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Neem oil is a naturally occurring pesticide found in seeds from the neem tree. It is yellow to brown, has a bitter taste, and a garlic/sulfur smell. While it doesn’t sound very attractive, neem oil can be very beneficial by providing an all-natural pesticide that controls both pests and diseases.
Loaded with nutrients, neem oil is also used in natural skin care products because it contains high levels of antioxidants that help protect the skin from environmental damage. Neem also helps fight free radical damage in the skin because it contains carotenoids, which provide high antioxidant compounds. As a result, cold-pressed neem oil and neem extracts are widely used in cosmetics such as soap, hair products, cosmetics, hand creams and pet shampoos.
Neem oil is usually comprised of a mixture of components. Azadirachtin is the most active component and is used for for repelling and killing pests. After the extraction of azadirachtin, the portion left over is called clarified hydrophobic neem oil. As reported by Current Science, it works as an effective non-toxic insect control agent to agriculture.
Since neem is also especially high in important fatty acids and vitamin E and can quickly penetrate outer layers of skin, it is extremely effective in healing dry and damaged skin.
The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) states that neem oil is rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs), triglycerides, vitamin E and calcium. Because of its EFAs and vitamin E, neem oil penetrates deep within the skin to heal the miniscule cracks brought on by severe dryness. Fatty acids present in the neem kernel oil are oleic acid (52.8 percent), linoleic acid (2.1 percent), palmitic acid (12.6 percent) and stearic acid (21.4 percent).
The fatty acids and vitamin E found in neem oil are easily absorbed into the skin without leaving the skin greasy. Once absorbed, these powerful properties work to rejuvenate the skin’s cells and restore elasticity. Benefit-rich vitamin E acts as a free radical scavenger, by hindering the oxidizing processes in the skin. It promotes soft and supple skin, helps in reducing old scars and promotes healing.
Need also stimulates collagen production, good for aging skin. Indeed, if used regularly, neem may help smooth wrinkles and fine lines while helping to prevent the signs of aging. Neem oil may prove to be a natural remedy for eczema symptoms — including dry, red, itchy skin — and be very soothing, but it will not cure the root causes for eczema.
There are anti-inflammatory compounds known as nimbidin and nimbin that help relieve swelling and redness. another compound known as quercetin supports the body’s ability to respond to inflammation by inhibiting both the manufacture and release of histamine and other irritants.
KNUST also states that neem oil, when used as a soap, is antimicrobial and helps people suffering from skin diseases such as acne because it can help to soothe irritation and inflammation by removing bacteria from the surface of the skin; therefore, preventing more break-outs.
Neem oil has been used in traditional folk medicine and as a home remedy for acne because of the aspirin-like compound that helps rid the skin of bacteria. It also helps reduce redness and inflammation. The high fatty-acid content in neem oil is said to prevent and treat scars from acne and is non-comedogenic. The leaves are also an excellent exfoliant that can be used in a facial mask to pull out impurities and tighten pores