Natural Calendula Skin Cream Recipe

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Step-by-step calendula skin cream recipe with the natural skin-soothing properties of calendula flowers, oats, and honey. Use it to nourish skin all year-round.

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If there’s one skincare plant that I can recommend for all skin types it’s calendula. Most people grow it as a companion plant, edible flower, or to use in medicinal preparations but it’s also amazing for your skin — especially in this calendula skin cream recipe. The resins in the petals and entire flower heads are rich in compounds that promote healing, soothe discomfort, and infuse your skin with antioxidants. This recipe is from this guide on how to grow and use calendula in skincare.

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Making this calendula skin cream recipe begins with organic calendula flowers. You first infuse them in a light carrier oil then blend them with homemade oat-infusion and honey to make a light, skin-nourishing cream. At the average beauty counter, you’ll pay a hefty premium for calendula products but they’re really very easy to make yourself.

Calendula Skin Cream Ingredients

I’ve chosen the ingredients in this calendula skin cream recipe to soothe irritated skin, to moisturize, and to promote healing. Calendula is amazing as a skin-herb and it’s also very easy to grow in the garden. Please feel free to dry and use your own homegrown flowers to make this recipe. Working alongside calendula, oat-infusion adds creaminess and glide, and to make it, you can use quick oats from the kitchen cupboard. Honey gives natural moisture and additional healing properties, and don’t worry, the skin cream won’t be sticky.

Handmade Calendula Skin Cream Recipe

Makes approx one 100ml pot, though you can double or triple the recipe if you wish. The photos below reflect making a double batch. For accuracy, use a small digital scale for measuring ingredients.

Oil Phase

Water Phase

  • 70 g (2.47 oz) distilled water infused with oats
This skin cream recipe is from this Calendula Ebook

Cooling Phase

  • 2.5 g (0.09 oz) honey
  • 10 drops rose geranium essential oil (optional)
  • A broad-spectrum cosmetic preservative such as Geogard Ultra. Read the manufacturer’s instructions.

Special Equipment

Make the calendula-infused oil at least two weeks before the skin cream

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Step 1: Make Calendula-Infused Oil

To make calendula infused oil, fill a small jar half-way with dried calendula flowers. Pour the oil over, then seal and shake. Set in a warm but dim place for at least two weeks. Strain the flowers from the oil and discard them. Store the golden oil in a dark glass container, or a dark place, for up to a year. You’ll only need a small amount to make this recipe but you can use whatever you have left to make future batches, or in this salve recipe.

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Melting the emulsifier with the oil

Step 2: Heat the Oil Phase

Place the oil and emulsifying wax in a heatproof container and melt them using the double boiler method. Essentially a pan set within another pan filled with hot water. When they’re completely melted, take the temperature — you need them melted and at around 150°F (66°C).

Calendula & Honey body lotion recipe + instructions. This calendula lotion recipe creates a rich body cream with the natural skin soothing properties of calendula flowers, oats, and honey. Use it to nourish dry and damaged skin all the year round #lovelygreens #diybeauty #greenbeauty
Making the oatmeal infused water is quick & easy

Step 3: Make Oats-Infused Water

While the oil phase is melting, make the oat infused water. Pour a cup of scalding distilled water over one teaspoon quick oats and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Strain the liquid and discard the remaining oats. Weigh the amount of liquid you’ll need and use it for this recipe. Keep the oat water warm by setting the container inside another container filled with hot water. You want to keep it within a few degrees of 150°F (66°C).

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Step 4: Mixing the Phases

When the oils and water are at the right temperature, pour the water phase into the oil phase. Then use a spoon to stir them together for a few minutes. Set the skin cream aside to cool for five minutes and then stir again. Gently stir every twenty minutes after until it has cooled to about 122˚F (45˚C).

Step-by-step calendula lotion recipe with the natural skin-soothing properties of calendula flowers, oats, and honey. Use it to nourish skin all year-round #diyskincare #calendula #greenbeauty
A milk frother helps emulsify skin creams

Alternatively, and to speed things up, you can use a milk frother instead of a spoon. Submerge a milk frother in the oil phase and slowly trickle in the water phase. Use the frother to gently stir the ingredients together. Next, turn the frother on and blend the skin cream until it begins to thicken slightly — it will take around 30 seconds. While you’re frothing, try to keep the head of the frother completely submerged so as to avoid air bubbles and foam in the skin cream.

Step 5: Cooling Phase

The cooling phase is the part of the process that heat-sensitive ingredients are added. When the calendula skin cream has cooled to about 122˚F (45˚C ), stir in the honey, vitamin e oil, and optional ingredients. If you’re using a specific preservative, the manufacturer’s directions will tell you at what temperature you can add it.

Step 6: Adjusting the pH

Now we need to test for pH. Stir a quarter teaspoon of skin cream in 2.5 tsp distilled water. Dip one of your pH papers into liquid and then compare the color to the ones on the pack. Skin creams need to match the pH of your skin or they can be irritating and affect the effectiveness of preservatives. If the pH is between 4.5-5.5 you’re spot on.

You can make the skin cream more acidic (lower the pH) up by adding tiny amounts of lactic acid or citric acid dissolved in a small amount of warm, distilled water. Make it more alkaline (increase the pH) with triethanolamine or by dissolving a tiny amount of L-Arginine or bicarbonate (baking soda) in distilled water and adding it. Pass it through the sieve and into the skin cream. Take the pH reading again and adjust again if needed.

When the pH is just tight, spoon the cream into an air-tight container and use it within a week if you have opted to not use a preservative. A preservative can extend the shelf-life for eighteen months or longer. Please also be aware that some preservatives, such as Geogard Ultra, can cause a pH drift — meaning the pH may change over time. Take another pH reading of the skin cream a week after you make it, and adjust if needed.

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  1. hi Tanya,
    I carefully followed the quantities, but what I got is too liquid.
    do you have any suggestions how to fix it, please ?

    1. It could be that you’ve just finished making it and you’ve not given it enough time to firm up?

      1. well, I made it yesterday and is still liquid.
        I see now that you indicate “20g (1 tsp) emulsifying wax” ; but 1 tsp is only 2 g, not 20 g.
        I used 1 tsp and I assume the correct quantity should have been 20 g, maybe ?
        I also need a clarification for the water phase, please: the correct quantity is 140 ml or 80 ml, as I’ve seen in one comment below?
        Thank you for your help, I will try to redo it once I get your answers.

        1. Hi Valeria, I’ve updated the recipe to remove all of the volume measurements, as they’re really not very accurate. I always weigh my ingredients but for older recipes, I still include tsp, cups, etc. To thicken your lotion, I recommend using xanthan gum. Per 100ml of lotion, mix ing 1/4 xantham gum. The best way to do it is to put the xanthan gum in a small bowl then add about half a teaspoon of lotion. Mix into a paste, then add another half teaspoon. Keep doing this until the consistency of the mixture is like a thick gravy and not sticky or clumpy. Add this into the rest of the lotion and stir.

  2. Sue Gilmore says:

    How much of the calendula flowers do you use to make the calendula infused oil?

  3. Hi :-D
    Isn’t vitamin E considered a preservative. I use it a lot in my homemade face creams and have had no problems with the creams getting rancid. Just wondering. Love your recipes so much! :-D


    1. It’s a common misunderstanding but no, Vitamin E is not a preservative. It’s an antioxidant which means it stops oils from going rancid and also is said to help with anti-aging. It will not protect your lotions and creams from being infested with yeast or bacteria. There are also different grades of Vitamin E and the oils that you buy at the shop have so little actual Vitamin E in them that they’re fairly useless for most beauty treatments. Look for the IU (International Unit count) of Vitamin E to carrier oil to know exactly how much Vitamin E is in your oil. Often times, the Vitamin E in capsules, taken as dietary supplements, are far better than “Vitamin E” sold for skincare.

  4. Avery Morrison says:

    Thanks to share information about hand made body care products

  5. Hi Tanya, have spent the past 2 days browsing your website – so beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for being so generous in sharing your knowledge and creativity. Just wanted to ask if I could use natural beeswax as emulsifier here? And if the preservatives you mention are natural? Thank you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Tanya, I absolutely love all of your lotions and potions!! Could you tell me where to find Geogard Ultra please. I am Irish and am having trouble getting it.
    Thanks, Jackie

  7. Anonymous says:

    How much oat infused water should I use. It says 8 og. Not sure I know what that means. Is it 8 oz?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lovely recipe but I wouldn't say preservative is optional. I don't think most people understand bacteria and mold WILL grow. It's just about in how much time.

    1. It's optional in the way the food doesn't need a preservative if refrigerated and used within a certain timeframe. For this cream you probably want to use it within a week before it begins to spoil. It should also be refrigerated during that time :)

      1. Hi, I’ve been trying to buy geogard ultra but only find it in American sites. Can you buy it in Europe?

  9. Love the frothing technique. I only ever made salves and oils. Calendula works great on my skin. love it!

  10. Tanya, You make everything easy…Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes…Now to collect the things to make it…:)

    1. Some things you'll already have in your cupboard or garden Judy…Calendula and oatmeal for sure and probably honey too! I should also mention that extra virgin olive oil is another good liquid oil to use in this cream but it is a bit heavier than sweet almond or grapeseed oils.