Calendula Cream Is The Unexpected $10 Secret To Smooth & Hydrated Skin
As someone who lives and breathes all things skin care, I have a trusty rotation of products that I use on a regular basis. Many of them are pretty standard—cleansers, exfoliants, and moisturizers—but there's one unexpected item standing side by side with the rest of my classic staples.
Tucked away among expensive formulas is a drugstore staple that I swear by for enhancing the effects of my favorite moisturizer: the Boiron Calendula Cream. The plant-based product repairs my barrier, calms irritated skin, and levels up any moisturizer—all for just $10 on Amazon.
Why I started using calendula cream.
About seven months ago, I had an awful dermatitis breakout on my face (more specifically referred to as perioral dermatitis). While there are plenty of causes for this kind of skin reaction, mine was triggered by over-exfoliation.
At the time, I was using a prescription-strength retinoid called Tazorac. Although the topical cream is great for acne and healthy skin aging, it should only be used in moderation. Otherwise the vitamin can over-exfoliate the skin, which compromises the barrier and can lead to dermatitis, among other reactions.
When I was trying to clear my rash, I came across a TikTok page where medical esthetician Isabela Traboscia shared her secret to getting rid of her own dermatitis: drugstore calendula cream.
While I was utterly shocked at the before and after photos she shared, I was just as skeptical. I didn't believe that a $10 botanical cream sold online could calm my dermatitis, especially after prescriptions had failed to do so. To say the least, I was shocked by my own results—but it shouldn't have been a surprise given the proven benefits of calendula oil.
Benefits of calendula oil.
If you've ever seen calendula oil on the back of a skin care bottle, it's referring to the oil extracted from marigolds (the common name). When applied topically, it boasts a few perks including:
It's anti-inflammatory: Calendula oil has been shown to significantly improve inflammatory skin conditions like diaper rash1 (an inflammatory skin reaction in infants) and localized, radiation-induced dermatitis in those receiving treatment for breast cancer. While there isn't extensive research done on calendula cream being used for eczema, many people look to its calming and soothing properties to aid in the inflammation that comes along with eczema dry patches.
It contains antioxidants: Marigolds contain carotenoids and flavonoids, which are two different antioxidants. Because of this property, the plant has been shown to help wounds heal faster, plump skin through hydration and circulation, and (again) prevent inflammation.
It's hydrating: Due to the fatty acids in the calendula oil—like linoleic acid—it provides nutrients to help support your skin barrier function. This is essential at all times, especially when your skin has been compromised from weather, over-exfoliation, etc.
Immediate and lasting results.
You shouldn't expect any product to give you dramatic results in seconds, but I give this calendula cream props for calming my dermatitis within a few days. (That's pretty quick for the severity of my reaction.) But what really sold me on the benefits of calendula cream was the improvement in my skin's moisture levels.
Even if I'm using the thickest night cream, adding a layer of calendula cream still makes an impact. It makes moisturizer last even longer and leaves my skin baby-smooth.
Calendula cream has helped clear my dermatitis, restore hydration, and calm any redness or irritation that comes along from testing out new products for my job. And at just $10, my ride-or-die moisturizer enhancer is surprisingly the least expensive step in my routine. Ready to give it a consistent place in your skin care lineup? Shop the drugstore staple on Amazon. (Learn even more about calendula's benefits for the skin here.)
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.