How to make Calendula Lotion
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.
The first step is making infused calendula oil and you can use your own homegrown flowers if you have them. The rest of the process is quick and easy and will create two pots of deliciously scented lotion.
Calendula lotion is easy to make
Making handmade and natural lotions is easier than you might think. In their basic composition they’re water and oil held together by a cosmetic emulsifier. They’re then enriched with essential oils and luxury oils and preserved using cosmetic preservatives. Without a preservative, lotions will spoil after 1-2 weeks.
You can think of making lotion like you would of making mayonnaise – but instead of using egg to bind water and oil together you use Emulsifying Wax. Though there are other emulsifiers, standard Emulsifying Wax NF is one of the easiest to use.
Ingredients that soothe and moisturize
The ingredients in this natural calendula lotion recipe are chosen to help soothe irritated skin, to moisturize, and to promote healing. They’re also very sensitive and suitable for all skin types.
Included is an infusion of oats which creates natural glide and helps treat inflammation and sunburns. The extract of calendula flowers in a light oil helps to promote healing and reduce the chance of scarring. Honey provides natural moisture and additional healing properties.
Handmade Calendula Lotion Recipe
Makes approx two 100ml pots
The cups and teaspoons measurements are approximate — it’s advised to use the gram measurements when making this recipe
- 140g (1/2c + 1Tbsp) Water** infused with oats
- 2g (1/4) tsp Vitamin E oil
- 5g (1/2tsp) Honey
- 20 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil (optional)
- Broad spectrum cosmetic preservative such as Liquid Germall Plus Preservative (optional). Read the manufacturer’s instructions.
* To learn more about making infusions in water and oil please read this post
** It’s best to use distilled water
Step 1: Calendula Infused Oil
To make calendula infused oil please use the directions in the piece on making DIY Oil Infusions. It involves seeping dried calendula flowers in a carrier oil. If you’d like to purchase pre-made calendula infused sweet almond oil, you can get it here.
Step 2: Heating the Oil Phase
Place your oil and emulsifying wax in a heat proof container and melt them using the double boiler method — 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 150F / 66°C.
Step 3: Oat Infused Water
While the oil phase is melting, make the oat infused water. Pour one cup scalding water over 1 teaspoon quick oats and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Strain the liquid out and discard the remaining oats. Weigh 140g of the liquid and use it for this recipe. Keep the oat water warm by setting the container it’s in inside another container filled with hot water. You want to keep it at within a few degrees of 150F / 66°C.
Step 4: Mixing the Phases
When the oils and water are at the right temperature, submerge the milk frother in the water and slowly trickle in the oil. Use the frother to gently stir the ingredients together. Next, turn the frother on and blend the lotion 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 your lotion. Set your lotion aside to cool.
Step 5: Cooling Phase
The cooling phase is the part of the process that heat-sensitive ingredients are added. When the calendula lotion 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. Spoon the cream into an air-tight container and use within a week if you have opted to not use a preservative. A preservative can extend the shelf-life for eighteen months or longer.