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Botanicals have been used in skincare for centuries. Tea tree oil, for example, has long been lauded for its acne-fighting, anti-bacterial properties, while rose derivatives have been known for centuries to soothe and calm sensitive skin.
One botanical that’s now taking center stage? Calendula.
Indeed, many skincare brands have developed whole lines around the botanical, and it can be found in an array of products on the shelves (including our own Cloud Whip day cream, All In eye cream, and High Society night oil).
Here’s why this is an ingredient you should definitely incorporate into your routine (if it’s not in your skincare products already).
Also called marigold, the calendula flower - particularly the petals and extracted oil - has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Folk medicine uses calendula leaves and flowers to treat wounds, rashes, bruises, stomach ulcers, edema, and several other inflammatory conditions.
Applied both topically and internally, calendula has been scientifically studied and known to have many benefits, including:
This, of course, translates to an array of skincare benefits.
In skincare, the part of the plant that is usually used is the flower petal, which is either pressed to extract the oil or infused in a liquid to create a serum or toner. Benefits of topical application include:
Calendula’s anti-microbial properties make it a powerful astringent, meaning that it can draw excess oil from the surface of the skin and reduce pore size.
This makes it helpful for calming, healing and preventing breakouts for those with acne-prone skin.
Because it is also anti-inflammatory, calendula oil is often used to soothe any kind of itching - particularly itching that’s related to psoriasis and eczema.
What’s more, calendula contains tannins, triterpenoids, and saponins, compounds that provide anti-inflammatory benefits and help the botanical deeply clean the skin and even heal conditions like acne or eczema.
Collagen is a protein naturally produced by the body that is one of the building blocks for your bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It keeps skin from sagging, and we start to produce less collagen starting in our mid-20’s (womp womp).
Well, calendula has been shown to increase collagen synthesis by 83%, making it a powerful anti-aging ingredient. It’s also shown to scavenge free radicalsand prevent UVB-induced skin damage, meaning it can prevent against photo-aging.
Emollients are lighter, oil-based products that work to fill in the gaps between skin cells and replace missing lipids to fortify the skin, restoring your skin’s natural barrier and giving an instantly smooth, soft feeling.
Calendula is a particularly effective and gentle emollient, which makes it an important part of any skincare routine. It’s also particularly helpful for those with dry, inflamed, irritated, or sensitive skin.
Calendula contains alkaloids, triterpenoids, flavonoids, and carotenoids - phytochemicals that trap free radicals in the body and accelerate healing from wounds and burns.
The flower can also reduce inflammation and prevent infection in wounds due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Finally, the flavonoids, saponins, and triterpenoids in calendula can prevent the release of histamines, the chemicals known to cause redness, pain, allergies, and inflammation. This makes calendula effective at soothing redness caused by rosacea, allergies, or general inflammation.