in an organic solvent like hexane. The kernels can also be pressed prior to extracting with the solvent. This type of extraction is mainly used in soap manufacturing.
How to Make Neem Oil for skin at Home?
If you can get your hands on a few neem seeds, you can easily make neem oil at home. To make neem oil, first dry the seeds and then separate the kernels from the shells. Transfer the seeds into a small food processor or a magic bullet and grind them, taking care not to liquefy them.
Place the crushed seeds into a metal bowl and then pour water over it. Leave it for about 2 days. Then skim off the oil that floats on top of the liquid. Now transfer the kernels back into the magic bullet and liquefy. Repeat the whole process.
Neem oil can also be extracted by crushing the leaves of the neem tree.
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Benefits of Neem Oil for the Skin
Neem oil is a wonderful source of vitamin E, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and triglycerides, all of which are beneficial nutrients that keep the skin soft, smooth and healthy. These nutrients are easily absorbed by the skin and help in rejuvenating and maintaining the elasticity of the skin. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which in combination with the other antioxidants in the skin promote a young and flawless skin by preventing free radical damage. Let’s understand the numerous ways in which neem oil benefits your skin:
Neem Oil is Good for Aging Skin
Neem oil is a great anti-aging ingredient. The nutrients in the oil restore the elasticity of the skin by stimulating the production of collagen. The antioxidants in neem oil helps keep your skin look young and gorgeous by smoothing out the wrinkles and fine lines that may appear due to aging. The fatty acids in the oil penetrate deep into the skin and helps repair any damages.
Neem Oil as a Remedy for Dry Skin
Neem oil acts as an excellent moisturizer and therefore is a great remedy for dry skin. According to research, the high content of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and Vitamin E causes neem oil to penetrate deep in to the skin and heal the small cracks caused by severe dryness of the skin.
Neem oil is a natural water repellent and so is an excellent remedy onthose parts of the skin that are washed or exposed to water frequently. The oil forms a thin barrier on the skin and leaves it smooth and supple by locking in the moisture.
Neem Oil for Skin Conditions Like Eczema & Psoriasis
Eczema is a skin condition that can be caused by various factors, including allergens, environmental factors, bacteria and family history, whereas psoriasis occurs when the immune system causes skin cells to grow much faster than theirnormal rate,leading to a buildup of dead skin cells on the skin. Both conditions are characterized by red, dry and itchy skin.
Neem oil is an age-old remedy for various skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. Although the oil doesn’t cure these conditions, it is very effective in controlling their symptoms. Neem oil exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that help soothe the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.
Neem Oil for Skin Inflammation
The topical application of neem oil is found to be very effective in reducing inflammation. The anti-inflammatory property of the oil is helpful in lowering the inflammation caused by various skin disorders.
Neem oil contains compounds such as nimbin and nimbidin that are capable of reducing redness and swelling. Quercetin, another anti-inflammatory compound found in the oil helps reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production and release of histamine that is responsible for causing itching and inflammation.
Get Rid of Acne with Neem Oil
Acne, a common skin problem affecting people of all ages is caused when the pores are blocked by excess sebum, dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria. The bacteria thrive inside the clogged pores leading to infection and acne breakouts.
Applying neem oil on the skin is a natural and affordable way to get rid of acne. The anti-inflammatory property of the oil reduces redness and swelling while its anti-microbial properties fight off the bacteria that is responsible for the infection. Neem oil is an excellent moisturizer and helps control the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands.
Neem oil has exfoliating properties that helps get rid of the dead skin cells and dirt from the pores of the skin. Moreover, the healing and rejuvenating effects of the oils soothes the skin, encourages the growth of new skin cells and heals the scars left behind by acne.
Neem oil is an Amazing Moisturizer and Conditioner
Neem oil can be used as a moisturizer for any skin type. The fatty acids and vitamin E in the oil penetrates in to the deep layers of the skin, fills the cracks and gaps in the skin and prevents the loss of moisture.
Neem Oil for skin fungus / fungal infections
Ringworm, Athlete’s foot and tinea pedia are a few examples of fungal infections that affect the skin. These infections can cause severe itching and discomfort. An effective way to get rid of fungal infections is to apply neem oil on the affected area. The anti-fungal nature of the oil destroys the infection-causing fungi and keeps your skin free of fungal infections.
Neem Oil Helps Treat Scabies
Scabies, also calledthe seven-year itch is a highly contagious, itchy skin disease brought about by infestation by the mite Sarcoptesscabiei. The most predominant symptoms of this condition are severe itching and the occurrence of pimple-like rashes. In some cases, tiny burrows may also appear on the skin.
Neem oil is used as a remedy for scabies, as it not only gets rid of the mites but also soothes the skin, relieves itching, reduces inflammation and prevents infection. Neem destroys these parasites by affecting their hormonal cycle, making their eggs sterile, preventing their reproduction, and affecting their ability to feed.
Neem Oil for Skin Pigmentation
Applying neem oil on the skin can control the excess production of the melanin pigment that is responsible for causing dark pigmentation on the skin. All you need to do is to apply neem oil on the affected area, massage it gently and leave it on overnight. Wash off the oil in the morning. Do this regularly and notice the pigmentation fading off.
Neem Oil Provides Relief from Sunburn
Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. But people seldom care about the negative effects the sun’s UV rays can have on the skin. Too much sun exposure can cause several problems like sunburn and even skin cancer.
Neem oil happens to be a wonderful remedy for sunburn. It is full of essential nutrients that heals and repairs the damages on the skin. The anti-inflammatory effect of the oil reduces the inflammation and swelling caused by sunburn. Its antibacterial property help prevent infections. The fatty acids and vitamin E in neem oil helps moisturize the skin and prevent dryness and flaking. The antioxidants, in addition to providing protection against free radical damage also protect the skin from sun damage.
Neem oil for skin rash and allergies
Neem is found effective in eliminating toxins and impurities from skin. Bathing with neem water has been used for treating skin allergies and rashes. Adding few drops of neem oil in bathing water can also help seek the same effect. Neem is an anti-inflammatory and helps as an antihistamine which may be helpful in skin rashes and bronchial allergy. Application of Neem oil alleviates itching and inflammation of rashes.
Neem oil for baby skin
Neem oil is never applied directly to baby skin. It should be mixed with some carrier oil like coconut oil. Neem oil is effective on baby skin to treat nappy rash, insect bites or any allergies. Applying neem oil to baby skin can help ward off pest and mosquitos from your baby. Bathing you baby with neem oil water is also good way to treat any allergies or skin infections.
How to Use Neem Oil for skin?
First question which many have with using neem oil is can neem oil be applied directly to skin? No, Neem oil is never applied directly to the skin. It is always mixed with some carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc. Applying neem oil to skin is very easy. Just warm a teaspoon of coconut oil and add 8 to 10 drops of neem oil to it. Mix the two oils thoroughly and then apply it on your face and skin. Leave it on your skin overnight and wash it off in the morning.
Neem oil can cause allergic reaction in people with sensitive skin. Therefore, if you have sensitive skin, make sure to consult your doctor before using the oil.
So what do you conclude about Neem oil for skin?
So, there you have it! A few of the countless benefits of neem oil! Neem oil uses for skin are plenty from improving its health or protecting it from external agents. Now that you know the miraculous effects of this oil, don’t you think you should make it a part of your skin care regime? Try neem oil on your skin and let us know how it has helped you!