Melia Azadirachta Oil



No known benefits

Melia Azadirachta Oil at a glance

  • Derived from the Melia azadirachta or Azadirachta indica tree
  • Also known as neem oil
  • Contains antioxidant and emollient properties
  • Can sensitize skin due to potent active compounds

Melia Azadirachta Oil description

_Melia azadirachta_ oil, AKA neem oil, is the substance derived from the seeds or fruit of the _Melia azadirachta_ (chinaberry) tree. According to the Personal Care Products Council, neem oil can also be listed under the name _Azadirachta indica_ oil. In cosmetics, _Melia azadirachta_ oil is used as an emollient due to the seed oil’s fatty acid content and can also help thwart the growth of unwanted organisms. Beyond this, the plant derived oil also contains phenolic compounds which exhibit antioxidant properties. Although neem oil has redeeming qualities, it also contains potent, potentially sensitizing compounds and possesses an unpleasant sulfur-like scent. The same chemical compounds that make this oil so potent, azadirachtin and nimbin, are also the compounds that can cause skin sensitization. Case studies have shown that neem oil can cause redness, dryness and flaking. Neem oil is toxic if ingested. In its raw material state, this oil is a yellow-to-brown color. Outside of cosmetics, neem oil has applications as an insect repellent and is widely used in traditional medicinal practices in South Asia. Cosmetic ingredient suppliers say that neem oil is used in concentrations between 0.5% and 2%. Note that extracts from this plant are fine for topical use since they tend to not contain volatile oils, or this fraction has been removed.

Melia Azadirachta Oil references

  • ULProspector, Accessed July 2023, Webpage
  • Antidiabetic Medicinal Plants and Herbal Treatments, 2023, Book
  • Personal Care Council, Accessed July 2023, Webpage
  • Cosmetics, June 2022, ePublication
  • International Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Analysis, July 2021, pages 36-40
  • Malaria Journal, May 2015, ePublication

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.