The Benefits of Calendula in Skin Care Products
Calendula is a fancy name for those bright orange marigolds that herald Springtime at your local nursery. They are small, sturdy plants of Mediterranean origin, and enjoy warm weather. Read on to learn the historical uses of these happy marigolds, some of the skin care benefits of calendula, and learn why they’re acclaimed in the natural beauty and skin care world.
The Benefits of the Flower
This beautiful marigold flower features some unique qualities. It contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, and has been used in many ancient societies in the healing arts. When used in skin care products, calendula reduces the appearance of inflammation and redness, and seems to help especially with dry or chapped skin. Growing up, I remember learning from my father that when we planted out a new crop of vegetables that were susceptible to bug infestation, we could plant a row of marigolds between the rows of vegetables. The bugs disliked the flowers, and would stay off of the vegetables. This was especially true for the dreaded tomato bug (horn beetle). This blog is not meant to be a gardening journal, but if you are a gardener, and not currently using marigolds, you should definitely read up on their uses in the garden. They do have a rather pungent smell, and this might be the reason they deter some insects. It’s also worth noting that their bright color also attracts some beneficial insects and butterflies as well.
A quick internet search on the general health and skin care benefits of calendula will have your head spinning! It is a plant that has been used in many cultures around the world by herbalists to treat a wide array of conditions. Medically speaking, the properties of the calendula flower have been used in poultices or compresses on wounds, as calming ingredients in soaps, creams and balms, and because calendula seems to work even better on dry or chapped skin, it has been worked into formulations directed to soothing irritated or dry skin, diaper rash, eczema and acne.
In India, the marigold has long been used as a religious decoration for temples. It adorns statues, and the bright orange flowers are used in great effect as decorations at weddings. Many years ago, the orange color was used as a food colorant, and in homemade soap, calendula leaves a lovely, soft yellow color.
The method of choice for using calendula in your own home is making tea. If you grow your own calendula, it is easy to go out and pick the flowers, boil some water, and make the tea. If you do not have them growing in your yard, there are herbal sites online that cater to selling the flowers dried, and they work just as well as the fresh flowers. Simply take 1-2 Tablespoons of the flowers, seep them in 8 oz. (240 ml) boiling water for about 15 minutes, and you have a tea. There are people who swear by gargling with this tea to help reduce the pain of a sore throat, and others who rinse their face with it before bed to help reduce bacteria around acne. Another use for the tea is as a hair rinse. If you have dry, itchy scalp, you might try rinsing your hair with the tea, after washing.
* Please note that this is not a site that offers medical advice. The nature of this blog post is merely to show the variety of historical uses for calendula. There are warnings associated with its use too. Most specifically, that taking the tea internally may induce menstrual type bleeding, and therefore it is not recommended to be used by pregnant women without consulting their doctor first.
Uses in Skin Care
When formulating skin care, calendula is useful in reducing the appearance of inflammation and dryness on the skin. It is a gentle product, and can be purchased for skin product use in a water or oil base and added to creams, lotions, soaps, shampoo or balm. At Ayr Skin Care we love calendula! We choose to use it as an ingredient in our Reveal Exfoliating Facial Cleanser as well as our Awaken Revitalizing Eye Serum. Experience the beauty and the natural skin care benefits of calendula with our products, and maybe do some more reading on the benefits of this beautiful, orange flower.
Bye for now!
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