Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions each year. There are many over-the-counter and alternative preparations that are put forth as miracle cures for troubled skin, including those that use neem and turmeric as ingredients. It is important to remember that there is no known cure for acne that can promise complete eradication of future breakouts, but the properties of neem and turmeric may be helpful when treating acne.
Significance of Neem
According to herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, all components of the neem tree are strongly anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. These two qualities are the main reasons for the beneficial effect of neem and neem oil for acne. If you suffer from serious acne it is advisable to see a doctor, and the most severe cases require the help of a dermatologist.
Many people with acne-prone skin resort to medicated cleansers. Medicated cleansers for acne treatment usually contain salicylic acid or antibacterial agents. Though it is advisable to keep acne-prone skin clean, it is also important to understand that many cleansers can strip the skin of its natural oils, which will increase acne through your skin's increased oil production. Herbalists recommend that any neem cleanser used for acne purposed should be mild, soap free and should not contain alcohol or abrasive ingredients. If you do not see improvement within six weeks, consult a doctor for advice.
Significance of Turmeric
Turmeric is a useful spice used internally and externally for treating acne. Ayurvedic practitioners believe turmeric can boost the immune system while drying out acne and blemishes due to its antiseptic properties. If your skin experiences increased irritation, discontinue use.
Author Matthew Wood advises against using turmeric powder, as it is intended for cooking and may contain other ingredients and coloring. Instead, Wood suggests obtaining whole turmeric and combining it ground with gram flour and honey for an effective acne paste. Always use caution with turmeric, as it can stain almost anything it touches with a bright yellow color that is difficult to remove.
To enjoy the dual benefits of neem and turmeric, you can mix your turmeric powder with neem oil or use subsequently. Applying three or four drops of neem oil infused with turmeric to clean skin may help to balance oily skin and reduce acne flare-ups. Adjust the turmeric to your preference of tint effect. You may prefer to use less turmeric due to the yellow tint or you may increase it if you enjoy the warm glow it puts forth. Do not use neem or turmeric if you are allergic to salicylic acid.
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- "Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality "; Rosemary Gladstar; 2001
- "The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines"; Matthew Wood; 1997
- "Healing Wise"; Susan Weed; 2003
Sara Clement has been a writer, editor and social-media expert since 2002. A regular contributor for publications such as "Exhale," "Reflections of a Butterfly" and "The Giggle Guide," she is currently writing a book about grief and loss and coauthoring a sequel to "Being Ourself." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in premedical science and psychology/education from the University of Montana.