How Neem leaf can help with dry skin
Neem leaves contain nourishing essential fatty acids, plus, nutrients such as vitamin E, which makes them extremely moisturising for dry, and very dry skin, including eczema-prone skin. Whilst drinking plenty of water and supporting your skin from the inside out is important, applying neem products topically also helps soothe flaky, dry, irritated skin.
3 benefits of neem leaves for dry skin
Neem is the term used to refer to extracts or products derived from the Neem tree. Although native to the Indian sub-continent, the Neem tree grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions in many other parts of the world including Nepal, Burma, Nigeria, Vietnam, other regions of East Asia, and East Africa.
Below I explore some of the ways in which neem leaf extracts can help to manage dry skin, and in which situations this herbal ingredient may be particularly helpful:
1. It calms dry skin
One of the major benefits of the herb neem is how calming it is. Neem leaves, as a result of the beneficial constituents they contain; including anti-inflammatory fatty acids. These are extremely nourishing since our skin cells themselves are formed with a lipid (fat) bilayer surrounding them. Neem also contain fat-soluble essential nutrients such as vitamin E, and finally, a wide array of unique phytochemicals. (1)
Essential' nutrients such as vitamin E are 'essential' because your body can't manufacture them. This means you need to acquire these key nutrients from the foods that you eat, or for example, through using good quality products, containing carefully placed herbal ingredients, which you can then apply topically.
Once the delicate structure of your skin cells starts to suffer, for example as a result of dryness, this is when you can start to become hypersensitive to even the simplest, everyday things! Perhaps the sun's rays, or skincare products you've used for years, you name it, you could easily suffer from frequent flare-ups if dryness is an underlying issue for you.
Handily, neem leaves, especially when they are packed into the form of a cream, can help to calm this process; it can gently get to work on troubled skin, and help to calm irritation, (2) and soothe any unsightly flakiness too.
2. It’s helpful for very dry skin
So, we have dry skin, and then we have very dry skin. It's common to be predisposed to dry skin, I know I am! But then, in some cases, some underlying physiological processes may risk taking this state to the next level. This is when we have to think below the surface of the skin and try to figure out what else may be contributing.
Weak digestion; meaning we aren't digesting essential fatty acids from our diets properly, general aging processes, hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause, or our immune system driving sensitivities or allergic-type reactions, can all exacerbate dry skin further.
So, it can help to consider these key areas, but then luckily, neem leaf products have been found in preliminary research trials to help support skin during some of these processes, such as thinning of the skin which can contribute to wrinkles. (3)
But, if skin becomes very dry, the irritation and inflammation that follows are very common, and hard to avoid. This is when the redness set in, or it can even risk developing into even more established skin conditions, such as eczema.
So, it's best to use neem leaf early if any of this resonates with you, to help counter some of those inflammatory processes. (4) But also, neem is an especially nice choice if your sensitive skin doesn't tend to tolerate the conventional lotions or medical-grade adjuncts – it's just so gentle!
3. It’s suitable for eczema-prone skin
Eczema-prone skin also often falls into the 'very' dry skin category, although, eczema is a formal diagnosis in its own right. Eczema is characterised by this very dry skin, which can then lead to cracking, itchiness, redness, and infections; especially if it isn't properly managed.
Since the dryness is often underlying in eczema, nourishing and moisturising is often an important first step. But of course, we need to be careful what we do this with. Nasty additives in more conventional products could risk only driving further irritation, so instead, this is where something like organic neem leaf products can come in.
The application of neem cream can help soothe and bring comfort to problem skin areas that have flared up, helping the skin recover.
Helpfully, the herb neem also boasts some impressive, natural antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. (2)(5)(6) If the structure of the skin starts to break down and cracks start to appear, this can become the gateway for pathogens such as bacteria or fungi to make their way in and promote further angriness and irritation. Neem will not only soothe but also help offer protection in this way – goodbye bugs!
What happens when you combine neem leaf with other helpful ingredients?
When neem leaf extracts are combined with carefully selected anti-inflammatory oils, plus essential oils, such as sweet almond oil or bergamot, the moisturising, soothing and conditioning properties can be further maximised, to provide the utmost care for your skin.
The regular use of these key ingredients can help to fully moisturise the skin, and so minimise any dryness and irritation.
How to use Neem leaf cream
First of all, ensure you use the best of the best when it comes to neem leaf products.
A.Vogel's Neem Cream is made from a tincture of Neem leaf. The extraction method used is known as alcoholic extraction and is used for most of the A.Vogel herbal remedies, including the well-known Echinaforce® Echinacea.
This helps us to ensure that all the beneficial properties of neem leaf are extracted and retained within the end product – lovely!
Certain neem products may be combined with other ingredients such as oils or essential oils. However, please note, that essential oils are not generally recommended for children under the age of 4 or for use in pregnancy, plus, certain oils such as sweet almond oil may not be suitable for nut allergy sufferers.
A.Vogel's Neem Cream also combines some beeswax, as part of its complex, so is therefore vegetarian-friendly, but not vegan.