The petals of the Calendula officinalis plant — commonly known as marigold — pack plenty of skin-friendly benefits, including antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Calendula creams often are promoted as anti-inflammatory remedies, helping reduce redness, sunburn and other non-chronic forms of inflammation. While you can nab calendula-infused salves off the shelf, making your own is a more all-natural, eco-friendly and wallet-lightening way to improve your skin.

Things You'll Need


Make the Oil

Allow the freshly picked flowers of a marigold plant to air-dry for about 12 hours. Drying the petals helps prevent rancid oil.

Place the wilted flowers in a clean, dry jar. Fill the jar with pure, natural olive oil so that they are completely submerged, then give the combination a gentle stir. Seal the jar tightly with a lid and store it on a well-lit windowsill for four to six weeks, shaking it at least once per day.

Pour the mixture through a clean cheesecloth into another clean, dry jar, straining out the plant parts. Store the calendula oil in glass bottles or lidded jars in a cool, dark place.

Concoct the Cream

Shave, thinly slice, chop or grate beeswax. Add about two parts beeswax, two parts coconut oil and five parts calendula oil to a double boiler. Heat the mixture in the pan on low heat, stirring gently until it’s fully blended.

Fill a blender with a bit of distilled water — about equal to the amount of coconut oil you used — and turn it on at a low setting. As the water spins, slowly pour in the oil and wax mixture. Put the cap on the blender and mix until the ingredients take on a creamy, smooth texture.

Transfer the still-warm cream into a clean, dry jar, allowing it to cool completely before you seal it. Add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice, such as lavender, if you wish to give the cream a pleasant scent.

Tips

  • Keep the homemade calendula cream in a cool, dark place for as long as six months. Give it a quick stir before using it, because the oils may separate from the other ingredients.

  • If you’re in a rush, make calendula oil by simmering the marigold flowers in olive oil on the stovetop for about three to five hours, then straining and storing it in jars.

  • Substitute cocoa butter or lanolin for the coconut oil, if you prefer.