Neem oil is an extract of the neem tree. Some practitioners of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine use neem oil to treat conditions ranging from ulcers to fungal infections.
This type of oil contains several compounds, including fatty acids and antioxidants, that can benefit the skin.
Be sure to purchase an organic, 100 percent pure, cold-pressed neem oil. It will be cloudy and yellowish in color and will have an odor resembling mustard, garlic, or sulfur. When you’re not using it, store it in a cool, dark place.
Before putting neem oil on your face, do a patch test on your arm. If within 24 hours you don’t develop any signs of an allergic reaction — such as redness or swelling — it should be safe to use the oil on other areas of your body.
Pure neem oil is incredibly potent. To treat acne, fungal infections, warts, or moles, use undiluted neem oil to spot treat affected areas.
- Lightly dab the neem oil onto the area using a cotton swab or cotton ball, and allow it to soak in for up to 20 minutes.
- Wash off the oil with warm water.
- Use daily until you achieve desired results.
Because of the potency of neem oil, it’s a good idea to mix it with equal parts of a carrier oil — like jojoba, grapeseed, or coconut oil — when using it for larger areas of the face or body, or on sensitive skin.
The carrier oil can also subdue the odor of neem oil, or you can add a few drops of other oils like lavender to improve the smell. Once the oils are blended, use the combination as you would a moisturizer on the face and body.
If you find the oil combination to be too oily, you can mix a few drops of neem oil with aloe vera gel, which also will be soothing to irritated skin.
Neem oil can also be added to a warm bath to treat larger areas of the body.