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.