Packed with skin and hair care benefits, neem has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-aging properties. The herb can help balance skin’s oil production, and in turn minimize acne, post-pimple scars, and hyperpigmentation. It also aids in healing wounds and sun damage. Loaded with Vitamin C, neem stimulates collagen formation to smoothen fine lines and wrinkles.
Neem is also an effective hair care ingredient, owing to its antifungal and antioxidant property. Neem oil can stimulate dormant hair follicles to promote blood circulation that can minimize hair loss and improve hair growth. The oil can be used to treat dandruff as well.
However, as with all-natural remedies, it is advisable to do a patch test to check for any side-effects or allergic reactions, before regularly using neem oil and products.
Here's how you can use neem in your DIY recipes for skin and hair care
1) A DIY toner and blackhead remover
To utilize the optimum benefits of neem in its natural form, boil a handful of fresh neem leaves in water. Then, with a cotton pad, wipe the infused water on your face. This works as a DIY toner and helps bring blackheads and whiteheads out from within the skin, while also treating congested pores.
2) Neem mask for acne-prone skin
Looking to prevent breakouts, and heal existing acne? Mix besan (gram flour) and turmeric with neem powder. Emulsify the mixture with rose water, and use the paste as a scrub and a mask. Massage it over your face for about five minutes in circular motion, and then leave it on for 20 minutes. The antiseptic property of neem will help prevent pimples, zits, and treat acne scars.
3) Neem-based, moisturizing face mask
This two-ingredient mask will come in handy when your complexion is dull and deprived of hydration. All you need to do is make a paste of neem leaves and add a spoonful of honey. Apply it on your face for a few minutes to moisturize your skin from within.
4) A dandruff-fighting mask
Mix a few drops of neem oil in pure aloe vera gel and apply this mask to your hair, 30 minutes before the wash. This can curb dandruff. Neem oil has been effective in treating the fungus that causes the flakes, while the proteolytic enzymes in aloe vera gel can soothe itching and flaking. A combination of neem paste and yogurt can also do the job.
5) A hair growth pack
Struggling with hair fall? Trust this mask to become your savior if applied regularly. It will also revamp hair texture and keep other woes like thinning, breakage, split ends, and hair loss at bay. Apply a mask made from neem powder and coconut oil, once a week and massage your hair.
*Disclaimer - Home remedies cannot replace treatment and medication. Consult a dermatologist to seek advice for your particular hair and skin type.