Do not let this little Destiny’s Child reference in the title deter you from this incredible ingredient that is Neem (Azadirachta indica). Used for centuries in India and Africa for its medicinal properties, studies refer to it as an “Indian traditional panacea with modern molecular basis”. Many parts of the plant (flowers, leaves, seeds, and bark) have been used to treat ailments and woes. Spotlight on a wonder plant with “neemerous” benefits.
a traditional panacea with modern molecular basis
What does it do in skincare?
A natural insecticide, Neem also has antimicrobial, larvicidal, antibacterial, and antiviral effects. In dermatology, they mostly exploit the leaf. Neem leaf extract has been used against eczema and scabies. Non-comedogenic, it is suitable for all skin types and according to various sources, it helps
– reduce hyperpigmentation and dark under eye circle
– protect from environmental and oxidative stress thanks to its anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidant, quercetin. Neem leaves are also high in Vitamin C and beta-carotene.
– keep skin dewy, plump, firm and control moisture loss. Neem can quickly penetrate outer layers of skin to restore the protective barrier.
– fight bacteria which can cause acne while healing any breakout-related scars.
– soothe irritation and itchiness.
Go-to skincare products using Neem
Aika’s philosophy is entirely based on Ayurvedic principles. They have three cleansers, depending on the Doshas. The one pictured (Kapha) does not contain Neem, unlike the Pitta one (here). I had accidentally read the wrong inci prior to taking the pictures but since the brand does use Neem in several products, I decided to leave my review of the cleanser anyways.
A grounding fusion of clay, beeswax, nourishing oils, and herbal extracts which instantly melts away daily impurities and stress. A washcloth is mandatory to experience its benefits to the fullest. Kapha clears up congestions and restores balance, on both the body and mind. After cleansing, my skin feels soft, calm and glowy due to this well-rounded formula blending purifying clay, detoxifying tulsi and lime, replenishing hemp, sunflower and castor oils. You have just the right amount of ingredients to avoid disrupting the skin and over the weeks, my skin felt appeased and free of stress and pollution-related breakouts. This is THE cleanser for those who have a tendency to neglect their skin and overall skincare routine, due to lack of time or for any other reasons because it instantly provides relief and results.
Ingredients: Helianthus annus (sunflower oil), Cannabis sativa (hemp oil), Ricinus communis (castor oil), Cera alba (beeswax), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba oil), Illite clay (French green Argiletz clay), Eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus), Ocimum tenuiflorum (tulsi), Taraxacum officinalis (dandelion), Citrus auratifolia (lime), Pelargonium graveolens (geranium), Juniperus virginiana (Juniper). All Ingredients except clay are certified organic.
This one needs no introduction. My in-depth review of it is (here) and recently I also posted a video on Youtube (here) comparing it with the Kosas tinted face oil. After all this year, my love for it remains unchanged. While I was familiar with Neem in hair and skin care, it is the Minimalist serum foundation that first introduced me to Neem in makeup – and what a difference this ingredient makes. Gressa’s foundation put an end to my relentless quest for a non-clogging foundation. Not only does it provide coverage but it actively helps soothe your skin – as Gressa puts it, it’s makeup meeting skincare.
Ingredients: Cold Pressed Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Coconut Alkanes (and) Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, L-Lysine on Sericite (Mica [CI 77019] and Lauroyl Lysine), Silicon dioxide (Silica), GRESSA Healing ComplexTM: *Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle) Seed Extract, *Azadirachta indica (Neem) Extract,*Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) Extract, *Melissa officianalis (Lemon Balm) Extract, *Berberis vulgaris (Barberry) Extract, *Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Extract, *Sambucus nigra (Elder Flower) Extract, *Momordica charantia (Bitter Melon) Extract, *Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice Root) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Extract, [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)]. *Ingredients from Organic farming.
I was introduced to it by the wonderful Lin Chen, founder of Pink Moon. Just when I thought I had seen it all with honey-based masks, Malaya shakes up my assumptions with its innovative formula – which counts Neem as one of its main components. Gooey, not sticky, the Neem-infused raw honey mask feels medicinal upon contact with the skin. It’s a legit sensory experience where you feel the potent formula treating your skin. It’s simple as that: when your car breaks down, you take it to the garage and when your skin breaks out you grab the Malaya repair mask. I have had issues with honey masks because some felt clogging, but Malaya is one of the exceptions because they added various anti-inflammatory and purifying botanical extracts to counteract any bad reaction to honey. The use of aloe vera gel (cooling and soothing) and clay (purifying) is clever, turning the repair mask into a multifunctional skin ally. It tackles inflammation (both healing + preventing new breakouts) dullness (by gently exfoliating) and dry skin (by hydrating) all at once. A fussy skin’s best friend.
Ingredients: Mel (Raw Neem Flower Honey)*+, Lavandula angustifolia Hydrolat*, Sodium Bentonite Clay, Vegetable Glycerin*, Aloe Vera Gel*, Black Kaolin Clay, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate (and) Lactobacillus Ferment, Argentum metalicum (Colloidal Silver), Calendula officinalis Hydrolat*, Viola tricolor (Violet) Leaf Hydrolat*, Ribes nigrum (Black Currant) Fruit Extract, Brassica Oleracea Var. Italica. (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Plantago major (Plantain) Leaf*, Urtica dioica (Nettle) Leaf*, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf & Sprouts*, Matricaria chamomilla Flower*, Lavandula angustifolia Flower*, Equisetum arvense (Horsetail)*, Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) Leaf & Flower*, Azadirachta indica (Neem) Leaf*, Echinacea purpurea Root*, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E) GMO-Free, Rosmarinus officinalis Leaf Extract*, Tanacetum annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil^, Thymus vulgaris (Red Thyme) Oil*, Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemongrass) Oil*, Lavandula angustifolia Oil*, citral°, citronellol°, gereniol°, limonene°, linalool°.
Akamuti belongs to the OG brands for me, I have been using their products for years. Firstly, it is a great go-to brand for DIY savvy people because you can buy raw materials and create your own concoctions. Secondly, Akamuti is affordable and allows smaller budgets to enjoy green beauty to the fullest. Personally, I’ve been using herbal powders as hair conditioners/mask for several years, including Neem. You simply mix neem with water to get a creamy consistency and apply it all over your hair, it has been proven to be particularly effective against dandruff and lice. I use it to keep my scalp clean and balanced.
Ingredients: Azadirachta Indica (Neem) Leaf powder
I have another post lined-up featuring Pūrearth, so it won’t be the last time you see this powerhouse. Prepare to spice up your life with the Turmeric Sand. Excellent at gently sloughing away dry and flaky skin, thus revealing a more luminous and vibrant complexion. The biodynamic and synergic actions of turmeric, neem, saffron, licorice root, seabuckthorn, pomegranate, and cinnamon are turning Turmeric Sand into one of the most efficient brightening treatments I’ve tried. It noticeably improves skin texture, thus making it a perfect candidate to heal post-acne scars and after-sun damages. I enjoy using it as an exfoliating mask when my skin feels dull or if it starts getting congested. I add Pūrearth’s wild rose Himalayan mist to the powder to create a creamy texture and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. In conclusion, my skin is softer and appears radiant after each use.
Ingredients: PRUNUS ARMENIACA (BITTER APRICOT) KERNEL POWDER, FULLER’S EARTH§, CURCUMA LONGA (BIODYNAMIC TURMERIC) POWDER**, GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRA (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT **, JUGLANS REGIA (PERSIAN WALNUT) POWDER**, AZADIRACHTA INDICA (NEEM) POWDER**, PUNICA GRANATUM (POMEGRANATE) POWDER§, HIPPOPHAE RHAMNOIDES (SEABUCKTHORN BERRY) POWDER§, LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) POWDER, CINNAMOMUM VERNUM (CINNAMON) POWDER**, ROSA DAMASCENA (ROSE PETALS) POWDER, LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) STEAM DISTILLED OIL, CROCUS SATIVUS (KASHMIR SAFFRON) +LINALOOL AND LOVE.
Have you tried Neem-based products?
*samples sent for review consideration, all opinions my own. Not sponsored.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Everything mentioned serves for information purposes and do not seek to heal and cure. If you’re suffering from any medical condition, please seek professional advice. The info on Neem are purely for cosmetic purposes, Neem oil is not recommended in high does nor to pregnant women for its contraceptive effects.
Green hunter, wellness junkie and pun maker on the website, I'm on a journey towards a kinder and healthier life. @lizthegreenspirit on Instagram.