Garden of Wisdom Neem Oil

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19 reviews

63% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $


Pure neem seed oil

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on 5/9/2015 7:34:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

I finally ordered some, and it came in handy when I had a big outbreak of very ugly zits, my first in a year.

I spot-treated overnight and it seemed to work. Then for three consecutive nights I put it on like a lotion over the whole area that was breaking out.

The next day I developed severe contact dermatitis, and am now on a cycle of Prednisone and prescription topical steroids - the entire left area of my face is red and textured like an orange peel and itchy (it looks like some sort of medieval skin infection that would prompt villagers to chase the infected with torches and pitchforks) and swollen. I mean really, really swollen - at least double the size and it's given me huge puffy jowls like the cartoon Droopy.

The smell is best described as rotting corpse stuffed with garlic bulbs and peanut sauce.I got used to it after the second night, though.


Hopefully you aren't and this works for you. I do recommend it for acne spots if you're not sensitive.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Important note: This smells awful. I have heard it described as rotting chicken Ramen, and I personally smell a mixture of rotting curry, peanut butter, and onions. I've gone through nearly an ounce of this and unfortunately it's not something that grows on you either.

But it is the most effective spot treatment for acne I've found, and it has the added bonus of not drying out surrounding skin (which is a big problem for me). I find it helps bring down even cystic ones overnight (speeding up the process that would otherwise take a week for me) and significantly reduces redness.

I apply this using a q-tip, or by using a single drop dabbed onto various spots. I find that it works best as a spot treatment because somehow I don't get the same results if I spread it over my entire face. If the temperature is a bit colder, it feels a bit gritty going on but after it warms up a bit it has a consistency similar to jojoba oil although it does absorb slower.

I would definitely recommend this if you are able to handle the smell and if you have problem with other acne treatments drying out your skin too much. However, if you're able to use other treatments without a problem, you might give this a pass given the strong odor.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I hate being the odd one out with this because it seems to work so well for others, but neem seed oil didn't agree with my skin. For reference, I am oily, acne-prone, combo in winter/fall.

I was looking for a more moisturizing alternative to tea tree oil for the cooler months. I purchased the small one ounce bottle for less than $5 on the GoW website. Very reasonably priced. It came in a white plastic bottle with a flip cap. Nice simple packaging.

The oil has similar healing properties to tea tree oil -- antibacterial, antifungal. The smell is as intense as everyone says it is. It's a very pungent, savory smell... it looks and smells like a sauce you'd find in a Thai or Indian dish. I don't think it smells "bad" per se... but it feels like I'm rubbing food on my face. If you're sensitive to strong odors, you'll probably hate this.

The texture is more viscous than tea tree oil. It's brownish in color (looks like a sauce). I started using this as just a spot treatment for existing pimples. It did seem to help them heal faster, and my skin started to recover from the dryness after torturing it with BP for a while. I thought it would work just as well as an all-over anti-acne treatment. So I would then mix a drop or two with some of my regular moisturizer to stifle some of the scent and to make it easier to spread on my skin.

My flakiness did start going away and my skin felt nice and moist without feeling oily. I loved it at first. But over time I began to notice small, flesh-colored white bumps forming all over my cheeks and on my forehead. Clogged pores. :( It seems that for my skin, this works best when applied only to blemishes directly. Otherwise it's just too much.

If you're considering neem oil as an all-over treatment, I recommend doing patch tests first. It's fairly low on the comedogenic scale from what I've read, but as we all know, not all oils work the same way for everyone. I'll keep using up whatever's left on insect bites, body rashes, etc. But I would not repurchase.

on 9/24/2013 2:38:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I'm not going to completely write off my GoW neem oil quite yet. I don't break out TOO often, but so far it hasn't really helped nor harmed my skin. A lot of people absolutely hate the smell but I actually kind of... sickeningly enjoy it, haha. It's pretty potent. Not something I would wear or use if I had to go out or during the day. I think it's a viable option for people looking for alternative acne treatments.

on 10/20/2014 12:39:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

This review is for Neals Yard Organic Neem Oil.

There's no getting away from it - this oil absolutely honks. I used about 5% in a mixture with rosehip oil and argan oil (these in about 50:50 split) and the smell was a lot less but still detectable. However, I am a slave to beauty (ha) and struggled on. this was fine for a while, I didn't notice any huge improvements in my skin but nothing bad happened either - perhaps my fine lines improved but I wasn't paying very close attention.

THEN - I made another batch, perhaps I was heavy handed with the neem, but I don't think I used much more than say 8%. It took me about a week to figure out that neem oil was the culprit responsible for a sudden but repeated bout of delayed onset contact dermatitis and I mean a bright red, hot, itchy, broken out mess of a face 6-8 hours after application. The allergy ruined my skin, made it dry, broken out and wrinkly. And the added insult of cutting out any recently added foods and drinks as they could have been the allergy cuplrits. 6 weeks later and I'm still kind of broken out but Oilatum face cream was a saviour (even though it clogged my pores, it really rehydrated my poor red skin) as was Take The Day Off Balm.

Chances are you're probably not allergic, but I really am. My poor face *sob*

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Neem oil and neem powder are a step too far in natural skincare and haircare. I am not particularly sensitive to smells - hell, I really like Amla and I can tolerate Shikakai - but Neem is something else. I would never dream of saying something so revered by many 'reeks' or 'stinks' as that's just plain rude. But it's true that the smell is not pleasant. Instead of applying it to your skin or hair neat try using it combined with other ingredients or try taking Neem capsules. I've been taking them for a while now whenever I feel under the weather and they really help.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I got the .5 oz size of Neem Oil from the Eczema Skin Sampler because of my Perioral Dermatitis (PD) patches that I have been getting in the past year or so. I went to a derm about this issue and he gave me Solodyn which did not help. I used to use jojoba oil as a moisturizer and found that it does not help on my PD patches either. In the past couple months, I've tried many things. First, I heard that the California Baby Calendula Cream worked, which did not. Calendula helped with the itching but did not help with reducing the redness in the PD patches. It's been one week since I've used the neem oil on the PD patches and so far so good.

Most people find the smell offensive. I admit, it does smell like burnt peanuts and onions. However, it's not terrible, you get used to it after a a few days. It smells earthy, but it's way better than durian or a moldy gym sock. My PD patches are close to my nose, so I'll definitely smell it. This stuff works so good on my PD patches that I really don't mind the smell. I can't comment on neem oil as far as acne fighting powers, but I can say that this does not break me out. A little goes a long ways (3-4 drops is probably plenty to cover the whole face: it's potent). I think my .5 oz bottle is going to last me until it expires.

The packaging sucks, but get a little amber glass drop bottle and that problem is solved!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

on 4/23/2012 2:21:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

My original intent was to use this oil mixed in with my sunflower oil/manuka tea tree oil OCM. I was very happy with the sunflower/manuka combination because it was the only OCM combo I had found that didn't clog my pores. However, I wanted more antibacterial power and was afraid adding more tea tree would dry out my skinenter neem oil.

Yes, the smell was bad, but since I was wiping it off of my face anyway it didn't matter. I was thrilled at how amazingly antibacterial neem oil is without being drying at all! It seriously kicks manuka oil's ass. On top of eliminating all redness/inflammation on my face, it totally destroyed this small wart I've had on my jawline for 6 months. I had tried treating that wart with a ton of different topicals with no result, but after 2 weeks of rubbing diluted neem oil on it was almost completely gone!

Unfortunately, after 1.5 weeks I noticed the familiar skin colored bumps, and then eventually blackheads and whiteheads all over my face. The clog situation wasn't as bad as with many other oils I have used (jojoba, olive, grapeseed, tamanu, etc.), but it was definitely noticeable so I decided to stop using it :-( I will save it for use on rashes and other skin conditions that might pop up on my body.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Holy hell this stuff stinks!!!!! I read the reviews and saw the comments about the smell and thought, I like garlic and I like peanuts. And to be honest the smell of burning rubber doesn't bother me all that much, so I figured for the benefits I could stand the smell. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong!!

At first when I opened the bottle I thought, okay so not great but lets see what it can do before I give up entirely. So I mixed a drop of neem with a few drops of some other oils (hoping to lessen the smell) and applied the mixture to some acne and irritated spots. That lasted about 45 seconds.

In hindsight it probably wasn't the best idea to apply the mixture to my chin, since it's below my nose. I wiped it off and then washed it off to get rid of the smell. Maybe I could stand it if I liked Indian food? Oh well. I guess I can use it as a bug replant or fungicide on things other than myself.

on 8/25/2013 10:34:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This review is for the young lady with the Thai background who was most unhappy about the 'tub of neem' she bought for only $5 and experience a flair of her cystic acne after only two applications.
Cystic acne is an immune skin reaction to a variety of irritants - but is primarily rooted in the internal physiology - beginning with the level and ratio of hormones - estrogen/progesterone - particularly in young ladies. And, some of us are more reactive than others. She reported that she had been clearing up - then applied the neem directly to a few spots on her forehead and butterfly area of her face for two nites and developed white heads and cysts quickly.
This tells me that the pimples were already in the 'making' so to speak. The neem oil prep may have been comedogenic for her - but acne developes over a period of weeks. She 'uncovered' acne in the making.
If she had stuck to it -- may have very well cleared in a week or two time and with continued use may have kept new cysts from forming.
One needs to understand that "nothing' can create an acne cyst overnite. It was already due to surface - beginning in the dermal layer.
If you research the way in which Acutane or Retin A worked - you would understand the acne gets worse before it gets better (this product causing sloughing of the surface cells).

Neem oil is an incredible product and I am so pleased that vendors bring it to the public for their use. Research the active ingredients in the entire neem plant - the leaf, bark, fruit and seed which yields the oil. Each contains very important potent molecules with many healing properties - from a microbialcide to a parasite sterility - and helps the surface skin cells turn over bringing fresh smooth cells forward.
Before settling on or dismissing an approach -- it is helpful to understand the larger complexity of the condition. ie, is to understand the process of acne. From the products of demodex mite and the bacteria which live on the skin routinely that can provoke immune responses to make up and other products that we may apply - can all provoke immune reactions, and in some people it will be more profound than in others.
But, there is an intrinsic host component - meaning that our systems themselves determine how bad the reaction will be. And, the number one issue in 'cystic acne' is hormonal imbalance - specifically high levels of androgenic progesterones - either natural or via OCs.

Someone with cystic acne needs a strategy utilizing a systemic (internal) approach in addition to a topical one. Cystic acne requires hormone manipulation first and foremost that utilizes a low androgenic progesterone component in a birth control pill. Many young ladies will be put on an OC that only makes cystic acne worse. Unfortunately, the best meaning physicians can make this mistake and put young ladies on the wrong OC not appreciating that the progesterone component can be a major culprit.
One's own natural hormones can be a culprit too, the estrogen/progesterone ratio not helping. Estrogen clears skin -- so does Retin A. If a person has cystic acne they need to be at least on Retin A topical - and NOT on an OC that is provoking the acne. There are only a few OCs that contain a more natural progesterin that has adequate progesterone effect without an untoward androgenic effect (part of which causes acne).
Topicals are a very minor component to the cause of cystic acne and its clearing.

So, please, do not dismiss neem as a cause of cystic acne and get a doctor who will review all the OCs and find the very few that would at least not aggravate if not calm production of cystic acne - best

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

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