neem extract or oil

Antibacterial/Anti-Acne , Plant Extracts , Irritants

Extract from leaves of the neem tree, it has potential toxic effects, although it also has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, too. A component of neem known as nimbidin contains sulfur and is likely responsible for neem oil's unpleasant odor (Source: Food and Chemical Toxicology, April 1993, pages 297-301). Neem oil is approved as a pesticide in the United States, and, surprisingly, there's no reliable research proving neem extract or oil has any benefit for skin in terms of common skin types and concerns, though you can find a fair number of studies on neem's insecticidal properties for conditions like head lice and scabies (Sources: Parasitology Research, September 2006, pages 353-356; and Lancet, May 2006, pages 1,767-1,774).

There's one study showing the seed extract from neem contains compounds that can reduce melanin (skin pigment) formation on isolated animal cells, but as this research was not done on intact human skin presenting with pigment irregularities, we don't know if the same lightening effect would be seen (Source: Journal of Oleo Science, November 2009, pages 581-594).

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