DIY Calendula Salve Recipe

Heather Dessinger

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It’s the secret ingredient in many healing balms and skincare products, and for good reason. Calendula petals are rich in compounds that nourish, hydrate, and support skin healing, which is why they’ve been used for centuries to help with everything from pinkeye and sore throats to skin irritations. But don’t think you need a cut or scrape to make use of it – I apply it to my face and love the way it makes my skin glow!

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:

  • face moisturizer
  • chapped-lip balm
  • baby bottom balm
  • owie salve
  • burn salve
  • bug bite balm

Seriously, this stuff is so amazing I carry a little tin of it in my purse. These 2 oz. tins are the perfect container for it, plus other personal care products like this children’s chest rub and these bug repellent lotion bars.

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.


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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!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 ounces
Author Heather Dessinger



  • 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.


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.

More Herbal Oil Recipes

  • Dandelion Oil – Like calendula, dandelions are a member of the Asteraceae family and are well-known for their skin-soothing benefits. During the spring and summer you can gather them for free to use in dandelion salves.
  • Comfrey infused oil – Sometimes called knitbone or All Heal, comfrey has been used for centuries to support bone and wound healing. It’s also often used in skincare products due to its moisturizing properties.
  • Plantain oil – Plantain is sometimes called the “band aid” plant because – thanks to the presence of iridoids – it has a very soothing, anti-inflammatory effect on skin. It also contains allantoin, which supports skin healing.
  • Arnica Oil & Cream – Arnica has been traditionally used by Swiss mountaineers to prevent muscle soreness, and according to The New York Times, “scientists have found good evidence that it works.” When I injured my shoulder awhile ago, I made up a batch of arnica cream to use along with physical therapy. It was so helpful!

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world.