WHY CHOOSE CALENDULA?

Flower of the Sun

Calendula officinalis has been used for centuries on multiple continents and is one of the most versatile herbs in the plant kingdom. This healing phenom is known as the “flower of the sun.”  Calendula has an amazing history of documented healing. Its most outstanding distinction is its ability to heal the skin. It has no known drug interactions, no toxic effects and no adverse effects for long term use.

Five major steps occur in our skin’s healing process. According to the International Herb Association’s book, “Calendula – 2008 Herb of the Year”, calendula with its potent and complex array of phytonutrients helps facilitate the skin’s restorative cycle:

  • The first thing that must be done with injured tissue is to prevent infection. Calendula inhibits bacterial, viral and fungal microorganisms.
  • Calendula reduces inflammation of the tissue by inhibiting lipoxygenase, an enzyme that damages cell wall structure. It contains high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect the body against free radical cell damage. It’s amazingly effective on sunburn.
  • A wound needs to be cleared of its dead cells. Calendula stimulates the appetite of lymphocytes which helps rid the wound from this debris.
  • Calendula goes to work to increase the collagen level in a wound, prevents the formation of scar tissue and assists the healing tissue in remaining supple.
  • Calendula stimulates angiogenic activity –the growth of new blood vessels and nerve cells in the tissue. The sooner high potency calendula is used following skin trauma, the less scarring will occur or even be prevented.

The chemical compounds in calendula’s resin include: many fatty acid esters, carotenoids including Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, lutein (it’s golden color) and lycopene, flavonoids (antioxidants that protect cells against damage), quercetin (anti-inflammatory), rutin (antioxidant), ubiquinone (CoQ10), iodine and manganese.

Calendula oil is a popular choice for many of today’s skin conditions.

The Fragrant Way to Beauty: Skin Care Oils

Skincare oils are one of the best ways to take care of your skin and can easily be adapted to take into account changes in circumstances, such as stress levels, health, lifestyle, and general well-being. These factors often change from month to month, and by blending your own skin care oils you can accommodate your ever-changing skin care needs, which reflect physical, environmental, and emotional factors.

The first step in deciding which particular skincare regime to choose is to establish which basic skin type you have.

Many people believe their skin is a combination of skin types. Combination skin is a patchwork of normal, oily, and dry skin, with the oil patches usually occurring on the forehead, nose, and chin. This type of skin can develop at any time from changes in health, lifestyle, working conditions, and, of course, stress levels. Treat combination skin as you would normal skin, and if the oily patches become a problem use the face oils for oily skin on those areas. As the skin starts to balance you can adjust the treatment accordingly. Our skins can change quite rapidly, so do take notice of the changes and be ready to switch oils as and when needed.

Spa scene with natural cosmetics

Evenly Balanced – Normal Skin

Really, there’s no such thing as normal skin. Or, more correctly, children have normal skin, and the rest of us aspire to it. The perfect skin of prepuberty is plump, in that the cells are firm and solid, neither dry nor oily, finely textured with no visible pores, spots, or blemishes, soft and velvety to the touch, and unwrinkled. Adults can only yearn for this perfection, and we call skin “normal” if it reaches somewhere near it – about halfway is close enough. The term normal is so inappropriate in this context that I prefer to call this type of skin evenly balanced.

Balanced Normal Skin: Carrier Oils

Almond, sweet {Prunus Amygdalus var. dulcis}

Apricot kernel {Prunus armeniaca}

Hazelnut {Corylus avellana}

Jojoba {Simmondsia chinensis}

Argan {Argania spinosa}

Camellia seed {Camellia japonica}

Specialist Plant Oil Additions for Balanced Normal Skin

Evening primrose seed {Oenothera biennis}

Rosehip seed {Rosa rubiginosa}

Borage seed {Borago officinalis}

Carrot, macerated {Daucus carota}

Cucumber seed {Cucumis sativus}

Pomegranate seed {Punica granatum}

Sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}

Passionflower seed {Passifloria incarnata}

Kiwi seed {Actinidia chinensis}

Essential Oils for Balanced Normal Skin

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Jasmine {Jasminum grandiflorum/officinale}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Rose otto {Rosa damascena}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Day Care Oil for Balanced Normal Skin

Rose Otto – 14 drops

Geranium – 3 drops

Chamomile Roman – 2 drops

Lavender – 3 drops

Lemon – 3 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Carrot macerated oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 – 3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of hazelnut or sweet almond carrier oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Night Care Oil for Balanced Normal Skin

Geranium – 9 drops

Palmarosa – 5 drops

Rosewood – 5 drops

Orange, sweet – 3 drops

Lavender – 5 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Sea buckthorn – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 -3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of camellia seed oil to which you’ve added 5 drops of evening primrose seed oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

skin care solutions

Normal to Dry Skin

The cells on the outer surface of the skin are essentially at the last stage of the shedding process, known as desquamation, and are held together by the hydrolipidic film. This consists of amino acids and lactic acid from sweat, fatty acids from sebum, and moisturizing by-products of keratinization – which is the process by which skin cells are shed from the top layer and replaced by those underneath. When the hydrolipidic layer is disturbed for some reason, the skin feels dry. This may be because the normal pH balance is disturbed, not enough sebum is being produced, the skin is being dried out by central heating, there are hormonal changes, medications have upset the normal balance of the skin protection system, or for many other reasons.

When the skin becomes dry it’s less supple and more prone to wrinkles, and it can even become flaky. In time it can become sensitive, prone to inflammation, and easily dehydrated by wind and sun. This type of skin is prone to peeling and itching during periods of stress. It generally feels taut after washing. Sometimes dry skin is caused by hormonal changes and menopause.

Normal to Dry Skin: Carrier Oils

Almond, sweet {Prunus Amygdalus var. dulcis}

Avocado {Persea americana}

Apricot kernel {Prunus armeniaca}

Argan {Argaania spinosa}

Hemp seed {Cannabis sativa}

Meadowfoam {Limnanthes alba}

Rice bran {Oryza sativa}

Macadamia {Macadamia ternifolia}

Camellia seed {Camellia japonica}

Specialist Plant Oil Additions for Normal to Dry Skin

Evening primrose seed {Oenothera biennis}

Borage seed {Borago officinalis}

Red raspberry seed {Rubus idaeus}

Acai berry {Euterpe oleracea}

Olive squalane {Olea europaea}

Rosehip seed {Rosa rubiginosa}

Sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}

Cranberry seed {Vaccinium macrocarpon}

Carrot, macerated {Daucus carota}

Essential Oils for Normal to Dry Skin

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Sandalwood {Santalum album}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Rose Otto {Rosa damascena}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Carrot seed {Daucus carota}

Ho wood {Cinnamomum camphora ct. linalool}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Clary sage {Salvia sclarea}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Day Care Oil for Normal to Dry Skin

Chamomile German – 3 drops

Sandalwood – 15 drops

Mandarin – 3 drops

Ho wood – 4 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Olive squalane oil – 20 drops

Raspberry seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 – 3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of camellia seed oil, to which you’ve added 2 drops of evening primrose seed oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Night Care Oil for Normal to Dry Skin

Carrot seed – 5drops

Sandalwood – 8 drops

Lavender – 3 drops

Clary sage – 3 drops

Palmarosa – 4 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of apricot kernel or sweet almond carrier oil:

Olive squalane oil – 20 drops

Rosehip seed oil – 30 drops

skin care oils3

Normal to Oily Skin

Oily skin is caused by overactive sebaceous glands. These are subject to hormonal changes, which is why oily skin can be a problem during puberty. Overactive sebaceous glands can lead to seborrhea, but more often the problem presents as oily patches that leave the skin shiny. Ironically, an oily skin can result from over cleanliness – from scrubbing the face with harsh cleansers and soaps or using astringents that contain alcohol. Many commercial lotions designed to degrease the skin actually stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Thankfully, essential oils have the capacity to balance the skin without prompting the glands to produce more sebum and can provide the perfect solution to this seemingly intractable problem.

Normal to Oily Skin: Carrier Oils

Hazelnut {Corylus avellana}

Grapeseed {Vitis vinifera}

Safflower {Carthamus tinctorius}

Hemp seed {Cannabis sativa}

Sunflower {Helianthus annuus}

Jojoba {Simmondsia chinensis}

Argan {Argania spinosa}

Specialist Plant Oil Additions for Normal to Oily Skin

Borage seed {Borago officinalis}

Carrot, macerated {Daucus carota}

Rosehip seed {Rosa rubiginosa}

Kiwi seed {Actinidia chinensis}

Sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}

Blueberry seed {Vaccinium corymbosum}

Echium seed {Echium plantaginoum}

Strawberry seed {Fragaria ananassa}

Essential Oils for Normal to Oily Skin

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Juniper berry {Juniperus communis}

Cypress {Cupressus sempervirens}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Petitgrain {Citrus aurantium}

Bergamot {Citrus bergamia}

Patchouli {Pogostemon cablin}

Niaouli {Melaleuca quinquenervia}

Orange, sweet {Citrus sinensis}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Marjoram, sweet {Origanum majorana}

Lime {Citrus aurantifolia}

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

Jasmine {Jasminum grandiflorum/officinale}

Ylang ylang {Cananga odorata}

Day Care Oil for Normal to Oily Skin

Juniper berry – 8 drops

Geranium – 10 drops

Petitgrain – 10 drops

Rosemary – 2 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Kiwi seed oil – 10 drops

Borage seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 -3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of jojoba or sunflower oil, to which you’ve added 10 drops of carrot macerated oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Night Care Oil for Normal to Oily Skin

Juniper berry – 10 drops

Petitgrain – 15 drops

Frankincense – 5 drops

Marjoram, sweet – 5 drops

Orange, sweet – 10 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Rosehip seed oil – 10 drops

Blueberry seed oil – 10 drops

Evening primrose seed oil – 5 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 – 3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of hazelnut oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Moisturizing cosmetic oil on the flowers and water background

Sensitive Skin

Anyone’s skin can become sensitive at any time. Even skin previously considered normal can become prone to sensitivity after contracting a virus, eating certain foods, coming in contact with synthetic perfumes or synthetic cosmetic ingredients, including preservatives, and so on. Some skins become sensitive only during extremes of weather – when it’s too cold, hot, or windy. Sometimes skin changes can be linked to an emotional situation, such as the loss of a loved one, moving or changing jobs, stress, or even just a change in lifestyle. It could be too that the skin can no longer deal with environmental pressures such as overheating at the workplace, too much electrosmog, or pollution. Sensitive skin can also be inherited. Allergies can develop suddenly, and for clues, as to what’s causing the trouble it may be useful to have patch testing carried out.

If you’ve become sensitive to skin care products in general, it could be that you’ll be sensitive to certain plant oils or essential oils too. This is why it’s important for you to carry out a skin test before using anything on the face. Apply a small amount of oil, or diluted essential oil, in the crook of an elbow or behind the ear, and leave it for 24 hours. If there’s no reaction such as itchiness, redness, soreness, or swelling, then that oil might suit you.

The best choices for highly sensitive skins are water-based products such as hydrolats, hydrosols, plant distillates, floral waters, and the like. Only use essential oils in very low dosages, increasing the amount used as you become confident there’s no skin reaction, and use carrier oils that are known to be gentle on the skin. As this is such an individual situation – everyone is different in terms of their sensitivities and reactions – not all the suggestions below might be appropriate for you. Always choose organic products.

Hydrolats for Sensitive Skin

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Essential Oils for Sensitive Skin

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Sandalwood {Santalum album}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Carrier Oils for Sesitive Skin

Almond, sweet {Prunus amygdalus var. dulcis}

Rice bran {Oryza sativa}

Jojoba {Simmondsia chinensis}

Calendula, macerated {Calendula officinalis}

Grapeseed {Vitis vinifera}

Camellia seed {Camellia japonica}

 

The Fragrant Way to Beauty; Facial Sprays and Tonics

Gentle facial sprays can have many purposes; for example, they can cool, calm, and give the skin an all-around boost. Some are tonic, some astringent – all are refreshing. They can help refine open pores and smooth unevenly textured skin. Facial sprays are generally applied after cleansing to ensure the complete removal of any residue left from creams and lotions, and they can also be used during the day or evening to refresh the skin. For a facial spray, use a single hydrolat or a combination of hydrolats, or combine a hydrolat and a floral water, or aloe vera liquid, with a quality non-tap water.

For a facial tonic, use a hydrolat combined with essential oil. Combine the hydrolats, glycerin or aloe vera, and essential oil together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Hydrosol/Hydrolat and Other Waters* for Face Tonics

Normal Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Immortelle {Helichrysum italicum}

Spearmint {Mentha spicata}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Cornflower {Centaurea cyanus}

Orange flower {Citrus aurantium}

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Face Tonic for Normal Skin

Geranium water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Lavender water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Vegetable glycerin – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Geranium essential oil – 2 drops

Spearmint essential oil – 1 drop

Lavender essential oil – 1 drop

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, glycerin, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Normal to Dry Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Chamomile Roman  {Anthemis nobilis}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Cornflower {Centaurea cyanus}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Face Tonic for Normal to Dry Skin

Rose water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Chamomile water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Vegetable glycerin – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Sandalwood essential oil – 4 drops

Ho wood essential oil – 2 drops

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, glycerin, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Normal to Sensitive Skin

*Waters, hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Lavender {Lavandula augustifolia}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Cornflower {Centaurea cyanus}

Clary sage {Salvia sclarea}

Yarrow {Achillea millefolium}

Marigold {Calendula officinalis}

Face Tonic for Normal to Sensitive Skin

Chamomile Roman water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Lavender water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Aloe vera liquid – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Chamomile German essential oil – 1 drop

Lavender essential oil – 2 drops

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, aloe vera, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Normal to Blemished or Acned Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Pine {Pinus sylvestris}

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

Thyme {Thymus vulgaris}

Manuka {Leptospermum scopartium}

Tea tree {Melaleuca alternifolia}

Bay laurel {Laurus nobilis}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Sage {Salvia officinalis}

Melissa {Melissa officinalis}

Face Tonic for Normal to Blemished or Acned Skin

Rosemary water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Lavender water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Aloe vera liquid – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Juniper berry essential oil – 2 drops

Geranium essential oil – 2 drops

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, aloe vera, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Normal to Oily Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Cypress {Cupressus sempervirens}

Spearmint {Mentha spicata}

Clary Sage {Salvia sclarea}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

Pine {Pinus sylvestris}

Myrtle {Myrtus communis}

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Orange flower {Citrus aurantium}

Petitgrain {Citrus aurantium}

Face Tonic for Normal to Oily Skin

Orange flower water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Rose water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Aloe vera liquid – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Petitgrain essential oil – 4 drops

Orange, sweet, essential oil – 2 drops

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, aloe vera, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Mature to Aged Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Cistus {Cistus ladaniferus}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Mastic {Pistacia lentiscus}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Melissa {Melissa officinalis}

Face Tonic for Mature to Aged Skin

Rose water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Melissa water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Frankincense water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Vegetable glycerin – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Aloe vera liquid – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Frankincense essential oil – 1 drop

Palmarosa essential oil – 1 drop

to create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, glycerin, aloe vera, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Suggestion: 

Cotton-wool pads can be soaked in a tonic or aloe vera liquid and then divided into thinner sections before being put in a tightly sealed box with an extra couple of teaspoons of tonic passed over them – and, hey presto, you have your own brand of natural, instant, freshen-up facial pads.

at-a-glance-hero

Astringents

Sometimes a stronger facial tonic is required, one with more astringent values. These incorporate vinegars and can be used on skins that are normal, oily, blemished, or acned. Combine the liquid ingredients, then add the essential oils, shake well, leave for 24 hours, shake again, pass through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and keep the fusion in the fridge.

General Astringent Tonic

Witch hazel – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Orange flower water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Cider vinegar, organic {optional} – 1/2 teaspoon {2 1/2 mL}

Juniper berry essential oil – 3 drops

Lemon essential oil – 1 drop

Grapefruit essential oil – 1 drop

Stimulating Astringent Tonic

Witch hazel – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Rose water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Cider vinegar, organic {optional} – 1/2 teaspoon {2 1/2 mL}

Rosemary essential oil – 2 drops

Spearmint essential oil – 1 drop

Bergamot FCF essential oil – 1 drop

Skin Vinegar for Blemished, Oily, and Open-Pored Skin

Spring water – 3 1/2 tablespoons {50 mL}

Orange flower water – 5 teaspoons {25 mL}

White wine vinegar, organic – 3 teaspoons {15 mL}

Palmarosa essential oil – 2 drops

Spearmint esential oil – 1 drop