Recipe for an all-natural cream for irritated skin.
Skincare recipe for making neem balm for Eczema & Psoriasis – all natural and the oils in the recipe help soothe inflammation, itchiness, and flakiness
Skin conditions of any sort can be uncomfortable, but eczema and psoriasis are probably two of the most irritating. Both are genetic auto-immune skin conditions that result in flaky, inflamed skin. It can itch and weep terribly and leave you feeling helpless and even embarrassed. If you or someone close to you suffers from one of them then you’ll know just how much it can affect a person’s life.
Outbreaks are often red and swollen and can appear on any part of the body. Hands, scalp, elbows, knees to even your face. While affected skin can often appear unsightly, it’s the pain and tenderness that can affect people’s lives for the worse.
Making homemade neem balm
This skincare recipe is for an all-natural oil based balm that can help soothe itchy and inflamed skin. I created it as a way for people to make a high quality soothing skin balm at home. The main active ingredient is pure neem oil, used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine. In India neem is seen as a heal-all and it has many uses from top to toe. It’s use in treating skin is probably one of its most well known though.
Soothing the itch and irritation
There is no cure for eczema or psoriasis. Treatment of both is limited to controlling the severity of the outbreaks and soothing the symptoms. Keeping the skin clean and moisturised is the usual remedy however some of the prescribed medications and products can be harsh. One of these is the use of mineral oil and petroleum jelly on the skin. Both are by-products of petroleum (gas and petrol) production and while they do help the skin stay moist they clog the pores and prevent air from reaching your skin.
The other treatment which is more specifically for Psoriasis involves sitting in a bath with essence of coal tar. A close family member of mine has Psoriasis and I can still remember the smell of these baths – it’s similar to the smell of tarmac being laid. Despite the fact of its origins, tar baths can be very effective. This cream could be used alongside other treatments but please speak to your dermatologist to get the go ahead first.
What is Neem oil?
Though its smell can be quite strong its medicinal qualities are impressive and it’s relatively safe to use as a self-prescribed treatment. In fact the Indian culture has been using Neem oil for thousands of years for anything from skin diseases and inflammation to fevers and insecticide.
Handmade Neem Balm Recipe
Makes one 130g pot. Alternatively, you can purchase this similar product that I make myself. You can also make this balm along with all natural neem oil soap. It’s rich and creamy and gives you that dose of neem even while you’re washing. The instructions make it pretty easy to make too.
- 40g /1.41oz Shea Butter
- 30g /1.06oz Cocoa Butter
- 20g /0.70oz Castor oil
- 30g /1oz Sweet Almond oil (alternative: Grapeseed or Sunflower oil)**
- 10g* /0.35oz*** Neem oil
- 1/4 tsp Vitamin E oil
- Optional: 3.6g / 3.97ml / 3/4 tsp Lavender essential oil
* Some people may show sensitivity to Neem oil so please do a skin patch test to make sure it’s right for your skin. Please also avoid using Neem oil if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant in the immediate future.
** For a more liquidy cream add more liquid oil in this recipe
*** 10g of Neem oil will result in quite a strong smelling and acting balm. If you’d prefer, you can reduce the amount by half to 5g to mask the smell and create a gentler product. Please also note Neem can be quite strong and if it’s placed on the skin undiluted it’s possible that it can cause contact dermatitis.
1. Place the Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Castor oil, and Sweet Almond oil into a double-boiler. You can also place them in a metal or glass bowl which can be floated in a pan of hot water. The point of the double boiler (also known as a Bain-marie) is that you want to heat the oils slowly, evenly, and through an indirect heat source.
2. Melt the oils over a medium heat until they are completely liquid. Stir well and place the bowl in the freezer for five minutes or until the oils thicken to the consistency of Castor oil and become slightly opaque.
3. Take the bowl out and beat it with a whisk, adding the essential oil, vitamin E, and Neem oil. The Lavender essential oil will help mask the scent of the Neem and is also useful for encouraging skin cells to regenerate. Lavender essential oil is also soothing and anti-inflammatory so safe for those with dermatitis.
4. Spoon the finished product into a container that is fitted with a lid. You can use the cream immediately after it has set.