Using Calendula every day
I really don’t know why I started to grow Calendula officinalis, (or ‘Pot Marigold’ as it is commonly named but not to be confused with African/French Marigolds – the Tagetes genus). When I first started gardening, I was delighted to discover that so many flowers are of an edible kind.
Despite being edible, Calendula, a happy member of the Asteraceae family, has use in your beauty routine that you didn’t know that you were missing. How much a year do you spend on moisturisers and face creams? Probably a lot more thank you think, but have you ever thought of making your own? This way, you can control exactly what you use on your skin and personalise it suited to your own needs.
Calendula can be used from your hair down to your toes, so let’s why not start at the top by making a Calendula dry hair oil.
If your hair is damaged, bleached, hard to brush, curly, or gets matted/tangled easily, you have probably used some kind of hair oil to brush through (if not then give it a go!). My hair is so long that I cannot wash my hair without using hair oil.
What are the benefits to using Calendula in your beauty routine?
Calendula is an antifungal. The antimicrobial properties help prevent infection and heal injuries to body tissues.
Calendula also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which for me as an active chronic pain sufferer, helps ease my muscle aches and pains.
There’s probably nothing that Calendula can’t do and I am on a journey and a mission to discover more about this wonderful plant.
There isn’t much that you need to start making your own beauty and health products from Calendula, which is a beauty in itself. You control the cultivar that you grow, the intensity and depth of colour, and even the carrier oil in which you will you use as your base. This way, you are in control and you can choose the oil that suits you best.
What do I mean by carrier oil?
A carrier oil is the oil that you choose to steep your calendula flowers in, from anything to 3 weeks to 3 months.
The base oil will infuse with your flowers and will be the base for your beauty products that you decide to make. Examples of carrier oil vary, so it is always best to see what is best for your skin/hair type initially, but you also have to think about storage and shelf life.
Due to my skin and hair, Olive oil is a perfect carrier oil for me.
Carrier oils to consider:
- Fractionated coconut oil
- Sweet Almond oil
- Avocado oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
It’s worth noting prior to making your oil that if you are allergic in any degree to members of the Asteraceae/Compositae family, then it could cause you to have an allergic reaction. When making your Calendula oil, it is always best to do a patch test 24 hours prior to using. You should also not use if pregnant or breastfeeding as there is evidence that it may change your hormone levels. As with using anything natural, it is always best to speak to a health professional first, especially if you are having specific issues. You may also need to check that the usage is safe with your current medications or if you are going in for surgery.
What Calendula Officinalis cultivar do I grow?
This is all dependant on you and what you want to achieve out of this. Traditionally, Calendula is orange or yellow, but newer pink and pale cultivars are popping up. There’s nothing wrong with using any of these, it just depends what you want to achieve in terms of colour intensity. Some of these cultivars include ‘Sunset Buff’, ‘Canteloupe’, ‘Pink Surprise’
For a brighter oil, I would certainly use ‘Indian Prince’, ‘Orange King’, ‘Neon’ as my favourite orange cultivars. They’re such a rich and deep orange that it is quite hard for your eyes to adjust to the flowers, especially at dusk and dawn. They’re an amazing addition to any garden and are striking next to blues and greens in your growing spaces. The flower heads on these cultivars are also large with longer stems, making them an amazing cut flower too. Sarah Raven also does a mix called ‘Touch of Red Mix’ which has yellows, creams, apricots and bright oranges – definitely worth a look for a mixed bit of fun!
More yellowy/pale colours, you can use ‘Playtime Mix’, ‘Calexis Yellow’, ‘Oopsy Daisy’, ‘Citrus Mix’, and ‘Fiesta Gitana’ which is one of my favourites as you get a mix of yellow or orange flowers with really big bloomy heads – perfect!
I wouldn’t really use the miniature cultivars as the flower heads are just so tiny and they don’t last very long in terms of their flowering period. They’re cute and good for the pollinators though so they do still have use in your borders.
You don’t want your Calendula going mouldy in your carrier oil so it is necessary to dry them prior to adding carrier oil. You can do this with a dehydrator if you’re fancy, place them face down on paper towels out of direct sunlight for a few days.
What you will need:
- Calendula flower heads of your choosing
- A kilner/similar brand of your preferred size of airtight preserving jar. What you may want to do is try smaller batches of different oils to see what is best for you. You may find that one oil is great for your face but not so good on your body – you choose YOU.
- Carrier oil of your choosing
- A muslin cloth
The great thing about making this oil is that there are no exact measurements – it’s dependent on how many flower heads you have.
- Add your flower heads first to your airtight jar.
- Add your chosen carrier oil to fill to the point of covering your flowers.
- Leave closed in a cool place for 3 weeks to 3 months (always the latter for me), giving it a gentle shake every now and then.
- When extracting your oil, strain with a sieve with a muslin cloth and stool in a cool dark place. The oil will last depending on your carrier oil so do look into the storage times. I have used olive oil as this is the best for my skin, has excellent storage and is also edible.
- Use in your food, salad, as a base for your beauty essentials, use directly in your hair. It also makes a lovely unusual homemade gift!
The DIY recipes on this website are based on my personal experiences. I am not a trained chemist, cleaning specialist, or skincare expert. The DIY recipes shared on this website haven’t been tested in a lab. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a doctor or specialist for specific concerns about any skincare issues, cleaning products, or dietary needs. Please use your discretion, based on your own research, when making homemade products.