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What is Neem Soap?

Anna T.
Updated May 21, 2024
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Neem soap is made primarily from the oil present in the Azadirachta indica, or neem tree. This soap is considered useful by many for treating acne, repelling insects, and fighting off bacteria. It may also help fight dandruff, kill head lice, and relieve discomfort in sunburned skin. The high oil content in neem soap generally makes it ideal for use on dry skin. People with psoriasis and eczema often find, that unlike other soaps, neem soap improves rather than worsens their condition.

People in India have been utilizing the many benefits of neem for thousands of years. Its popularity has spread over time, and most countries have since taken advantage of its usefulness. The oil is derived from the seed of the neem tree, but the bark and leaves are not typically left to go to waste. Almost every part of the tree is considered beneficial in some way. In India, the neem tree is commonly referred to as the village pharmacy, because it has a potential benefit for almost any ailment.

In addition to soap, neem is also available in the form of shampoo, dietary supplements, and pet products. It is often included as an active ingredient in pesticides and fungicides for the garden. When reduced to powdered form, neem bark may be helpful in killing fleas and ticks on pets. Neem tree twigs are sometimes used as toothbrushes in Africa and India. Boiling the leaves of the tree to make a tea is also a common practice, and the tea is often used for fever reduction or as a foot soak.

Using products containing neem, either topically or internally, may cause some side effects. The majority of these side effects tend to occur when neem is ingested, while side effects from neem soap and other topical forms are mild and primarily stem from allergic reactions. In general, neem is not considered safe for ingestion by children or babies. Seizures, comas, and death are just a few of the dangers associated with children and neem consumption.

Side effects of neem ingestion by adults could include kidney damage, liver damage, and jaundice. Pregnant women and couples trying to conceive should avoid neem because there is a risk of miscarriage, and it may also damage sperm. Additionally, neem could interact negatively with immunosuppressants and medications for diabetes. A person who is interested in taking neem supplements for the many possible benefits should speak with a doctor first.

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.
Discussion Comments
By burcinc — On Jan 07, 2012

@alisha-- I've been using neem soap to clean my face for several years and I also have rosacea. I just looked at the ingredients for you and mine has 20% pure neem oil as well as coconut oil and olive fruit oil. It is 100% certified organic.

I didn't know about the different percentages of neem oil, I picked up this soap just randomly at the store one day. It worked so well for my rosacea that I've been using it since. It's absolutely great to reduce the redness and irritation. My sister is also using it because she has very sensitive skin and allergies to anything with perfumes in it.

By discographer — On Jan 07, 2012

@anamur-- That's great! I've heard a lot about neem oil soap benefits on rosacea forums too. I've had rosacea for ten years and have tried all sorts of treatments but I've never tried neem soap. I have looked up several brands though and I've notice that neem soaps generally contain other ingredients in them as well and most of them are oils. I've noticed that coconut oil, shea oil, jojoba oil and olive oil are used a lot.

Do you know what other ingredients are in the neem soap you're using?

And what is the percentage of neem oil in it? Apparently the percentage of neem oil in neem soaps vary anywhere from 15% to 50%.

I wonder what percentage would be best to treat rosacea? Does anyone have an idea?

By serenesurface — On Jan 06, 2012

I have oily problem skin and have acne breakouts all the time. I was at my Indian friend's house the other day and saw neem soap in her bathroom. It had a nice scent to it so I asked what it's made of and she told me about neem. She also has problem skin and told me to give this a try.

I found a bar of it at an organic store and bought it right away. I've been using it for the past week and I do see an improvement. The redness and irritation seems to have gone away and my skin has had less breakouts this week.

I also taught that something with oil in it couldn't help my acne but neem oil soap does. I think it's because of its antibacterial properties. It's probably killing the bacteria that is causing my breakouts.

I don't know how my skin will be in the long term but so far I love this soap. It's affordable, natural and it's much better for my skin than the expensive cleansers I have been using.

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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