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With beautiful golden petals and a sunny yellow centre — calendula is a firm favourite in cottage gardens. And for a good reason too. Well known for its curative properties, this humble perennial plant has been used for millennia to treat various skin conditions, making this one of my favourite ingredients to add to lotion bars.
Before we jump to the recipe, let’s look at the benefits of applying calendula oil to the skin and its uses in natural skincare.
Skin Benefits of Calendula Oil
Highly effective in comforting the skin, calendula’s anti-inflamatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties might help:
- Soothe dry, chapped skin
- Relieve diaper rashes
- Speed up the healing of minor cuts and wounds
- Improve redness, swelling and bruising in wounds
How to Make Calendula Oil
To extract calendula’s therapeutic properties, use dried flowering tops and base oils such as jojoba, sweet almond or sunflower oil, following one of the methods below.
Sun infusion: To prepare,
- Place dried marigold flowers into a glass jar with a fitting lid and cover it with the carrier oil of your choice.
- Please leave it in a sunny location for three to six weeks, allowing the sun gently heats the oil to release the calendula’s remedial compounds.
- Strain out the plant matter and store the jar in a dry, dark cupboard away from direct sunlight.
Heat infusion: This takes less time, and you’ll be ready to use calendula oil in a few hours.
- Place the jar filled with calendula and oil into a bain-marie and leave it on low heat for a couple of hours.
- Once the calendula oil has cooled down, strain out the plant matter.
- Refrain from overheating the oil to avoid degrading it.
Calendula Oil Uses In DIY Skincare
If you’re into DIY skincare, you’ll know simple natural ingredients are ideal for making homemade remedies. From balms and ointments to moisturisers, you can use calendula oil in a range of homemade creams, lotions and oils. Here are my favourite ways to use it.
Spot Treatment: If a sudden breakout at the wrong time has you in fright, try applying calendula oil to the affected area. The antimicrobial activity of calendula has been shown to help soothe and heal blemishes.
Sunburn Treatment: No one likes getting sunburnt. But calendula oil’s soothing effects may help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by sunburn.
Diaper rash treatment: Calendula oil is also great for soothing and healing diaper rash in babies. Apply a small amount of calendula-infused oil or calendula ointment to the affected area to relieve diaper rash, reduce redness and promote recovery.
Dry skin treatment: Aside from relieving irritated skin, calendula oil also has moisturising effects that make it ideal for treating dry skin. You can ease dryness and irritations by dabbing calendula oil onto the affected area. Alternatively, you can add calendula to homemade creams and balms to help moisturise dry skin.
DIY Calendula Lotion Bars Recipe
Now you could use loads of beautiful oils and butter on the market. Still, I’ll keep it simple and use a few wildly available ingredients. Cocoa butter, shea butter, calendula oil and carrot-infused oil are moisturising and nourishing for the skin and blend well together.
DIY Calendula Lotion BarsDifficulty: Beginner Formulator
If you’ve been looking for a way to quickly and inexpensively make your lotion bars, then this recipe is precisely what you need. All you need to do is melt the good quality cocoa butter, shea butter, calendula oil, and carrot oil, stir them together, and pour the blend into a silicone mould, let them set, and voilà, your homemade calendula lotion bars are ready to use.
- Phase A
80.00g unrefined cocoa butter
10.00g shea butter
7.00g calendula-infused oil
2.00g carrot-infused oil (optional)
- Phase B
1.00g vitamin E
- Bring 2-3 cm of water to a simmer over low heat in a saucepan.
- Weigh the unrefined cocoa butter, shea butter, calendula-infused oil, and carrot-infused oil in a heat-resistant glass beaker and place it into the water bath to melt the ingredients.
- When fully melted, remove the oil blend from the water bath, and stir until cooled down to avoid graininess.
- Add vitamin E once the blend has cooled down to under 40°C.
- Continue stirring until cooled down completely. Now you can pour the mix into the mould, allowing the bars to set overnight.
- Once firm, remove them from the mould, label and store them in an airtight jar.
How to Video
- Even though calendula is a natural ingredient, some people might be sensitive or even allergic to it. Always patch-test your homemade products before applying them to a small patch of skin to check for sensitivities. If your skin turns red or itchy or you experience any rash, discontinue using them and contact a healthcare professional.
Shelf life and storage
Lotion bars generally keep well. You can expect them to last anywhere between six to twelve months if stored well. Keep them away from direct sunlight in a dry, cool room or a draw. If they change colour, smell or texture, dispose of them and prepare a new batch.
Please remember that swapping the ingredients in the formula will alter the final product. Consider how the ingredient you switch will affect the final product’s texture and smell when making changes.
Cocoa butter is fundamental in this recipe as it gives lotion bars their firm texture. You can try other butter, like tucuma butter or murumuru, instead.
Shea butter offers numerous skin benefits, yet, some people find it too greasy. Its smell can also be offputting for some. Soft butter, like mango butter, with a dry feel and hardly any scent, makes an excellent substitute.
Carrot-infused oil is not essential in this recipe, and you can replace it with cocoa butter or calendula oil. Still, it adds a lovely shade of yellow to bars and offers many skin benefits thanks to a high content of provitamin A. You can use the same method as you did to infuse calendula oil. Use the dried carrots, though, to avoid bacterial growth.
How can I scent my lotion bars?
To add fragrance to your lotion bars, incorporate essential oils into your formula. Sweet orange, bergamot, cinnamon or rosemary essential oil would work well here. You can learn more here 10 Essential Oils That Pair Well With Cocoa Butter.
Can calendula irritate my skin?
Even though calendula is relatively safe to apply to the skin, avoid it if you are allergic to weeds in the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Always patch test first. If you experience any reaction, discontinue using it and contact your healthcare professional.