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Explore the benefits of calendula for skin and its traditional uses. Since the 1960s, Kiehl’s has used calendula in formulas like our iconic calendula toner, calendula cream and calendula face wash.

benefits of calendula for skin

Since the 1960s, our customers have been able to experience calendula benefits for skin. As part of our apothecary tradition, we began formulating our Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner with handpicked calendula flower petals and calendula extract. This alcohol-free toner soon gained a cult following and became a worldwide customer favourite, selling 1 every 20 seconds globally. Learn more about calendula for skin and its unique place in our heritage.

What is Calendula for Skin?

Native to the Mediterranean, calendula officinalis, or pot marigold, is an herbaceous plant commonly used in herbal and skincare products. Thought to bloom on the first of the month, this perennial’s name stems from the Latin “kalendae” which means “little calendar” or “the first day of every month.”I Calendula flowers are orange or gold with a strong, fresh aroma. A trusted herb for many centuries, calendula is known to have been traditionally used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.

Is Calendula Good for Your Skin?

Our Calendula Extract and petals are scientifically tested to provide a lasting, continuous supply of discomfort-reducing compounds. Each individual Calendula petal contains five compounds—Oleanic Acid, Lupeol, Quercetin, α Amyrin and β Amyrin. These efficacious compounds have been studied and are known to provide antioxidant protection, soothe skin and reduce discomfort.

What are the Benefits of Calendula?

The effective compounds within calendula help comfort and visibly improve skin. By helping to reduce discomfort, our formulas with calendula petals and extract help skin look smooth, radiant and dewy-fresh. Within our Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream, these compounds even help skin resist early signs of aging over time including dull skin, dry fine lines, and uneven skin tone and texture. Let's break down the many benefits of calendula for skin.

#1: SKin Comforting

Calendula for skin can help provide skin comforting effects due to beneficial properties typically associated with calendula flowers and extracts. The perfect skincare for acne-prone skin, use calendula skin products as a gentle but effective skincare solution.

#2: Rich in natural antioxidants

One of the most notable calendula skin benefits is its ability to help protect skin from oxidative stress. This describes the damage the skin can experience from free radicals or oxygen species after exposure to stressors like UV radiation and pollution.

Calendula flowers are rich in antioxidant compounds, including flavonoids, polyphenols and carotenoids, that help neutralise free radicals and limit their effects. This means calendula skincare including calendula creams benefit the skin by protecting it from stressors and keeping it healthy-looking.

#3: Hydrates the skin

Studies have also shown that calendula flowers are rich in various skin-friendly oils. The exact quantities depend on a variety of factors like where and how the calendula plant was grown, however, research indicates that calendula seeds typically include high concentrations of linoleic and calendric acid. Linoleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in the natural skin moisture barrier and can help maintain its healthy function and hydration - meaning its presence helps calendula provides skin with hydration and nourishment.

#4: Firms the skin

The nourishing benefits of calendula for skin can help plump the skin's surface, visibly firming and tightening the appearance of the skin. By taking care of your skin moisture barrier and protecting skin from external aggressors, calendula skincare including calendula creams can promote healthy-looking, vibrant and firmed skin.

#5: Sensitive skin benefits

Calendula can limit trans-epidermal water loss in the skin, which in turn strengthens the skin's defences against potential irritants. This means that those with sensitive skin types may find calendula skincare products particularly gentle on their skin, making it an efficacious ingredient in skincare for sensitive skin.

What are the Common Uses of Calendula?

In addition to skincare products with Calendula, this edible herb is often used in food and tea. Calendula petals may be mixed in with salads, steeped to create a soothing tea or used as a substitute for saffron. Yellow dye has also been extracted from the flower and used to color fabrics and foods.

Calendula in History

  • In the Middle Ages, Calendula was used to color cheeses and butters
  • During the American Civil War and World War I, Calendula petals were used to dress wounds
  • In Hindu culture, Calendula is used to adorn statues and is frequently incorporated into food, fabrics and cosmetics
  • Calendula was used in ancient Aztec and Mayan civilization and now is included in processions of the Day of the Dead in Mexico


With the success and long-standing popularity of our Calendula toner, we expanded our Calendula products to include a foaming cleanser, hydrating face mask and serum-infused water cream. Each of these products is formulated with our concentrated Calendula Extract. True to our apothecary heritage, our mask, toner and water cream are still infused with handpicked Calendula petals!

Our Calendula Petals

It is approximately 9-10 months from the time that the Calendula seeds are planted, grown, handpicked and dried. Harvested from January to March, the entire flower is picked by hand to help preserve its delicacy and keep the petals intact. From there, petals are manually sorted and sundried without the addition of artificial heat or extra processing. Any unused petals and parts of the flower are then composted by the grower.

Calendula and Our Formulas

Our Calendula toner and Calendula mask are formulated with whole flower petals which contribute to the formula’s golden hue. As the petals are slowly mixed into the mask, the color begins to intensify while the Calendula toner’s color actually deepens over time. In formulating our Calendula water cream, Kiehl’s chemists looked to develop a preparation that would draw out the maximum efficacy of Calendula. For this formulation, whole Calendula petals are steeped at a high temperature to allow for maximum release of the flower’s skin-soothing compounds. Once the compounds have been released, these whole petals are mixed into the formula and become crushed into hundreds of micronized petals—visible only under a microscope.

Calendula Toner and the Smithsonian

Our cult-classic Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner is even included in the Smithsonian Institute’s Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Collection.II As part of the permanent collection in the National Museum of American History, this classic skincare formula is recognized for its unique heritage.


Our gentle yet effective calendula skincare products are formulated for all skin types. Particularly well-suited for normal and oily skin, these products are also mild enough for use by sensitive skin types. Our customers also say that this skincare routine can help balance their skin to help improve problem areas for healthy-looking skin. Refresh your routine and experience the benefits of calendula extract for skin.

STEP 1: Cleanse

Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash

With a fresh aroma and creamy foam texture, this face wash is a revitalizing way to start the morning or melt away dirt and oil at the end of the day. This efficacious facial cleanser for oily skin and normal skin, gently lifts away dirt, debris and impurities. Its creamy gel formula activates into a dense, rich foam and leaves skin feeling refreshed and renewed. While an effective cleanser, our calendula face wash maintains the skin moisture barrier without removing skin's natural moisturising properties. Refresh your skin with this aromatic, foaming face wash.


cleanse with calendula


Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner

Beloved by our customers, this iconic formula helps to comfort and tone skin. An effective toner for oily skin and normal skin, this formula is infused with great burdock root and allantoin along with calendula extract and approximately 93 calendula petals in a 250ml bottle. An alcohol-free toner, this formula does not contain drying agents. After cleansing, smooth on our gentle calendula toner to comfort and improve problem areas.


tone with calendula

STEP 3: Moisturise

Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream

Infused with a concentrated calendula serum, our lightweight water cream is a multi-functional formula. Formulated with hundreds of micronized calendula petals and our highest concentration of calendula extract, this efficacious calendula cream benefits skin by visibly evening skin tone and boosting radiance while helping reduce visible redness over time. Upon application, this formula bursts into a water-light texture, releasing our concentrated calendula serum directly to skin. Smooth on daily for petal-soft skin.


moisturise with calendual

STEP 4: Facial Mask

Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask

For a refreshing surge of cooling hydration, experience our calming face mask. Formulated for all skin types, this comforting facial mask hydrates skin leaving it feeling soft and refreshed. True to our heritage with calendula, this mask is infused with hand-picked calendula petals, which are known for their skin comforting capabilities. Hydrate, cool and refresh your skin after a stressful day, a long flight or whenever you want a skin comforting experience. Apply to your entire face and leave for 15 minutes to leave skin feeling softer, moisturised and balanced.


treat with calendula face mask

Ii Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (6th ed.). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. 2007. P. 3804 ISBN 0199206872
II “Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Alcohol-Free Toner.” Smithsonian Institution. Web. 06 Jun. 2018.


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