Is Neem Good For Acne Prone Skin?

With people increasingly turning away from harsh chemical treatments and antibiotics in their attempts to fight their acne problem, natural treatments are taking center stage.

One of these natural treatments is the use of neem for acne.

But does it actually work?

In this article we’ll take a look at the properties it contains that make it a safe and effective option, and how you can use it to treat acne.

What Is Neem?

Neem oil for acne The neem tree has a long history of cultivation in the Indian subcontinent. For thousands of years, it’s been used by people to cure a variety of ailments.

It’s well-known for its medicinal properties and is widely used in ayurvedic medicine to treat a range of conditions including eczema, shingles, psoriasis, and acne (1).

Today it can be found in more than 30 countries including those in the Americas, Asia, and Africa.

It’s the leaves that are often used for medicinal purposes. They are often diced, or crushed into a powder, then used to make a paste that can be spread on the skin.

In recent times, the cosmetics industry has become increasingly aware of the healing power of neem, which can be found in a number of hair products, soaps, and hand and body creams.

It’s the neem oil that’s pressed from the seeds of the neem tree that’s regularly used in commercial preparations.

When diluted, neem oil is also of great use for homemade skin care preparations. It contains triterpenoids called azadirachtin and nimbin, which are credited with giving the oil some of its medicinal properties (2).  


Can Neem Be Used For Acne?

Neem is well-known for its use in treating skin conditions, and there are many anecdotal reports of neem’s ability to treat acne.

But, one of the great things about this natural treatment is that there are studies that confirm its effectiveness against this condition.

It also contains a number of active compounds that are known to be useful in preventing its formation.


Neem oil contains active compounds that have been proven in scientific experiments to possess antibacterial properties (3).

In one study that looked at its ability to kill P. Acnes, the bacteria responsible for acne, it was shown that neem extract was capable of having a beneficial effect in reducing it (4).

This provides a scientific basis for the topical use of neem on the skin in the treatment of acne.


Neem oil also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties (5).

This has been studied specifically in the context of its action against the inflammation caused by P. Acne. Its effect has been demonstrated to be significant (6).

In this way, it calms the angry, red appearance of the skin when it becomes infected by the acne causing bacteria.


One of the key factors in the formation of acne is the oxidization of sebum in the skin’s pores. This mostly occurs due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Neem contains powerful antioxidants like vitamin E and carotenoids that can neutralize the free radicals created after sun exposure that are responsible for the oxidation of sebum.

Studies have shown it has a strong protective effect against lipid peroxidation (7).

By preventing the oxidization of sebum it’s capable of preventing acne outbreaks.


How To Use Neem For Acne

There are various ways that neem can be used to treat acne and pimples. It can be used on its own or by combining it with other natural remedies.


Neem Paste

Medicinal neem leaves with ground paste over white background

Directions For Use:

1. Obtain some neem leaves.

2. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the neem leaves until they form a paste. Use a small amount of water as required.

3. Wash and dry your face.

4. spread the paste on the affected areas using a clean cotton ball and leave it for 30 minutes.

5. Rinse with clean water and dry.

6. Carry out this procedure every day.


Neem Oil And Avocado Oil

avocado oil

When using neem oil it is best to dilute it in a carrier oil, as it can cause skin irritation when used on its own. Avocado oil is also useful for acne prone skin.

Directions For Use:

1. Get some neem oil and some avocado oil

2. Mix 1 teaspoon of avocado oil with 1 teaspoon of neem oil in a small bowl.

3. Use your fingers to massage the oil mixture into your skin.

4. Use daily.


Neem, Honey and Basil (Tulsi)

honeyHoney  has a number of benefits for the skin that includes being useful for acne treatment. Holy basil has been demonstrated in studies to be effective at killing the acne bacteria.

Directions For Use:

1. Get some neem powder, a jar of raw organic honey, and some dried basil leaves.

2. Use a pestle and mortar to grind the basil leaves into a powder.

3. Mix equal amounts of neem and basil powder in a bowl.

4. Add the raw honey to form a paste.

5. Apply the paste to your skin using your fingertips.

6. Leave the paste on your face for approximately 10 minutes.

7. Wash your face clean with warm water.

8. You can use this every day.


Neem And Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is often used in homemade acne treatments for its ability to soothe inflamed skin.

Directions For Use:

1. Get some neem leaves and the best Aloe vera gel for face care.

2. Boil some neem leaves in water and crush them to make a neem paste.

3. Mix equal teaspoons of neem paste and aloe vera gel together in a small bowl.

4. Wash and dry your face.

5. Using your fingertips, apply the mixture to your skin and massage gently.

6. Leave it on your face for approximately 20 minutes.

7. Rinse the mixture off with water and pat dry with a clean towel.

8. Keep leftover mixture in the fridge in a sealed container.

9. Repeat this process each day.


Neem And Turmeric


Directions For Use:

1. Get some neem leaves and some turmeric powder.

2. Crush one tablespoon of neem leaves using a pestle and mortar. A small amount of water should be added to form a paste.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric and mix it together, again adding a small amount of water if neccessary to retain a paste like consistency.

4. Wash and dry your face.

5. Apply the paste to your skin using a cotton ball.

6. leave it for around 20 minutes until it has dried.

7. Wash your face and pat dry with a clean towel.

8. Repeat this process every day.


Neem, Lemon Juice, And Rose Water

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice can help with acne treatment as it kills the acne causing bacteria. Always use a sunscreen when going outside in the days after using lemon juice on your face, and try to avoid direct sunlight.

Directions For Use:

1. Get some neem powder, a fresh lemon, and the best rose water brand.

2. Squeeze the juice out of the lemon and into a small bowl.

3. Add some neem leaf powder to the lemon juice and mix together, adding sufficient rose water to make a paste.

4. Wash and dry your face.

5. Use your fingers to apply the paste to your skin and leave it until it is dry.

6. Wash your face and dry with a clean towel.

7. Carry out this procedure 3 times a week.


Neem And Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth)

Multani Mitti (Fuller's Earth)

Directions For Use:

1. Get some neem leaves and multani mitti.

2. Take 1 tablespoon of the neem leaves and crush them into a paste using a pestle and mortar. You can add a small amount of water, or rose water to help.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of multani mitti. Add more water or rose water as necessary.

4. Wash and dry your face.

5. Apply the mixture to your acne and leave it for 15 minutes to dry.

6. Wash the mixture off and dry your face.

7. Carry out this procedure every day.


Neem Oil And Coconut Oil

Coconut with jars of coconut oil and cosmetic cream on wooden backgroundCoconut oil contains fatty acids that provide antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Directions For Use:

1. Purchase some neem oil and some coconut oil.

2. Take a small bowl and mix together several drops of the neem oil with several drops of coconut oil.

3. Apply this mixture using a cotton ball to the affected areas and massage gently for 2 minutes.

4. Leave the mixture on your face overnight if you can.

5. Repeat daily.


Neem Bath


Taking a neem bath is one of the best methods for treating body acne, including the back and chest.

Directions For Use:

1. Start running a hot water bath.

2. Add some neem leaves and a few drops of neem oil into the water.

3. Soak yourself in the bath for about 20 minutes, making sure to submerge the affected areas on your body.

4. You can repeat this process as often as you like to bathe.


Neem Water

Neem water

Directions For Use:

1. Obtain some neem leaves.

2. Measure 2 cups of water into a pan.

3. Add the neem leaves and bring the water to the boil.

4. Decrease the heat and allow the leaves to steep for around 15 minutes

5. Strain to separate out the leaves.

6. Put the neem water into a container.

7. When you are ready to use it, apply it to your face using a cotton ball.

8. Use every day.


Neem Soap For Acne

Neem is widely used in commercial preparations, and is often used in soaps for its antibacterial properties. It can be easily found online.


Neem Capsules For Acne

Neem capsules can be obtained for ingestion. Anecdotal reports suggest that some poeple have seen beneficial effects in using neem as a dietary supplement when treating acne.

But it’s best to use it topically, where neem’s antibacterial action can have the biggest effect.


Neem Powder For Acne

Neem can be purchased as a powder. This will save you time as it can quickly be made into a paste for topical application, rather than having to prepare the leaves.


Side Effects And Precautions

  • Before using neem on your face, it's a good idea to do a quick patch test to check for any allergy. Apply a small amount of the oil or paste on the back of your wrist and leave it for 30 minutes to see if your skin has any reaction.
  • It's also advised that pregnant women should not use any type of neem treatment.


Final Thoughts

Neem has a long history of use in the treatment of skin conditions, and its effectiveness against acne is widely reported.

It also has a number of scientifically proven benefits for use in the prevention and cure of acne.

It can kill the acne causing bacteria, and reduce the inflammation associated with existing outbreaks. Its antioxidant properties can help to prevent the conditions that give rise to the formation of acne lesions.

This makes it a good natural acne treatment to consider.

Have you tried neem for acne? Let us know in the comments below.

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