calendula

How to Make Homemade Calendula Cream: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide

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Today, I have something truly magical to share with you: homemade calendula cream! It’s the ultimate way to harness the power of healing herbs and create a nourishing treat for your skin. You may have heard about the incredible medicinal benefits of calendula, and how it has been used for centuries to soothe and heal skin irritations. Now you can incorporate this wonder herb into your very own DIY skincare routine. The best part? This all-natural calendula cream recipe is so simple that even beginners can whip it up in no time. In this article, I will share with you a simple and easy recipe for making calendula cream at home.

calendula

To make calendula cream, you will need to infuse calendula flowers in a carrier oil such as olive oil, jojoba, sweet almond, or coconut oil. This process extracts the healing properties of the plant into the oil. Once the oil is infused, you can use it to make a cream by combining it with beeswax and other nourishing ingredients. Making your own calendula cream allows you to control the quality of the ingredients and avoid harmful chemicals often found in store-bought products.

calendula

Harvesting and Drying Calendula Flowers

As I grow my own calendula flowers, I find it essential to harvest and dry them for future use. Here are some steps I follow to ensure I get the best quality flowers:

  1. Choose the right time to harvest: I prefer to harvest my calendula flowers early in the morning when the dew has dried out. This ensures that the flowers are fresh and have not been exposed to the sun for too long.

  2. Pick the right flowers: I select only the fully opened flowers that are at their peak. I avoid picking flowers that are wilted, damaged, or discolored.

  3. Snip the flowers: Using scissors or my fingers, I snip off the flower heads at the top of the stalk. I make sure to leave some stem attached to the flower head so that I can tie them up for drying.

  4. Dry the flowers: I dry my calendula flowers indoors in a cool, dry, and dark place. I tie the flowers together in small bundles and hang them upside down to dry. It usually takes about two weeks for the flowers to dry completely.

  5. Store the dried flowers: Once the flowers are completely dry, I remove the petals and store them in an airtight container. I keep the container in a cool, dark place until I am ready to use them.

Harvesting your own calendula flowers from the garden is a great way to ensure that your oil is made with fresh, natural ingredients. Calendula-infused oil can be used in a variety of skincare recipes, including creams, lotions, and balms. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, making it a popular choice for those with sensitive or irritated skin.

Related Content: The Incredible Health Benefits of Calendula and Its Uses

calendula cream

Where to Buy Dried Calendula Flowers

If you don’t have access to local or homegrown herbs, I highly recommend purchasing them from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are my favorite place to buy high-quality, organic dried herbs and herbal products. As a company they believe in people, plants, and planet over profit and only ever source their herbs ethically and sustainably. It is through this ethical, responsible sourcing, that they are able to offer one of the largest selections of certified organic herbs, spices, and botanicals in North America.

power of the sun

MAKING CALENDULA-INFUSED OIL

To make homemade calendula cream, the first step is to create a calendula-infused oil. This oil is the base for many calendula skincare recipes and is easy to make at home. Here is my recipe:

Gather your ingredients. You will need:

  1. Add the dried calendula flowers to the clean jar.
  2. Pour the carrier oil over the flowers, making sure they are fully submerged.
  3. Close the lid tightly and give the jar a good shake to mix the ingredients.
  4. Place the jar in a warm, sunny spot for 4-6 weeks. Shake the jar daily to help infuse the oil.
  5. After 4-6 weeks, strain the oil through a cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer to remove the flowers.
  6. Store the calendula-infused oil in a clean, airtight container in a cool, dark place.
calendula cream
calendula cream

CREATING the CALENDULA CREAM

Once I have my calendula-infused oil, I’m ready to make the cream. Here’s a simple recipe for a natural calendula cream:

Equipment:

Ingredients:

Instructions:

calendula cream

1. Prepare your blender in advance by preheating it with a couple of cups of boiling water.  This will help the cream from sticking in step 4. 

calendula cream

2. In a double boiler, bring an inch or two of water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. I use a makeshift double boiler by filling a saucepan with a few inches of water and placing it on the stove over medium heat. I then take a heatproof measuring cup or smaller saucepan and place it on top of the saucepan, ensuring that it sits securely. This setup creates indirect heat, allowing you to melt delicate ingredients such as beeswax and herb infused oils without direct contact with the heat source, preventing scorching or burning.

calendula cream
calendula cream

3. Add one cup of the calendula infused oil to the top pan of the double boiler. Add the beeswax to the oil and continue to heat until it has completely melted. 

calendula cream
4. Pour the hot water out of the blender and put the melted oil/beeswax mixture in.
calendula cream
calendula cream
5. Cover the blender except for the hole that is used for slowly adding in liquids. Turn the blender on and drizzle in the tepid water. Continue blending until all the water is incorporated. You may need to scrape down the blender a few times to make sure all ingredients are well blended. 
calendula cream

6. Let the cream cool a bit and then add the preservative and a few drops of essential oil (if desired) and blend again to incorporate it. I used tea tree oil for scenting this cream. I also like it for its antibacterial properties. 

calendula cream
calendula cream

7. Transfer the cream to clean, sterilized jars with tight-fitting lids. Let the cream set up for several hours before use.

ADDING ESSENTIAL OILS AND PRESERVATIVES

When making homemade calendula cream, adding essential oils can enhance the cream’s benefits and scent. Some popular essential oils to add to calendula cream are lavender, chamomile, and tea tree oil. Keep in mind that essential oils should be used in small amounts, usually no more than 1% of the total weight of the cream, to avoid irritation to the skin.

In In addition to essential oils, a preservative should be added to increase the shelf life of the cream. Natural preservatives, such as Leucidal® Liquid SF Max, can be used to avoid harsh chemicals. This preservative is derived from radishes and is an effective antimicrobial agent. It is important to note that even with a preservative, homemade creams will have a shorter shelf life than commercial ones, typically around 3-6 months.

When adding essential oils and preservatives, it is essential to follow the recipe carefully and measure accurately. Adding too much of either can cause the cream to separate or cause skin irritation. It is also critical to mix the cream thoroughly to ensure that the essential oils and preservatives are evenly distributed. 

(For this recipe that totals around 2 cups, adding 1% of essential oils would mean you should include 4.8 milliliters of essential oils. This precise amount ensures you’re using a safe and effective concentration for your creation. 4.8 milliliters is just about 0.974 teaspoons, so you would add slightly less than a teaspoon of essential oil to your recipe).

In summary, adding essential oils and a natural preservative can enhance the benefits and shelf life of homemade calendula cream. However, it is important to use these ingredients in small amounts and follow the recipe carefully to avoid any negative effects.

STORING AND USING HOMEMADE CALENDULA CREAM

When it comes to storing homemade calendula cream, it’s important to keep in mind that it is a natural product that doesn’t contain any synthetic preservatives. Therefore, it is more susceptible to mold and bacteria growth than store-bought creams. Here are some tips on how to store and use your homemade calendula cream:

  • Use clean and sterilized containers: Before storing your cream, make sure the containers you are using are clean and sterilized. Glass jars are a great option because they are non-reactive and won’t leach any harmful chemicals into your cream.

  • Keep away from moisture and heat: Moisture and heat can cause mold and bacteria to grow in the cream, so it’s essential to store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

  • Refrigerate for longer shelf life: If you want to extend the shelf life of your cream, you can store it in the refrigerator. This will help prevent bacteria growth and keep your cream fresh for longer.

  • Use natural preservatives: While homemade calendula cream doesn’t contain synthetic preservatives, there are natural preservatives you can use to help extend its shelf life. Some examples include vitamin E oil, grapefruit seed extract, and Leucidal Liquid SF Max.

  • Check for mold and bacteria growth: Before using the cream, make sure to check for any signs of mold or bacteria growth. If you notice any, discard the cream and make a fresh batch.

Overall, homemade calendula cream is a great natural alternative to store-bought creams. With proper storage and use, you can enjoy the benefits of this soothing and healing cream for months to come.

calendula cream in glass jars on the counter with a large jar of dried calendula petals.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, making homemade calendula cream is an excellent way to incorporate the healing properties of Calendula officinalis into your natural beauty and body care routine. Calendula is a powerful medicinal herb that can nourish and moisturize the skin while also providing antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal benefits.

By making your own calendula cream, you have the opportunity to control the ingredients and ensure that you are using only natural, high-quality products on your skin. Plus, it can be a fun and rewarding process to watch the growth and transformation of your own calendula plants, harvest them, and turn them into a healing cream.

Whether you are looking to soothe minor wounds, cracked skin, or irritations, calendula cream can be a great addition to your skincare routine. It is gentle enough for daily use and can help promote healthy, glowing skin.

Overall, I highly recommend giving homemade calendula cream a try. It is a simple and effective way to incorporate the healing properties of this medicinal herb into your daily life.

Disclaimer:

The Outdoor Apothecary website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is the reader’s responsibility to ensure proper plant identification and usage.

Please be aware that some plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, or nutritionists. It is essential to consult with qualified professionals for verification of nutritional information, health benefits, and any potential risks associated with edible and medicinal plants mentioned on this website.

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