A few weeks ago I shared two super simple methods for making calendula infused oil at home, and now I’m going to show you how ridiculously easy it is to make it into an #allthethings skincare salve. By #allthethings, I mean it can be used as a:
baby bottom balm
bug bite balm
They also make a gorgeous gift container for moisturizing lotion bars.
About The Ingredients
Calendula Infused Oil – Made by infusing calendula flowers into a carrier oil such as olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, calendula oil can be used as a massage oil, a base for skin salves like this one. It can even be drizzled over salad if you use an edible carrier oil – olive oil is, while jojoba oil is not.
You’ll find two methods for making it here, but if you want to skip the infusion process, you can buy pre-made calendula oil here.
Beeswax – In addition to firming up the salve, beeswax helps skin by forming a protective barrier and helping to seal in moisture so that skin stays hydrated.
Essential Oils – I love the earthy, herbaceous scent of calendula, and truly it’s an ingredient that stands on its own. However, there are several essential oils that can be complementary based on what you are trying to achieve. A few of my favorites are:
German chamomile(Matricaria chamomilla L) – Soothes congested skin. Also relaxing, helpful for sleep, and may support clear thinking when pollen counts are high
Frankincense carteri (Boswellia carteri) – Used to support youthful looking skin and soothe cuts, bruises and other injuries. Relaxing and considered helpful for immune support.
Frankincense frereana (Boswellia frereana) – Prized for its skin rejuvenating properties, frankincense frereana is also used for cuts, bruises and other injuries, nourishing mature skin, and supporting immune function.
Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia)- Calming, helpful for soothing bug bites, sunburns, and other skin irritations
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) – Helpful for cuts, scrapes, and supporting clear, smooth skin. Also considered supportive to the immune system.
Carrot seed (Daucus carota) – Thought to be beneficial for supporting skin elasticity and healing. Most people don’t like its aroma, though, so I suggest blending it with another essential oil or putting it on at night just before bed. Safety note: Carrot seed oil is not recommended for mamas who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
DIY Calendula Salve Recipe This calendula salve is rich in compounds that nourish, hydrate, and support skin healing. I call it my #allthethings balm because it can be used as a face moisturizer, chapped-lip balm, baby bottom balm, owie salve, burn salve, bug bite balm, and more. It's super easy to make, too! Ingredients
4 oz. calendula infused oil (you can make your own calendula oil using this recipe, or buy pre-made calendula oil here)
½ oz. beeswax (by weight, that's about 2 tablespoons of beeswax pastilles or grated, packed beeswax)
25-50 drops essential oil (optional – lavender, frankincense, chamomile, tea tree or carrot seed are good choices)
Gently heat the beeswax in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler you can use a stainless steel bowl set inside a pot of boiling water.
When the beeswax is melted, add in the calendula oil. Allow it to warm up for 30-60 seconds, then stir until the beeswax and oil are thoroughly mixed.
Remove the mixture from heat. If you’re adding essential oils, wait until it cools just a little and then stir them in.
Pour your salve into a clean, dry glass jar or container and allow it to cool. The recipe above makes three of these 2 ounce tins. Now you’re ready for the next bug attack, bee sting, scrape, etc.
Notes Water-based products often use preservatives (sometimes natural ones) because they are prone to mold/spoilage, but in general oil-based products don’t have the same issue. With that said, when carrier oils become oxidized (change chemical structure due to exposure to oxygen, heat, or light), they can cause skin irritation instead of soothing it.
So when it comes to shelf life, I think in terms of how long a blend is likely to stay truly fresh. The shelf life of herb infused oils is mostly determined by the shelf life of the carrier oil that was used and storage conditions. Olive oil tends to have a shelf life of 1-2 years provided it is stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
An antioxidant such as vitamin E can be added to protect oils from early oxidation. I use 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin E tocotrienols per 1 cup of oil. With that said, if you add in essential oils the shelf life may vary more. Although they don’t mold or expire, essential oils can also oxidize. If you’re adding essential oils into your salve, I recommend using it within six months.