I’ve mentioned that I’m dabbling in herbal remedies from various traditions, including Ayurvedic remedies. This simple neem face wash uses three ingredients commonly found in Ayurvedic medicine and skincare.
This recipe is inspired by a trip to Dandelion Botanicals, a charming herbal shop in Seattle. Since my new home happens to be only a short drive away, it should be no surprise that I am already a regular at this store. One of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon is perusing the jars of herbs, flipping through the herbal recipe books, and chatting with the herbalists there.
I had seen an Ayurvedic facial cleanser online, made with powdered neem. One of the herbalists recommended mixing it with honey, to balance the bitter/astringent qualities with soothing properties. I also added ground rose petals for very gentle exfoliation and skin-healing benefits.
Ingredients in the Rose + Neem Face Wash
Neem powder, an ancient Ayurvedic skincare ingredient, is highly antibacterial and cooling to inflamed skin. I’ve found that neem powder and Banyan Botanical’s Neem Oil work exceptionally well for keeping my acne-prone skin under control.
Rose petals are used both internally and externally in Ayurvedic tradition, as well as other Eastern cultures. Rose petals are used for their soothing, cooling, astringent qualities in skincare. If you have leftover rose petals from this recipe, use them to make your own rose water!
Raw honey is, hands-down, my essential skincare ingredient. It is soothing, moisturizing, and antibacterial. You can wash your face with only honey, but the rose and neem supercharge this face wash recipe.
- ¼ cup dried rose petals, recommended source available here
- 2 Tbs. neem powder, recommended source available here
- 3 Tbs. raw honey of choice or manuka honey, available here (preferably, use a more liquid rather than thick honey for this recipe)
- A coffee grinder/spice grinder, this is the one I use (make sure you clean it well!)
- Finely grind the rose petals in the coffee or spice grinder. Combine the neem powder, rose petal powder and raw honey. Store in a glass jar.
- Instructions for use Use a patch-test first (put a small amount on a part of your face) to ensure that your skin agrees with the ingredients. The facial cleanser is gentle, but it may irritate extremely sensitive skin.
- Apply a small amount all over your face. Let it sit on the skin for at least one minute, and up to 15 minutes. For intensive acne treatment, leave it on for the longer period of time to allow the antibacterial components in the neem and honey to work comprehensively.
- Due to the neem and rose petal powder, this cleanser is gently exfoliating. Do no scrub it off, because this is too harsh on the skin. Gently rinse off with a warm wash cloth.
- This facial cleanser doubles as a mask and an acne spot treatment. It may also be effective for calming eczema - I've read that neem is very cooling for eczema breakouts.
As a person who still struggles with some acne, even in my 30’s, I am excited to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!
Best, Lauren G
Can you just use neem oil in the honey? They are out of the powder
I’m 51 and still struggles with breakouts every now and then. Will definitely try this
I am 70 years old women with acne. I went to a dermatologist and they think is hormonal. Anyway she put me on Aczone gel and Amicicillin 200 mg a day for 30 days. I am doing pakeo diet and watching my carbs, sugar, milk etc. Please help me my face is like a teenager she told me is acne vulgaris. Thanks
I live in the Caribbean, can I use Neem oil or rose water?
How long will this set on the counter at room temp before going bad?
Excited to try this! Raw honey alone has done wonders for my skin. I oil cleanse at night (usually coconut oil, but it varies, and sometimes a drop of an EO depending on my mood). In the morning I simply wipe with a warm washcloth and apply raw honey. I leave it on for a few minutes then rinse in the shower. Love it!
Surekha @dreaming loud
I love recipes with rose petals. I just shared one on my blog. I love how you combined rose with neem. It will be work wonders for problem prone skin.
Love the recipe, Lauren! I’ve actually never heard of Neem before, so this was an interesting read. I can’t wait to try out the recipe. Keep up the good work 🙂
Hi Lauren, your receipe looks great. I only have 1 question, is there any way to substitute the honey? Thanks.
Can you use neem oil instead of powder and rosewater instead? If so, can you please give ratio amounts for these replacements? Your recipe looks great but I would have to use neem oil and rosewater instead.