It’s exciting to find natural remedies for acne. In my experience, the best ones are both gentler and more effective than the conventional products. Also, while many conventional products tend to target one thing at a time (like acne or aging), natural products basically invented multitasking. For example, essential oil of neem, a tree native to India, is a powerful acne treatment that also fights general inflammation while soothing dry and sensitive skin.
This anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial oil has traditionally been used in Ayurveda to “pacify heat” or calm excess pitta, which can result in skin inflammation like acne, rosacea, rashes, over-sensitivity to the sun, or psoriasis. Neem has been used to treat burns, disinfect wounds, bolster skin immunity, and support healthy tissue.
This medicinal oil has a pretty strong scent, but don’t worry if the smell is too much for you. Neem oil is still effective when used in a carrier oil (just be sure to select a high-quality, non-comedogenic oil or butter like shea butter, rosehip seed oil, and argan oil).
Neem oil serum can be used as a moisturizer—a few drops mixed with your regular face lotion will do—or an oil cleanser. If you find that neem oil is too cooling for you, it can be mixed with organic sesame seed oil, which has warming qualities, according to the Ayurvedic tradition. Neem oil may also be mixed with other acne-fighting essential oils like tea tree oil and clary sage oil.
Not ready to try your hand at DIY neem oil serum? Try a pre-blended serum like Evan Healy Neem Immortelle Purifying Infusion, an earthy blend of neem, immortelle (a very rare and healing essential oil), sesame seed oil, and olive oil. Mountain Rose Herbs also offers a neem oil blended with olive oil to enhance neem oil’s pourability (when not blended with a carrier oil, neem oil tends to be more solid at room temps).
Jouer Cosmetics Daily Clarifying Treatment Oil contains neem oil among several other skin-loving oils.
Neem Tree Farm All-Natural Facial Serum is a luxurious blend of neem, rich carrier oils, and other essential oils (lavender and rosewood) suitable for delicate skin.
In my experience, neem oil was very calming and soothing, and not harsh like some excessively drying oils can be. (Ever put oil on your face and got surprised when your skin was dry to the point of peeling? It happens!!). Neem oil seemed to reduce current breakouts and prevent future ones–but my ultimate solution was taking Estroblock and a DHT blocker to balance my excess estrogen. If you *know* that your acne is caused by hormonal imbalance, that might be the way to go–but breakouts of any kind can benefit from this soothing oil.
Have you tried neem essential oil for acne or other skin woes?
More natural acne treatments: Bacteria – The Next Big Acne Treatment?
Get more like this–sign up for our newsletter for exclusive inspirational content!
Photo: Mary Hood Luttrell, Jouer Cosmetics, Neem Tree Farm