Calendula is one of those ingredients that seems to wink at you from every corner of the natural skincare world. If you’re someone who reads the ingredients list on the back of products, you’ve probably seen Calendula featured prominently on many natural skincare products, especially anti-aging ones. If you’re wondering what all the hype is about, this article will break down how to pronounce this delightful ingredient, what exactly it is, and what it can do for your skin.
If you’re like me, you read articles like this aloud in your head. So let’s start out by helping that internal narrator make sure they feel comfortable with pronouncing the name of this lovely little flower:
Calendula is pronounced: Kuh-lend-you-luh
I meannnnn, you can go ahead and pronounce Calendula however pleases you and your tongue and your culture and your language. This, however, is the most common pronunciation of the flower amongst English-speaking herbalists in North America that I have come across.
What is Calendula?
While we might be most familiar with Calendula as an ingredient in natural skincare products, Calendula itself is a dazzlingly bright little orange flower in the same family as daises. Though Calendula is often referred to as Marigold or Pot Marigold, it is actually in a different botanical family than Marigolds. Calendula is in the Asteracea family and Marigolds are in the Tagetes family.
Benefits of Calendula in Skincare
1. Prevents UV damage
Research suggests that Calendula oil has up to SPF 15. As most of us know by now, the best way to prevent UV damage to skin is to limit direct sun exposure and to use SPF protection throughout the day. Most skincare experts recommend using at least 30 SPF so Calendula alone is probably not going to cut it. However, incorporating Calendula into your skincare routine is going to increase your SPF protection and set you up for success throughout the day.
2. Reverses UV damage
Generally speaking, aging skin is characterized by wrinkles, sun-spots, decreased elasticity, and increased fragility. Many of these qualities are brought on by oxidative stress. The most common source of oxidative stress for skin is UV damage. Calendula is a rich source of powerful antioxidants, known as polyphenols, which reverse damage to skin caused by UV exposure. UV exposure causes oxidative stress. Anti-oxidants, such as the polyphenols found in Calendula, scavenge the free radicals caused by oxidative stress and activate biological pathways that reverse the damage caused by the oxidative stress.
3. Increases collagen produciton
Collagen is like biological scaffolding for your skin. It’s what keeps your skin plump, elastic, and youthful. The breaking down of that scaffolding is what leads to many of the visible characteristics of aging skin such as wrinkles, decreased elasticity, and increased fragility. Through its high levels of polyphenols, Calendula significantly increases collagen production while also inhibiting its degradation. This leads to skin that is bouncier, more plump, elastic, and youthful. Calendula for the win!
Aging is a natural process and one that we should consider ourselves lucky to experience. And you know what else is a natural process? Actively supporting the incredible intelligence of the body by building community, sharing knowledge with each other, discovering new and old ways of being in relationship with the land, and heaping so much love, beauty, and nourishment into and onto our bodies.
Hopefully you’ve learned something useful from this brief little spotlight on Calendula and its uses for skincare. If you are curious to try Calendula and experience its benefits first-hand, we make a beautiful Calendula Oil using minimally-processed and exquisitely high-quality botanicals. Give it a try and let us know what you think!