Benefits of Calendula Extract for Your Skin
Modern medicine has a time and a place, but the earth gives us medicine too! Calendula is one of those organic medicines that the planet provides for us if you know where to look and how to use it.
This yellow-gold plant is in the top five list of anti-inflammatory herbal medicines, holding its own against comfrey, turmeric, and other natural remedies. Want to know more about the plant, how to use it, how NOT to use it, and what its benefits are?
Learn more about calendula extract and which of our products feature it, below.
What is Calendula?
Do you love the lush, layered look of perennial marigold flowers? If so, you've actually been admiring the calendula plant! The official name for your favorite golden-hued flower is Calendula Officinalis. More commonly, the plant is referred to as the English Garden Marigold, Scotch Marigold, Calendule, or Fleur de Calendule, depending on where you live.
Calendula variations are not the same as "ornamental marigolds," or Tagetes genus.
They grow throughout Europe, the United States, and Canada. If you were thinking of adding this skin-friendly item to your garden, it needs full sunlight and moderate, well-drained soil. They are perennials, so they'll pop back up every year.
As an added bonus, butterflies and bees (save the bees!) love these sunny flowers, so they're pollinator-friendly.
The calendula itself is a flavonoid that lives in the plant's petals. To create calendula extract, experts boil, steam, or otherwise extract the flavonoid from the petal, then add it to carrier oils. We only use vegan, organic carrier oils, you can learn more about our practices here.
At-home practitioners can make tea from dried petals or create their own oils, but only do so with home-grown plants! It is not recommended to ingest garden plants treated with herbs or insecticides. Additionally, it's always a good idea to consult a doctor before starting any sort of supplemental, herbal or not.
The Benefits of Calendula Extract
We've alluded to this plant medicine being anti-inflammatory, but it's also thought to have anti-microbial benefits. At Hebe Vegan Beauty, we believe in plant medicine, but legally we have to use words like "thought to have" and "may help." Please keep that in mind while reading the list below!
Calendula has been used for thousands of years to help heal wounds, along with comfrey and other plant medicines. There are limited modern medicine studies on this, but we've seen the proof ourselves. Not only can it potentially help heal wounds (not open, once scarred), but it can help fade scars as well.
One of the few modern medicine studies on Calendula showed promising results in fading women's c-section scars when the extract was applied to the area topically. Specifically, the study states "using calendula ointment considerably increases the speed of cesarean wound healing."
Diaper Rash and Eczema
The benefits of calendula extract on skin span the ages - historically as well as demographically! Since it has both anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, it's a great choice to use for skin rashes. Parents can find baby-safe products for calendula-infused diaper rash cream.
Anyone, of any age, can use calendula extract to treat eczema or rosacea. A gentle calendula extract vegan product both helps treat and soothes active skin rashes. For extra soothing power, keep your extract in a cool, dark place and use instead of drugstore anti-itch creams.
For the Face
Calendula oil is very hydrating and is a good option to help reduce skin redness on the face. According to one source, using this herb topically may help increase collagen production. Collagen is the molecule that keeps your skin elastic and is important for reducing or preventing wrinkles.
Anti-Oxidants and Sun Protection
Some people believe that calendula can act as natural skin repair from sun damage, but don't take that as permission not to wear sunscreen! While your sun products should be vegan and organic, it's important to wear a mineral based sunscreen every day.
The rationale behind believing that this plant can treat skin damage comes from it's number of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are like little vacuums that go around your body and destroy impurities, like ones from toxic products and environmental factors.
Anti-oxidants are most effective when taken internally (in food or drink) but topically can't hurt!
Can Everyone Use Calendula?
Good question! Since it's in a plant family that borders ragweed, you shouldn't use any calendula products if you have a ragweed allergy or have trouble with daises. Technically these are plants in the Asteracae family.
Pregnant and nursing women are also discouraged from using the product, though it's not widely known why.
As with any new product, start by spot testing the calendula extract on skin, to make sure you don't have any sort of reaction. As long as you're not allergic, pregnant, or nursing, it's safe to use products with this ingredient twice a day.
Products to Try: Our Calendula Extract Skin Favorites
Ready to dip your toe (or body) into this delicious anti-inflammatory herb? We have a range of vegan clean beauty products on our website that you'll love.
Our clarifying body scrub with calendula extract comes in four scents, French Rivieria (Lavender), Autumn Fest, Nordic Sea, and Patchouli Amber Spice. These delicious physical exfoliants have calming calendula extract to keep the scrub from being too harsh on your skin.
All of our products are plant-based and ethically sourced, so you can feel good about what you're putting on your body and what's going down the drain. You can learn more about what we do and what we won't on our about page.
Integrating Calendula Extract Into Your Routine
Whether you choose to try calendula extract in one of our products or on your own, we're happy to have played a role in your eco-friendly skincare journey. Using earth-based products is not only better for you, but it's better for the earth as well.
Just make sure you're getting your products from an ethical source that engages in regenerative planting practices, like ours do.
Start your plant magic journey with us, here.