Shelf-Stable Calendula Cream Recipe – Herbal Academy


As herbalists, we flip to our trusty natural allies to create easy and protected skincare merchandise. We love our calendula-infused oil, our lavender hydrosol, our rose petals. But how can we carry these stunning natural substances collectively right into a calendula cream recipe or one other botanical skincare creation that’s shelf-stable? After all, any time we embody a water-based ingredient—whether or not that’s hydrosol, tea, aloe gel, or water—we threat harboring microbes akin to micro organism, yeast, and mould. 

This might not be an issue for the house herbalist who’s creating small batches of merchandise, that are used shortly and may be refrigerated. But how can herbalists share their luscious lotions, lotions, and different DIY body care merchandise with a wider viewers? In order to supply our natural skincare merchandise to shoppers and even promote them at an area farmers market or on-line store, we have to lengthen their shelf life in order that they continue to be secure and contamination-free for a for much longer time period—all with out introducing pores and skin irritants or different undesirables into our fastidiously crafted items!

 If you need to take your skincare merchandise to the subsequent degree, you’ll must look exterior your backyard, your apothecary, and your native apiaries to supply true emulsifiers, pure preservatives, and even perhaps skin-safe, unhazardous artificial preservatives. 

We cowl this subject in a lot larger element in our Emulsifiers and Preservatives Short Course, for which this weblog submit and recipe provide a particular sneak peek. 

Although many of the emulsifiers and preservatives that we suggest within the course are plant-derived, they’ve usually gone via many adjustments within the laboratory and aren’t as “natural” because the substances you may be utilizing on your private do-it-yourself merchandise. You could really feel slightly hesitant about together with something that’s not an unprocessed, acquainted ingredient in your skincare merchandise, however making certain shelf-stability and lack of contamination is paramount if you happen to’re fascinated with promoting your creations.

 In the recipe under (and in our Emulsifiers and Preservatives Course), we honed in on the components that the majority intently align with our shared values of being as pure as attainable, at any time when attainable. 

Ingredient Profiles

The following calendula cream recipe blends calendula-infused oil with roman chamomile hydrosol and chamomile-infused glycerin. We additionally mix in laurel wax as an emulsifier, xanthan gum as a gelling agent, and Leucidal® Liquid SF Max as a pure preservative. Each ingredient performs an necessary function within the completed cream’s soothing, shelf-stable properties.

Calendula flowers growing in the garden

Calendula (Calendula officinalis

Calendula is a standout herb for pores and skin assist in each conventional use and in trendy medical analysis. Applied topically, it’s useful in conditions from minor scratches to critical wounds, and even bacterial imbalance. Calendula helps the body’s personal immune response to allergens or antigens, encouraging macrophagic exercise that gobbles up micro organism and different invaders, making it particularly useful for warm, purple, pus-filled tissue (Foster, 1993). Acne is one instance of a scorching, eruptive pores and skin imbalance that may be supported with topical use of calendula, as are circumstances akin to dermatitis, bruising, boils, and rashes (Bisset, 1994). Learn extra in A Family Herb: Helpful Calendula Blossoms

Chamomile flowers in the garden

Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile

Roman chamomile hydrosol is used on this cream for its anti-inflammatory, cooling, and soothing properties. This light hydrosol can be utilized for all pores and skin sorts however is especially well-suited for irritated or infected pores and skin. 

Learn extra about this beautiful herb in Get to Know the Versatile Chamomile Plant.

Explore extra methods to make use of hydrosols, also referred to as steam-distilled “floral waters” in 4 Everyday Ways to Use Hydrosols.  

Laurel Wax (Emulsifier) 

In the next recipe, we suggest laurel wax because the emulsifying agent, which is derived from the Myrica pubescens tree. Emulsifiers, also referred to as emulsifying brokers, are substances that enable oil-based substances and water-based substances to combine collectively with out separation. Without an emulsifying agent, oil and water substances may be briefly blended if shaken collectively in a container, however together with an emulsifier will be certain that the substances create a secure, concentrated finish product with a easy consistency that gained’t separate over time.

Siligel™ or Xanthan Gum 

Xanthan gum is a pure gelling agent that decreases transepidermal water loss to assist hold pores and skin moisturized. It additionally helps with the spreadability of lotions and lotions. 

 Leucidal® Liquid SF Max (Preservative)

This recipe requires Leucidal® Liquid SF Max because the pure preservative. This product is constructed from peptides present in fermented radishes, and it has broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties. 

This specific pure preservative is blended in on the very finish of the product-making course of, and is greatest used for merchandise inside a specific vary of pH. Each pure preservative has its greatest purposes and instructions for efficient use. 

making a shelf-stable calendula cream recipe

Crafting with Percentages

You’ll see under that the recipe, under, makes use of percentages fairly than particular measurements. These percentages are based mostly on the weight of every ingredient. The great thing about percentage-based recipes is that you could simply convert every recipe to supply the precise quantity of product that you just want.

Let’s say you wish to make 20 ounces of completed cream. To decide the quantity wanted for every ingredient, merely multiply your complete desired quantity (20 ounces) by every ingredient’s proportion transformed right into a decimal. For instance, to calculate how a lot calendula oil so as to add to your product you’ll first must convert 35% to a decimal. To try this, merely divide 35 by 100 to get 0.35. Next, multiply 20 by 0.35 to get 7—this implies you’ll want so as to add 7 ounces of calendula oil to your product. 

Calendula cream in a small wooden bowl

Shelf-Stable Calendula Cream with Chamomile

This herby cream is simply the factor for dry, infected pores and skin! It is greatest saved in dark-colored glass bottles with pumps, airless pumps, or dropper tops.



  • Set up two double boilers aspect by aspect and warmth each to a simmer.
  • Measure out all substances in beakers/prep bowls whereas double boilers are heating up.
  • Once water is simmering, decrease warmth to medium-low on each double boilers and add water-phase substances to 1 double boiler.
  • Add oil-phase substances to the second double boiler.
  • Gently whisk the content material of each double boilers (individually and with completely different whisks) till a uniform consistency is reached.
  • Continue to whisk as you test the temperature of the substances. When the content material of each double boilers reaches 140 levels Fahrenheit (60 levels C), slowly pour the water-phase substances into the oil-phase substances, whisking constantly. Product will turn into opaque.
  • Place the double boiler insert into an ice bathtub shortly to chill the product to room temperature—temperature must be under 104 levels F (40 levels C) earlier than preservative is added. 
  • Add preservative and whisk gently.
  • Pour product into sanitized containers and shut.
  • Label, retailer in a cool, darkish, dry space, and use inside 9-12 months.

In Closing, 

This calendula cream recipe is a good start line for anybody who needs to promote lotions or lotions and desires them to stay mold-free and shelf-stable. Our Emulsifiers and Preservatives Course goes into this subject in a lot larger element with details about different pure emulsifiers and preservatives, together with particular recipes for how you can use them in botanical skincare merchandise. 

Learn extra concerning the Emulsifiers and Preservatives Course right here! 

Does this encourage you to go on a cream-making kick? If so, then don’t miss our recipes for:

Comfrey Cream Recipe for Achy Joints and Muscles
DIY Firming Wild Rose Undereye Cream

Calendula Cream Recipe Pinterest Graphic


Bisset, N.G. (1994). Max Wichtl’s natural medication & phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Foster, S. (1993). Herbal renaissance: Understanding, using and growing herbs in the modern world. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith.

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