Calendula or marigold - the many beauty benefits

When it comes to skincare, Calendula or pot marigold is one of the oldest known herbs. Pot marigold which is quite different from the ornamental marigold grows widely in the Mediterranean region, Western Europe and South-western Asia. It is rich in carotenoids, glycosides, volatile oil, flavonoids and sterols that work wonders for the skin. It is available as creams, soaps and aromatherapy oils.

Here are a few beauty benefits of marigold or calendula:

Reduces skin irritation

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The volatile oil, organic acids and sterols present in Calendula have been shown to have the ability to stimulate the healing process. When there is an insect bite or a minor bruise or burn or wound on the skin, applying calendula cream helps to soothe the irritation and speeds up wound healing. (Read: 8 beauty benefits of cucumber you shouldn t miss)

Treats acne

Acne is primarily a condition in which dead skin cells or oil causes a clogging of the pores. This is often accompanied by an irritation of the affected facial skin. Usage of calendula skin care products to acne-affected spots can help reduce this irritation and the associated inflammation.

Moisturizes dry skin

Oil from the pot marigold flower helps soften the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis. Thus, it acts as an effective moisturizer for dry and chapped skin. Whether you have chronic or seasonal dry skin, regular use of calendula oil can help your skin stay moist and healthy.

Improves complexion

The oil in calendula stimulates the circulation of blood to the area where it is applied. As more blood flows to an area, it helps in draining out toxins generated by normal metabolic processes and keeps the area healthy. It has been found that regular use of calendula oil helps improve complexion and imparts a healthy glow to skin. (Read: Beauty benefits of coconut)

Reduces crow s feet

Crow s feet are the fine lines and wrinkles that appear around the eye and make the face look old; they are a typical sign associated with ageing. The phytoconstituents of calendula have a strong antioxidant action and thus, slow down the normal ageing process and also play a vital role in tissue regeneration. Using calendula salve on the face can help to reduce crow s feet and give the face a youthful glow.

How to use calendula - Home tips

The easiest way to use calendula is to steep a few flowers in a cup of boiling water. Once the water has cooled, it can be strained and applied directly to the affected area. You can even store this water in an air tight container, under refrigeration and use whenever required.

Alternatively, you could soak the dry calendula petals in olive oil for 10 days with the container placed in a sunny place. This can then be strained and used; the oil may also be stored in an air-tight glass container and retained for further use up to one year.

For those who have no access to the flowers, there are some commercial brands of calendula cream that are available for online purchase.

Calendula is generally safe for external use. However, not much is known about how it affects pregnancy and breastfeeding; therefore, it is best avoided during such times. Some persons may develop an allergic reaction to calendula especially if they are also sensitive to other herbs of the Asteraceae family, such as daisy, chrysanthemum and ragweed. (Read: 6 beauty benefits of essential oils)

Photo source: Getty images

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