I’m trying to be brave by stepping out of my “oily comfort zone” and exploring additional routes to naturally take care of my body! Using herbs in skincare recipes is something I’ve been reading about and there seemed to be several simple ways you can incorporate them into recipes. The two most common ways I’ve seen are infusing herbs in oils to make body butters, salves, or lotions as well as using them in alcohol or witch hazel to make tinctures. I’ve been a big fan of The Wellness Mama for several years and read about these sunny golden flowers on an herb profile she wrote awhile back. You can read her post about them here, but I’ll also share a few highlights below!
- Calendula flowers are in the marigold family, have daisy-like flowers, and are commonly grown in gardens.
- Can be used in teas, infused in oils, or used in tinctures.
- Has traditionally been used to naturally dye foods and even hair!
- Has been used historically for a wide variety of skin ailments and to support healthy skin.
How I Used the Flowers
- As An Infused Oil – I added the flowers to a glass jar and filled it until it was about 3/4 of the way full. Then I added organic Grapeseed oil and poured it over the flowers – but you can use any carrier oil of your choice! I would encourage you to use organic oils since Calendula oil is mainly used in skincare recipes. Olive oil and Grapeseed oil are my personal favorites because they are incredibly moisturizing and also affordable since you’ll be using a lot of oil to make this! Fill the jar with oil until it covers the top of the flowers and give it a light stir. Then stick it by a sunny window for a minimum of 2 weeks and give them a stir every day or two. Allow the oils and flowers to infuse for about 4 weeks and then it will be ready to use! You can see an example of how I strain my Calendula oil in this recipe here. You can either dispose of the Calendula flowers after you’ve used all of the oil or add more flowers to the jar and pour more oil over it! It will become more concentrated the longer you leave the flowers in. Refer to the expiration date on the oil you used to know how long it will last! I gave a few more helpful tips at the end of this post, so be sure to check those out as well 🙂
- As a Tincture – I honestly wasn’t sure what exactly a tincture was until recently! In short, it’s a concentrated form of an herb as a liquid. The process is simple and similar to making an herbal infused oil. I filled a glass jar about halfway with the flowers and then filled the jar with Witch Hazel until it covered the top of the flowers. Give them a stir and store in a cool, dry place for about 4-6 weeks. You can also make tinctures using Vinegar, Alcohol, Honey, or Glycerin. I wanted to be able to use the tincture topically on my face, so I chose Witch Hazel since it’s a gentler option than using regular alcohol.
- The flowers should be stirred at least a few times each week, but there’s no need to pack them down. A quick, gentle stir is all you need!
- When you’re ready to use the infused oils or tincture, all you’ll need to do is strain the liquid through a cheesecloth and dispose of the flowers or compost them. The Wellness Mama had a great tip for this: Only strain enough liquid to use for the recipe you’re making and leave the rest of the liquid infusing in the herbs!
- Tinctures can be ingested or applied topically depending on what you infused them with. I felt more comfortable trying them out topically first, which is another reason why I chose Witch Hazel!
- Mason jars or any glass jars with a tight seal are ideal for making infused oils or tinctures. I’m loving these glass tulip jelly jars and think they are really pretty!
- In case you were wondering, because I knew I was, Calendula flowers smell lovely! They have a very soft floral scent that I’m hoping will be a perfect compliment to lotions and other skincare goodness coming your way!
Stay tuned for recipes using this wonderful herb that will be featured in our Wellness Series! You can see all of our posts for this series by clicking the tag “Wellness” below. I’m excited to use these herbs along with my beloved essential oils to make some hydrating skincare recipes! I’m hoping they will especially come in handy for the colder months approaching for when my skin typically needs some extra TLC. If you’re wanting to branch out with me and experiment with using herbs in skincare recipes, I would encourage you to go ahead and order these flowers so you can start the infusing process. They’re super inexpensive and you will have a TON for many, many recipes to come! 🌼
by Starwest Botanicals [Starwest Botanicals]
by Life-Flo [Nutraceutical Corporation]
by Thayer's [Thayer]