Post and photos by Taylor Hengen Newman
Renowned for its skin-healing properties, calendula is a pretty little flower that packs a powerful (yet gentle) punch. An oil infusion created with its petals yields a soothing, antibacterial final product that can be applied to skin straight out of the shower, or used in everyday items from homemade first-aid salves to diaper creams. It will help heal damaged skin, reduce scarring and generally keep skin happy and calm.
You can easily grow your own calendula and dry its petals for infusing, or purchase some already-dried online. Any natural oil – almond, olive, etc. – will work for this recipe, but I recommend jojoba oil. It mimics the oils our bodies naturally produce, so maintains skin’s healthiest moisture-balance while it hydrates and softens.
How to Make Skin Healing Calendula Oil
- Dried calendula petals (enough to fill your jar/bottle of choice about halfway)
- Jojoba oil (enough to fill your jar)
- One clean jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid
- Fill your jar about halfway with calendula petals.
- Pour oil into the jar until it’s just about full. The herbs will absorb some of the oil, so you won’t end up with quite as much as you pour in.
- Secure the lid onto the jar and place in a sunny spot for about a month. In the spring and summer, you can place the jar directly outside. In cooler months, place it by a warm, sunny window indoors. Shake occasionally to redistribute the jar’s contents.
- After about a month has passed, pour the jar’s contents through a small strainer or a muslin bag, straining the oil (or pouring it once strained) into another, clean jar or bottle. Straining can take some time, so don’t rush this, and if you use a muslin bag, squeeze it around the herbs, before discarding, in order to get a few more good drops of the oil.
The calendula oil infusion doesn’t need to be refrigerated – you can store it in your bathroom cabinet – but if it starts to smell ‘off,’ it’s probably time to toss it and make more. The oil is wonderful as a face and body moisturizer, and works especially well when applied to wet skin just after cleansing.