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What are the benefits of calendula for skin?

Learn what dermatology experts have to say about the healing secrets of this botanical treasure.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 31, 2023 • 7 min read
Medically reviewed by Donna McIntyre, NP-BC
Calendla Flower Soap for Skincare
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 31, 2023 • 7 min read
Medically reviewed by Donna McIntyre, NP-BC
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

When it comes to achieving healthy and radiant skin, calendula is an ingredient that can help. A botanical treasure that has been celebrated for centuries, calendula is a popular ingredient for a reason. With its vibrant golden petals and a rich history in herbal medicine, calendula has skin-loving properties and is a natural remedy for various dermatological concerns.

Here, we’ll dig into the benefits of calendula and unpack why it has become a main ingredient in many skincare products worldwide.

What is calendula extract?

Calendula extract is derived from the Calendula officinalis plant, commonly known as pot marigold. It’s a plant extract widely utilized in clinical settings worldwide and recognized for its wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties, as noted by the World Health Organization. Calendula preparations are extensively used in complementary and alternative medicine practices for various skin conditions, including:¹

  • Burns

  • Cuts

  • Rashes

  • Dermatitis

  • Varicose veins

  • Dry skin

  • Bee stings

The essential oil derived from calendula is also employed for its calming effects on the central nervous system and its ability to aid in wound healing. Calendula extract’s diverse applications and natural properties contribute to its ability to soothe and heal the skin, making it a valuable component in many skincare products.²

How calendula can help your skin

Throughout history, Calendula officinalis Linn. has been revered for its ability to help treat a wide range of skin conditions, including dermatological lesions, ulcers, swellings, and nervous disorders. It’s also found its way into nearly 200 cosmetic formulations, such as creams, lotions, and shampoos; it is renowned as a versatile and trusted ingredient in skincare.³

With its strong antibacterial and wound-healing properties, calendula offers a natural solution to safeguard your skin. 

Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties

Calendula has been studied to understand its unique properties. These studies have revealed that calendula possesses remarkable anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.⁴ It has also been shown to have angiogenic properties, meaning it can support the formation of new blood vessels, which is important for proper tissue healing. Calendula also exhibits fibroplastic properties, which means it can stimulate fibroblast activity. Fibroblasts are cells responsible for producing collagen, a key component in maintaining the skin's structure and elasticity. By positively influencing both the inflammation and cell growth phases of healing, calendula proves to be highly effective in promoting optimal skin health.⁵

Helps promote skin healing

Calendula extract has shown promising results in promoting skin healing, as indicated by animal studies. These studies provide moderate evidence that the use of calendula extract can lead to improved recovery from the inflammation phase and increased production of skin tissue.⁶ 

Skincare products containing calendula

If you're in search of skincare products enriched with calendula, look no further. We’ve curated a list of recommendations that harness the power of calendula to help you achieve radiant and nourished skin.

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash

Formulated with calendula flower extract, this gentle foaming cleanser removes impurities, dirt, and excess oil from the skin. Calendula’s soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits help calm and balance the skin for a healthier complexion.

Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask

Enriched with calendula and aloe vera, this mask offers both hydration and gentle nourishment. Calendula’s anti-inflammatory properties help calm irritated skin, while aloe vera provides soothing relief. Together, they work to replenish and rejuvenate the skin.

Weleda Calendula Face Cream

This gentle and nourishing cream is enriched with calendula flower extract, along with other natural ingredients, to provide deep hydration and promote skin moisture balance. Calendula’s soothing properties help calm and comfort sensitive or irritated skin. The lightweight formula absorbs quickly, leaving skin feeling soft.

Eminence Organics Linden Calendula Treatment

In this gentle treatment, calendula’s healing properties, combined with linden flower and other botanical extracts, work synergistically to hydrate and rejuvenate skin. 

Each of these products containing calendula offers unique benefits to your skin. However, Donna McIntyre, a nurse practitioner at Curology reminds us, “Everyone’s skin is different and may react differently to new products. So, be sure to read the full ingredients list, patch test, and chat with your dermatology provider for any questions!”

Use skincare products that suit your skin 

When it comes to skincare, finding products that suit your skin type and cater to your specific needs is essential. Before incorporating new products into your routine, it’s always a good idea to consult with a dermatology provider. Their expertise can help guide you toward the most suitable skincare choices for your unique skin concerns.

Choosing skincare products that have ingredients specifically tailored to your skin type and goals can make a significant difference in achieving the results you desire. Whether you have dry, oily, sensitive, or combination skin, selecting products formulated with ingredients that address your specific concerns can help you maintain a healthy and balanced complexion.

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Is calendula good for your face?

Yes, calendula can be a beneficial ingredient for your face, as it offers a range of positive effects on the skin. One of its notable qualities is its antibacterial properties. Additionally, calendula has impressive wound-healing properties, aiding in the recovery process of skin injuries and promoting faster healing. By incorporating calendula into your skincare routine, you can support the overall health of your skin.

However, before incorporating calendula or any new skincare ingredient into your routine, it’s important to prioritize your skin’s health and consult with a dermatology provider. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your specific skin type and concerns.

Does calendula lighten skin?

While research suggests that calendula may help reduce the melanin production in your skin, there is currently no scientific evidence linking calendula usage directly to lighter skin.⁷ Further studies are needed to explore the potential lightening effects of calendula.

Is calendula extract good for sensitive skin?

Calendula extract can be beneficial for sensitive skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties and historical use in wound healing. Additionally, it’s known to provide relief for dry skin. Its gentle and soothing nature makes it a suitable option for individuals with sensitive skin concerns. Everyone’s skin is different, so make sure you consult with a dermatology provider before introducing any new ingredients to your skin.

• • •

P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1. Arora, D., et al. A review on phytochemistry and ethnopharmacological aspects of genus Calendula. Pharmacogn Rev. (July-December 2013).

  2. Arora, D., et al. A review on phytochemistry and ethnopharmacological aspects of genus CalendulaPharmacogn Rev. Ibid.

  3. Arora, D., et al. A review on phytochemistry and ethnopharmacological aspects of genus CalendulaPharmacogn Rev. Ibid.

  4. Parente, L.M., et al. Wound Healing and Anti-Inflammatory Effect in Animal Models of Calendula officinalis L. Growing in Brazil. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. (2012, January 24).

  5. Parente, L.M., et al. Wound Healing and Anti-Inflammatory Effect in Animal Models of Calendula officinalis L. Growing in Brazil. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Ibid.

  6. Givol, O., et al. A systematic review of Calendula officinalis extract for wound healing. Wound Repair Regen. (September 2019).

  7. Xuan, S.H., et al. Antimelanogenic and Antimigration Properties of the Ethyl Acetate Fraction of Calendula officinalis Flowers on Melanoma Cells. Photochem Photobiol. (May 2019).

Donna McIntyre is a board-certified nurse practitioner at Curology. She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA.

*Subject to consultation. Subscription required. Results may vary. 

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Our policy on product links:Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Donna McIntyre, NP-BC

Donna McIntyre, NP-BC

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