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How to Make Calendula Infused Oil + 3 Calendula Skin Care Recipes

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Learn how to make calendula infused oil, plus discover the benefits of calendula for natural skincare. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you’re going to love all 3 of these calendula skin care recipes with soothing calendula oil.

Homemade calendula infused oil.

We’ve all experienced skin irritation at some point. Sometimes reaching for an over-the-counter remedy is necessary, but often, nature provides her own herbal solutions for various skin ailments.

One of these often used herbal remedies is calendula, a beautiful golden flower that has been used in herbalism for centuries due to its healing properties.  

Calendula’s ability to promote healing is what makes it ideal for use in herbal recipes intended to calm or ease minor skin irritations. 

Read on to learn how to make 3 calendula skin care recipes intended to soothe or nourish your skin including DIY calendula infused oil, calendula healing salve and a bug repelling balm with calendula oil.

Calendula skin care benefits

First and foremost, you might be wondering – what does calendula do for your skin, and why use it in your homemade skincare products?

Calendula (calendula officinalis) has been shown to soothe an array of skin ailments, including minor cuts and scrapes, bug bites, minor burns and sunburns, eczema and dermatitis, dry lips, irritation and more.

And this isn’t just a folk medicine myth – studies have confirmed that the phytochemicals in calendula officinalis possess potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties that promote healing1,2.

Calendula DIY skincare products – calendula infused oil and calendula healing salve.

This is why calendula and its extracts are often found in skincare products intended to soothe the skin and support healing, such as nourishing salves, soothing balms, creams, ointments, and healing lip balms.

And since calendula is such a gentle herb, it’s also an ideal botanical to have on hand for those with sensitive skin.

How to use calendula for skin

The main way calendula is used in skin care is through oil infusion. Infusing oil with calendula flowers results in a beautiful, golden hued oil that’s brimming with skin-soothing properties.

This calendula infused oil can then serve as the base for a variety of healing skin care recipes, and can be incorporated into healing salves, lip balms, face serums and so much more.

You can also apply calendula oil on its own to rejuvenate and nourish dry, cracked skin.

Calendula oil infusion in glass bottle.

Ways to use calendula oil on your face:

  • As a calming facial oil for sensitive skin
  • In a face serum to soothe irritation and inflammation
  • As a spot treatment for eczema flare ups or allergic reactions

Ways to use calendula oil for your body:

  • As a soothing massage oil or hydrating body oil
  • Calendula baby oil for babies’ sensitive skin
  • Calming treatment for razor burn and irritation

Overall, it’s a lovely and versatile herbal infused oil to have on hand due to its various uses.

All of the skin care recipes below contain calendula infused oil, so you will need to either make a calendula oil infusion, or purchase bottled calendula oil.

If you’re wondering how to make calendula oil, the process is very simple.

How to infuse calendula oil

There are many ways to make your own calendula infused oil, including the stovetop, slow cooker, and the longer cold infusion method.

This calendula oil recipe is very basic and uses the cold infusion method.

This simply involves placing the dried calendula flowers in a clean jar or bottle, covering the flowers with oil, sealing the container, and then allowing the mixture to infuse.

Once you have made or purchased your calendula oil, you can then use it to make the other recipes in this post.

Best carrier oil for calendula infused oil

When it comes to making a calendula oil infusion, certain carrier oils are better than others.

We recommend using unrefined, cold-pressed or expeller-pressed carrier oils that are low in PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids).

The best carrier oils for calendula oil include:

  • Fractionated coconut oil
  • MCT oil
  • Olive oil
  • Jojoba oil

Why use low-PUFA oils? Because oils lower in PUFAs are more heat stable, less easily damaged, and have longer shelf lives than other liquid carrier oils.

This is especially important during heat infusion or if you’ll be heating the calendula oil to use in other skin care recipes.

In comparison, highly polyunsaturated oils such as sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil have short shelf lives and tend to oxidize when exposed to heat, light, and oxygen.

To learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth post on polyunsaturated oils in skincare and browse our low-PUFA skincare recipes.

DIY calendula oil recipe

To make calendula infused oil, you will need:

How to make calendula infused oil – placing calendula flowers into carrier oil.

How to infuse calendula oil

  1. Fill a sterilized mason jar or sealable bottle 1/2 or 3/4 of the way with dried calendula flowers. Then, pour the carrier oil over the flowers until the container is almost full.
  2. Use a wooden spoon to push down the flowers. You want to ensure they are all thoroughly submerged in the oil. 
  3. Seal tightly, then place the container in a cool, dark cupboard.
  4. Let the mixture infuse for approximately 4-6 weeks. Shake daily or at least every few days. The longer the infusion, the deeper the resulting color of the calendula oil infusion and the more potent the effects.
  5. When the mixture is finished infusing, use cheesecloth or a fine sieve to remove the calendula flowers from the oil. Tip: Be sure to squeeze every last drop of oil out of the flowers as to not waste any of the healing benefits.
  6. Pour the herbal infused oil into a fresh bottle or jar. It’s now ready to use.

Can you use calendula oil on your face?

Yes, you can use calendula infused oil on your face. As mentioned, it’s especially beneficial for sensitive or irritated skin, or to help calm eczema flares.

As well, be sure that the carrier oil you used in your infusion is suited for your skin type. If your chosen oil has a high comedogenic rating (such as olive oil) then it may be better suited for use on your body. 

You can also chose a carrier oil based on your specific skin type.

  • If you have acne prone or oily skin, then choose MCT oil.
  • If you have dry or sensitive skin, a heavier oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil may be better suited to you.

To learn more about why MCT oil is good for oily skin, you can read our post on our DIY cleansing oil with MCT oil.

To learn how to make your own calendula face serum, see this calendula facial oil recipe from Soap Deli News.

Calendula skin care recipes

Once you have made the calendula oil, you can harness all its calming and skin-rejuvenating benefits in the following recipes.

All recipes below can be made with a homemade calendula oil infusion or store-bought calendula oil.

This cold-pressed calendula infused oil is a good choice, as it’s infused in olive oil rather than the less stable and often used grapeseed or sunflower oils.

Calendula skin care recipes.

DIY calendula healing salve

This homemade calendula salve is ideal for soothing common skin ailments such as razor burn, mild sunburn or minor bug bites.

Many studies have demonstrated calendula’s healing properties, making it the perfect base for a natural healing salve recipe3.

Because salves are traditionally rich, thick and highly nourishing, they also work well on dry hands or feet. In fact, salves can help nourish dry, irritated and inflamed skin on the entire body.

DIY calendula salve.

If your skin is especially dry or irritated, you can also use your calendula salve as a calming face cream or an overnight face mask.

It can even work well as a moisturizing cuticle butter for dry cuticles or as a homemade burn salve.

However, since a salve is intended to lock in moisture, it should not be used on weepy skin, serious burns or on deep wounds.

Tips for making a calendula salve

Salves are comprised of both wax and oil. For a salve recipe containing beeswax, common ratios are 1 part beeswax to approximately 4-5 parts oil, but the firmness of the salve will also be dependant upon your carrier oil. 

You can also experiment with the amount of beeswax depending on your personal preference. Some may prefer a firmer salve while others prefer a softer balm.

Using a higher amount of beeswax will create a firmer salve so if you want a very soft salve, you can even adjust the measurements to 1 part beeswax to 3 parts oil. 

But remember to consider your climate and the temperature of your home as well. If you live in a very warm climate, you should make a firmer salve as it will be less prone to melting in the heat.

Additionally, if the consistency of your finished salve isn’t what you expected, simply adjust the ratio for the next batch. 

Homemade calendula salve with calendula flowers.

To make a soothing homemade calendula salve, you will need a few simple ingredients:

  • 2.5 – 3 tbsp beeswax pellets (more for a firmer salve, less for a softer salve)
  • 1/2 cup calendula infused oil
  • 1/4 tsp vitamin E oil (optional, for skin healing)
  • Essential oils of choice (see notes)

How to make calendula healing salve

  1. In a double boiler, Turkish coffee pot, or saucepan in a water bath, melt the calendula infused oil and beeswax over medium-low heat.
  2. Stir occasionally to ensure even melting. You want to be sure that the beeswax is completely liquified. But take care not to overheat, so as not to affect the calendula salve’s potency.
  3. Once fully melted, remove from heat.
  4. Add the essential oils and vitamin E if desired, and stir again to incorporate well. 
  5. Before the mixture cools, poor the salve into small containers, such as tiny glass jars or tins.
  6. Place the containers in the refrigerator to cool. This will prevent the salve from becoming grainy.
  7. To use, apply with clean fingertips. Reapply as needed to help soothe and hydrate the skin.  

How to make calendula salve without beeswax

If you’re vegan or prefer not to use beeswax, you can make a vegan calendula salve by using a plant wax such as carnauba wax or candelilla wax instead of beeswax.

Plant waxes tend to be firmer than beeswax. So, you generally want to use approximately half as much plant wax as beeswax.

To make salve without beeswax, you can substitute 1/2 tbsp candelilla wax or carnauba wax for every 1 tbsp beeswax.

Homemade calendula healing salve.

Essential oils for calendula salve

If desired, you can also add an essential oil to your DIY calendula healing salve. Calming essential oils go well with calendula, as their soothing properties enhance healing.

However, please omit the essential oils if you are making the calendula salve for your face.

The essentials oils below are known for their calming properties and would pair well with calendula:

As always, when using essential oils topically, be sure to use them within their recommended usage rate.

Calendula bug repellent balm

This easy homemade calendula bug balm is intended to repel bugs. Its base is similar to the salve but it also contains a small amount of castor oil.

Castor oil is astringent and has also been shown to exhibit some bug-repelling capabilities, which is why you might notice it on the ingredient list of some store-bought bug sprays.

As well, calendula can help soothe itchy bug bites. So if you’ve already been bitten, you can also use your calendula oil infusion to make a bug bite soothing balm.

However, essential oils should not be used on irritated or broken skin, so omit the essential oils if using your balm to soothe bug bites.

Calendula bug bite balm.

Essential oils for DIY bug balm

This calendula bug balm is scented with citronella and lemongrass essential oils. Both oils are commonly used in natural bug repellent products for their ability to repel mosquitoes and other pesky insects. 

Citronella has a fresh, crisp citrus aroma and contains the aldehyde citronellal which repels bugs4. It’s most often used in popular citronella candles which are burned to deter insects both indoors, as well as in outdoor spaces such as backyards or patios. 

Lemongrass essential oil has an earthy, yet zesty citrus aroma and also contains citronellal, which is why this oil is also found in bug repelling roll-ons and bug sprays.

Natural bug repellent balm.

For this recipe, we used the citronella and lemongrass oils from the June 2021 Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box, a monthly subscription box that includes 4 full-size oils, 6 essential oil recipes, and the supplies to make each one.  

If you’ve spent any time on our blog, you will know that we recommend Simply Earth essential oils for their quality and affordability.

The June box includes mandarin, citronella, and lemongrass oils, along with the Good Vibes blend which is said to promote positivity and ease feelings of anxiety. You can see the full box contents here.

If you’re interested in purchasing a subscription, you can use our code ALIFEADJACENTFREE to get a $40 gift card with your first box.

You’ll also receive a free Bonus Box with your subscription, which contains all sorts of useful goodies that you can use to make this bug balm or a bug roll-on, plus other essential oil DIYs. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use the Simply Earth box to make these calendula remedies. However, it’s definitely convenient when essentials oils arrive on your doorstep every month!

NOTE: the monthly boxes do sell out fast, but you can also purchase each essential oil separately.

Bug repellent balm recipe

  1. First, create a double boiler by placing a heat-safe container such as a Turkish coffee pot or small saucepan into a shallow pan of water.
  2. Gently melt the infused oil and beeswax on medium low heat. Stir the mixture lightly as it melts.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Then, add the essential oils.  
  4. Pour the bug balm into a small container with a lid to keep it fresh. Store in a cool drawer or cupboard. 
  5. To use, apply this bug balm to your wrists and ankles to deter mosquitos and other pesky bugs.
DIY bug bite balm.

Shelf life and storage

How long does calendula infused oil last?

With proper storage, your calendula infused oil should last approximately 1 to 2 years, especially when made with a low-PUFA carrier oil that has a longer shelf-life such as MCT oil or fractionated coconut oil.

As with all oils, a dark bottle is best for storage, but at the very least, be sure to store your oil infusion tightly sealed in a cool, dark place.

How long does calendula balm last?

When stored properly, the calendula salve or calendula bug balm should last just as long as your calendula oil.

However, please note that the potency and/or soothing properties of each recipe may decrease with time.

The shelf-life of each product will also depend on the freshness of your ingredients. Check the dates on your carrier oils for a more reliable estimate. As well, be mindful of the date you opened your essential oils.

Lemongrass and citronella essential oils both have relatively long shelf lives of 2 to 3 years.

As with all recipes using essential oils, please keep your homemade products in a cool, dark cupboard and be sure they’re packaged correctly. See this post for our favourite packaging ideas for beauty and skincare products.

Calendula Infused Oil + 3 Calendula Skin Care Recipes

Homemade calendula infused oil.

Learn how to make skin-soothing calendula infused oil for your homemade herbal remedies cabinet. Plus, discover calendula skin care recipes with this versatile herbal remedy: calendula healing salve and bug balm.

Prep Time 1 month 11 days 14 hours
Total Time 1 month 11 days 14 hours

Ingredients

Calendula Infused Oil

Calendula Healing Salve

Calendula Bug Repellent Balm

Instructions

How to make calendula infused oil

  1. Fill a sterilized mason jar or sealable bottle 1/2 or 3/4 of the way with dried calendula flowers. Then, pour the carrier oil over the flowers until the container is almost full.
  2. Use a wooden spoon to push down the flowers. You want to ensure they are all thoroughly submerged in the oil. 
  3. Seal tightly, then place the container in a cool, dark cupboard.
  4. Let the mixture infuse for approximately 4-6 weeks. Shake daily or at least every few days. The longer the infusion, the deeper the resulting color of the calendula oil infusion and the more potent the effects.
  5. When the mixture is finished infusing, use cheesecloth or a fine sieve to remove the calendula flowers from the oil. Tip: Be sure to squeeze every last drop of oil out of the flowers as to not waste any of the healing benefits.
  6. Pour the herbal infused oil into a fresh bottle or jar. It's now ready to use.

How to make calendula healing salve

  1. In a double boiler, Turkish coffee pot, or saucepan in a water bath, melt the calendula infused oil and beeswax over medium-low heat.
  2. Stir occasionally to ensure even melting. You want to be sure that the beeswax is completely liquified. But take care not to overheat, so as not to affect the calendula salve's potency.
  3. Once fully melted, remove from heat.
  4. Add the essential oils and vitamin E if desired, and stir again to incorporate well. 
  5. Before the mixture cools, poor the salve into small containers, such as tiny glass jars or tins.
  6. Place the containers in the refrigerator to cool. This will prevent the salve from becoming grainy.
  7. To use, apply with clean fingertips. Reapply as needed to help soothe and hydrate the skin.

How to make calendula bug repellent balm

  1. First, create a double boiler by placing a heat-safe container such as a Turkish coffee pot or small saucepan into a shallow pan of water.
  2. Gently melt the infused oil and beeswax on medium low heat. Stir the mixture lightly as it melts.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Then, add the essential oils.
  4. Pour the bug balm into a small container with a lid to keep it fresh. Store in a cool drawer or cupboard. 
  5. To use, apply this bug balm to your wrists and ankles to deter mosquitos and other pesky bugs.

Notes

Best carrier oils for calendula infused oil

We recommend using liquid carrier oils that are low in PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids).

The best carrier oils for calendula oil:

  • Fractionated coconut oil
  • MCT oil
  • Olive oil
  • Jojoba oil

Low-PUFA oils are more heat stable, less easily damaged, and have longer shelf lives than other liquid carrier oils.

This is especially important during heat infusion or if you'll be heating the calendula oil for use in other skin care recipes.

In comparison, highly polyunsaturated oils such grapeseed oil and sunflower oil have short shelf lives and oxidize more readily.

To learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth post on polyunsaturated oils in skincare and browse our low-PUFA skincare recipes.

How to make calendula salve without beeswax

You can make a vegan calendula salve without beeswax by using a plant wax such as carnauba wax or candelilla wax instead.

Plant waxes tend to be firmer than beeswax. So, you generally want to use half as much plant wax as beeswax.

For this salve, you can substitute 1/2 tbsp candelilla wax or carnauba wax for every 1 tbsp of beeswax.

Essential oils for calendula salve

If desired, you can also add an essential oil to your DIY calendula healing salve. Calming essential oils go well with calendula, as their soothing properties enhance healing.

However, please omit the essential oils if you are making the calendula salve for your face.

Calming essentials oils for calendula salve:

  • Blue tansy
  • German chamomile
  • Blue yarrow
  • Bulgarian lavender

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Homemade calendula skin care recipes.

Health and safety information and disclaimer

Though calendula is purported to help alleviate many skin ailments, calendula oil does not cure or treat any disease. Any product used for healing or soothing minor skin conditions is not a replacement for proper medical care.

I’m not a doctor, and this article is not meant to be construed as medical advice. You should always speak with a medical professional before using this or any home remedy.

If you suffer from allergies to pollen, ragweed or flowers such as marigolds, daisies or chrysanthemums, you should not use topical products with calendula. 

Additionally, since essential oils are potent plant extracts, they should always be both used sparingly, and diluted in a carrier oil.

For instance, both citronella and lemongrass essential oils can be irritating to some people when used topically, even when diluted in a carrier oil. These oils should also not be used on inflamed skin.

A patch test is recommended when using any new skincare product, including those using natural and herbal extracts. Therefore, we suggest doing a patch test before using the bug balm or any product containing essential oils.

If any further irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately.

Also, it’s very important to note that if you live in an area in which mosquitoes are spreading known mosquito-borne pathogens or if you live in areas where ticks are spreading Lyme disease, bug repellants containing essential oils are unlikely to offer enough protection.

It’s important to remember that while natural remedies might be your preference, you have to weigh the risks against the very serious dangers posed by these diseases.

1. Khan, M. (2011). Diverse Belongings of Calendula officinalis. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research.
2. Shedoeva, Aleksandra et al. “Wound Healing and the Use of Medicinal Plants.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2019 2684108. 22 Sep. 2019, doi:10.1155/2019/2684108
3. Jahdi, Fereshteh et al. “The impact of calendula ointment on cesarean wound healing: A randomized controlled clinical trial.” Journal of family medicine and primary care vol. 7,5 (2018): 893-897. doi:10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_121_17
4. Maia, Marta Ferreira, and Sarah J Moore. “Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing.” Malaria journal vol. 10 Suppl 1,Suppl 1 S11. 15 Mar. 2011, doi:10.1186/1475-2875-10-S1-S11

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