You might say that calendula oil is the beauty world's Reese Witherspoon – a hard working multi-tasker, and seemingly everything it touches is all the better for it.
But what exactly is this magical oil?
Calendula oil comes from the Pot marigold plant's flower, and is considered by many to be a miracle ingredient in skincare. There's been some research into its effectiveness and while some of these studies were small and preliminary, they have shown it to have a positive impact on a range of skin conditions including wound healing, radiation burn, dermatitis, and more.
Calendula oil for nappy rash
Naturopath and founder of organic skincare range Clémence Organics, Bridget Carmady, has been using the oil for years and includes it in all her body and baby products.
"Calendula oil is so great because it ticks all the boxes and the anti-inflammatory nature of its constituents make it gentle on skin and perfect for anyone with sensitivities," she says.
"I use it in my body and baby ranges because I've seen it provide instant soothing benefits, and encourage wound healing for all skin types."
Given a baby's skin is so sensitive, it's interesting to note that a study in 2012 found that calendula oil was significantly more beneficial in treating nappy rash than aloe vera.
"Besides being anti-inflammatory, it also has antiseptic properties, meaning that it helps to reduce the redness and kill any bacteria which may be present," says Bridget.
To treat nappy rash, Bridget advises a fresh application after each nappy change, until symptoms subside.
Calendula oil for stretch marks
It can even help with stretch marks. In fact, Kim Kardashian's favourite stretch mark remedy, Bio Oil, contains calendula oil.
"Studies have shown that calendula influences the healing phase of skin by stimulating skin cell turnover and decreasing the time it takes for skin to repair," says Bridget. "This benefits stretch marks by encouraging the renewal of skin, helping to reduce scar tissue."
Bridget advises to apply oil to affected areas one to two times daily.
You can make calendula oil yourself!
While calendula oil is easy enough to buy, if you have the inclination you can make it yourself. "Simply clean a handful of marigold flowers of dirt and debris, place them in a sterile jar and cover completely in sunflower oil. Infuse for 4-6 weeks before using oil," advises Bridget.
Once you have the oil, consider upping its effectiveness by blending it with other ingredients. One option? Adding a couple of drops of chamomile essential oil or lavender essential oil, to a base of sweet almond or olive oil, along with a dash of the calendula infusion, to create a soothing blend that can be used as a body oil and for baby massage.