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How Effective is Neem for Acne?

Anna T.
Updated May 21, 2024
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Many people who use neem for acne treatment claim it is very effective. Neem is an antibacterial herb derived from the fruit of the neem tree, which is native to India. It helps kill the bacteria that cause acne and reduces redness and inflammation of the skin. A reduction in excess oil on the face is another possible advantage of using neem for acne despite the fact that neem is generally an oily substance. There are many different types of neem used for acne treatment, including oil, soap, cream, powder, and capsules.

Neem may not be effective for severe cystic acne, and its oiliness could possibly make acne worse in some people by clogging up pores. Using neem for acne scar treatment is also typically ineffective. People with severe acne may be advised by dermatologists to undergo professional acne treatments either instead of or in addition to using neem. Some professional acne treatments include laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.

Various clinical studies have indicated that neem may be useful for treating a variety of ailments, but scientific research proving that it is effective against acne doesn't seem to exist. The lack of evidence backing up the acne-fighting claims may prevent dermatologists from recommending neem for acne. In spite of this, neem products are still often marketed as treatment for acne and people frequently claim it works well against acne. Neem may also be useful for treating diabetes, skin ulcers, head lice, gastric cancer. Twigs taken from the tree are occasionally used as antiseptic toothbrushes because neem may also prevent cavities and plaque build up.

Neem has some agricultural benefits in addition to its health and skin care uses. It is generally considered an effective insect repellent, and farmers occasionally use the oil to cover their crops. Neem is considered safe to use for agricultural purposes because of its natural properties, and many farmers prefer it over chemical-based repellents for this reason. There are approximately 200 different types of insects that can be controlled with the use of neem oil. Spraying crops with neem oil may also prevent fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew disease, from forming.

History indicates that people have been utilizing the possible medicinal properties of the neem tree for over 4500 years. Almost every part of the tree, including the leaves, bark, fruit, flowers, pulp, and seeds, may be used for different purposes. The tree is often referred to as a wonder plant because of its versatility.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to BeautyAnswered. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.

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Discussion Comments
By anon985718 — On Jan 18, 2015

I am South Indian and I had never heard about neem until my boyfriend told me about it a couple of months ago. I did not believe him since I had tried every product out there for my long term 15 years worth of moderate acne. It got to the point where it was really getting bad, and I knew dermatologists would tell me the same thing over and over again. I ordered fresh neem leaves on ebay. After I got it, I blended it with fresh water in blender to get a paste. I used it every day and within 4 days I noticed the effects!

I have been using it for two months now and my skin has never looked better! My skin has gotten about 75 percent better! This is just as good as all the Rx medicines (Retin A, Veltin) I have tried over the years. I thank God I have a boyfriend who knew about this because his mom put it on him when he was a kid in India. Hahaha. This is the miracle I have been waiting for for the last 15 years!

By anon306482 — On Nov 30, 2012

I believe some plants and fruits have unlimited sources of goodness. Neem and amla are just two examples which help you a lot. Thousands of neem products are available on the market. One particular product I recently tried is called Garnier Pure Active face wash. It really does cleanse your skin well. A good way to get pimple free skin is to keep it clean.

By candyquilt — On Jan 19, 2012

I use neem oil for acne and it doesn't clog my pores at all. Maybe it has to do with the method it is applied.

What I do is warm up the neem oil in the microwave or in boiling water for a few seconds (make sure not to burn yourself). Then I take the oil in my hands and rub it all over my face and massage in circular movements. I do this non-stop for about 15 minutes because I don't want the oil to cool down and I want my skin to absorb the oil well.

The oil actually helps open up the pores and clean the pores when it's applied this way. Then I take a hot wet washcloth and put it on my face for a few seconds. I wipe away all of the oil with the washcloth. This has gotten rid of my acne completely and it doesn't clog my pores or cause blackheads.

By turquoise — On Jan 18, 2012

My mom said she used to drink neem water for her acne when she was a teenager in India. Apparently, my grandmother would boil fresh neem leaves in water, let the water cool and make my mother drink it. But my mom hated it because it tasted really bad. Apparently neem water is very sour and bitter and you literally have to force yourself to drink it.

She also said that it worked great though. Unfortunately, I don't have access to fresh neem leaves in the US. But I do use neem powder for acne and the oil as a spot treatment. I make a mask with neem powder and yogurt and apply it on my face when I feel a breakout coming and it works pretty well. My face also feels really soft afterward.

By SteamLouis — On Jan 18, 2012

I was pretty skeptical about the effects of neem on acne. I had heard about it on a beauty blog but I couldn't find any studies done on it and I'm always reluctant to try things which are not proven. I feel like there might be terrible side effects that could make me regret it.

But a friend at work, who is married to a cosmetic chemist said that she's been using pure neem oil that her husband brought her from his lab. Her face was looking much better with less acne and a more even and bright skin complexion.

After hearing her go on about neem, I decided to give it a chance and first got a bar of organic neem soap for acne online. After about four days, my acne cleared up and my skin looked a lot better. I also use neem oil and neem lotion now, my skin looks great and I'm so happy that I decided to try it out.

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to BeautyAnswered. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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