You May Also Like

best shimmer body oils

8 shimmering body oils that will fake a tropical vacation—no PTO necessary

Blush application

The trick to nailing cream blush, courtesy of Leslie Mann’s makeup artist

The summer skin care guide to handling rosacea

*This* is the sunscreen you should be using if you have rosacea

Summer Sandals

10 comfy and stylish sandals to help you make every summer step a happy one

Athletic shorts win summer style this season

Give your leggings a rest day and embrace this sporty-chic look instead

Jonathan Van Ness' Manuka honey mask for face

PSA: Jonathan Van Ness’ DIY anti-inflammatory face mask uses *just* 2 pantry staples

The anti-inflammatory beauty ingredient you may be overlooking


Thumbnail for The anti-inflammatory beauty ingredient you may be overlooking
Pin It
Photos: Larkin Clark for Well+Good

Internal inflammation has been linked to everything from allergies to autoimmune diseases, but it’s not just the inside of your body that is impacted. Frequent breakouts? Poor wound healing? They might be signs that chronic swelling is manifesting itself on the outside, too.

Some dermatologists, including Dr. Nicholas Perricone, the founder of Perricone MD skin care, recommend an anti-inflammatory diet for a clearer, more resilient complexion. But inflammation-fighting ingredients are also beneficial to your overall beauty routine. An important one you may be overlooking? Calendula.

The vibrant orange flower may look a lot like the marigolds you commonly see in gardens, but the medicinal variety—also called calendula officinalis or pot marigold—packs major healing power. The petals and seed oils have been used in both ingestible remedies and topical treatments, with some studies suggesting that calendula can even significantly firm and hydrate the skin. Take that, rose water.

Calendula Weleda fields

“Internally, calendula has been used for gastrointestinal ulcers as well as inflammation of the internal organs [when it’s taken via] a tea or a homeopathic preparation,” says Petra Augenstein, chief pharmacist at natural skin care company Weleda. Externally, it has been used to treat a variety of inflammatory issues, including poorly healing wounds, acne, eczema, and conjuctivitis (AKA pink eye).

Augenstein explains that calendula is particularly effective in skin care because it has inherent antimicrobial and antiviral properties, increases collagen metabolism in irritated areas, and promotes the formation of granulation tissue, which is an important step in the skin healing process. That also makes it a great fortifier for delicate, sensitive, breakout-prone, and new skin. (Weleda says its calendula-based baby-care products are top sellers even among those without kids.)

The petals and seed oils have been used in both ingestible remedies and topical treatments, with some studies suggesting that calendula can even significantly firm and hydrate the skin.

Dr. Karen Hammerman of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City adds that calendula is unique because it addresses inflammation in the skin without drying it out, and even works when paired with other blemish-busting ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Calendula is also packed with flavonoids—powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals—which strengthen and protect the skin from future damage.

Though calendula is a multifunctional natural remedy, take the same care you would with any new ingredient you incorporate into your beauty routine: Spot test it behind your ear or your elbow and wait 24 hours to see if a reaction occurs, says Dr. Hammerman, and always be sure to cross check it with existing allergies or drugs you’re taking. After that, you’re cleared to embark on your inflammation-fighting crusade.

Another powerful all-natural skin-clearing product? Honey. And if what you ingest is as important as what you put on your skin, here are three brilliant ways to incorporate anti-inflammatory turmeric into your meals.

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

Blush application

The trick to nailing cream blush, courtesy of Leslie Mann’s makeup artist

swimsuits for bigger busts that are chic and supportive

Ladies with D+ cups, we’ve got you covered: These swimsuits are chic *and* supportive

Athletic shorts win summer style this season

Give your leggings a rest day and embrace this sporty-chic look instead

best shimmer body oils

8 shimmering body oils that will fake a tropical vacation—no PTO necessary

Well+Good - 5 ways to wear a bodysuit off-duty á la Taylor Swift

5 ways to wear a bodysuit off-duty á la Taylor Swift

Jonathan Van Ness' Manuka honey mask for face

PSA: Jonathan Van Ness’ DIY anti-inflammatory face mask uses *just* 2 pantry staples