|What is it?
|Neem oil is a carrier oil with a long history of cosmetic and skin care use in India. It is quite a polarizing oil due to its pungent scent and strong reputation for healing and helping irritated skin. Some people love it, some people can’t stand it. I’m more on the “can’t stand it” side of things, but my friend Barb loves it and has shared an entire “Stinks like A**” series on her blog starring neem oil!
|Azadirachta Indica Seed Oil
|Cloudy brownish yellow oil
|Up to 10%
|Rich, smooth, oily
|Not nice. The most charitable way I can describe it is like old barbecue sauce that’s very heavy on the garlic. New Directions describes it as “Earthy, green smell with slight nutty scent towards the end.”
|Slow to very slow
|Approximate Melting Point
|Why do we use it in formulations?
|Neem oil has almost legendary abilities to help problematic skin—everything from acne to psoriasis to ring worm. It has been found to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It has also been used as an insect repellant and pesticide.
|Do you need it?
|Definitely not. I had some, used it a few times, and got rid of it.
|Refined or unrefined?
|I’ve only seen unrefined neem for sale.
|Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects; good for irritated skin.
|It stinks. Badly. It’s detectable at even 1%.
|Alternatives & Substitutions
|There’s really nothing that’s a suitable trade out, but given its typically low usage rate I would likely replace it with another liquid oil and some essential oils that have similar properties.
|How to Work with It
|Include neem oil in the oil phase of your formulations; it can be hot or cold processed.
|Storage & Shelf Life
|Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, neem oil should last up to two years.
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks
|If you are considering purchasing some I highly recommend you smell it at a store before buying it. Neem oil should be avoided by pregnant women.
|Recommended starter amount
|30mL (1fl oz)
|Where to Buy it
| Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.