Calendula officinalis has been used by herbalists, homesteaders, and natural healers for centuries. It can be used both internally or externally to support the immune system, treat skin ailments, and heal infections. Calendula works its magic by promoting cell repair and growth, coupled with its natural antiseptic, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Above all, it is gentle in its work. Unlike some natural remedies, you don’t need to worry about “overdoing it” with calendula.
Topically, calendula can ease, heal, or otherwise treat a huge array of skin conditions. It works wonders on my acne-prone, somewhat oily, and sensitive skin! According to the Chestnut School of Herbs, this includes rashes, sunburn, swelling, eczema, acne, stings, wounds, burns, scrapes, chickenpox, cold sores, and even genital herpes sores. I also find calendula oil to be very soothing after shaving, to prevent or treat razor burn.
WHAT IS CALENDULA OIL?
Calendula oil is nothing but a carrier oil that has been infused with dry calendula flowers. The flowers are steeped in carrier oil for 30 days. While steeping, the active resins of calendula petals are drawn into the oil.
Making your own calendula oil is easy to do, and far more affordable than most another natural, high-quality skincare products on the market – especially considering the volume you can make. Plus, you won’t find anything this simple and pure on the shelves!
BEST CARRIER OIL TO MAKE CALENDULA OIL?
It depends upon the purpose of making the calendula oil. Some may intend to use it on their face, some on their body, some may have oily skin while others might have dry skin. So, it depends upon the purpose behind making one.
Contrary to popular belief, oil-based skin products won’t necessarily make your skin more oily, or lead to increased breakouts! So many facial products that claim to “reduce shine” or treat acne actually irritate the skin by stripping it of its natural oils. When skin is overly dry, it overcompensates by producing excess sebum.
On the other hand, oils can soothe and nourish your skin, restoring natural moisture balance. When we add healing ingredients like calendula, it can work wonders for stressed, damaged, or dry skin! However, one should use a non-comedogenic oil that won’t clog your pores – especially if you’re prone to breakouts.
CARRIER OIL OPTIONS FOR CALENDULA INFUSED OIL
I highly suggest using a high-quality, unrefined, cold-pressed oil. Certified organic is all the better. Oils are rated on a comedogenic scale from 1 to 5. Those on the lower end of the scale are considered “non-comedogenic” and least likely to clog your pores. 3 means moderately likely, and 5 is very likely to clog your pores. All of these oils contain a high amount of essential omega fatty acids, which help rejuvenate, nourish, and hydrate skin.
This is my favorite when it comes to infusing herbs. Jojoba oil has a shelf life of 2 years, so your calendula oil is less likely to go rancid before you end up using it. Also, it is closest to our natural skin sebum thus making it ideal to moisturize dry skin and at the same time to balance oily skin. It is less likely to clog the pores and hence can be used by all skin types including acne-prone skin. Some people experience an initial “purge” (small breakouts) when they first begin to use jojoba oil, only because it is excellent at unclogging pores and removing impurities. Studies also show it is anti-inflammatory and promotes wound healing.
Grapeseed oil has a light silky texture, making it suitable for all skin types. Also, it has a comedogenic rating of 1 and less likely to clog the pores. It gets absorbed into the skin easily and makes your skin soft and moisturized. But it may not be enough for someone with dry skin. The anti-microbial properties of this oil help in reducing acne breakouts. It is the best option for someone with oily skin and acne-prone skin.
Coconut oil is praised for its amazing anti-bacterial benefits. Coconut oil is a 4 on the comedogenic scale. However, it contains caprylic acid and other compounds that provide strong antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. A great choice if you’re hoping to make body butter, hand salve, or internally ingest your calendula oil!
Safflower oil balances natural oil levels and helps unclog pores. It is gentle, a 0 on the comedogenic scale, lightweight, but highly moisturizing and healing. This oil is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin.
Hope you have selected a carrier oil that suits your skin type. I chose jojoba oil for this batch since it stays fresh longer and suits my oily skin really well.
HOW TO MAKE CALENDULA OIL
Pour your choice of oil over the dried calendula flowers, until the container is full and/or until the flowers are completely submerged.
Place a lid on the container, and store it in a sunny, warm location to enhance infusion. Allow the oil and flowers to infuse for at least three weeks, or up to a couple of months.
When the time is up, strain the flowers from the oil. I like to line our canning funnel with cheesecloth, place it over a clean similar-size glass jar, and then pour the oil and flowers in to drain. Then, I squeeze the cheesecloth sack of flowers to extract every last bit of oil that I can! A coffee filter may also work.
STORING HOMEMADE CALENDULA OIL
After the calendula oil is strained, store it in a glass container such as a jar – or you may opt to transfer it into a bottle with a pump or squeeze-top lid. Store the calendula oil in a cool, dry location.
Read the information on your carrier oil bottle to determine the recommended shelf life of your calendula oil. The addition of calendula will not change the carrier oil’s typical storage life. Some oils are more prone to becoming rancid than others; most have an average shelf life of 1 to 2 years. You can also store your calendula oil in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life!
Our homemade calendula oil is ready. You can use this to make your own soothing skincare products. Recipes coming soon.