Who would have thought that such a pretty flower could be so potent? Then again, Calendula officinalis, which also goes by the name of pot marigold, is quite a hardy breed. It can grow year round in temperate zones, deter pests, and grow easily from a seed. As it turns out, it’s also chock full of healing ingredients, and a diverse range of them to boot--including these three standouts.
Flavonoids: These compounds are potent antioxidants that fight the free radicals that damage cells and make skin look worn and weathered. You typically hear about them in food, including fruits, vegetables, tea, and wine. But they’re particularly helpful as a topical ingredient, too. Of special note is quercetin, under the sub-category known as flavonols. Quercetin is a plant pigment that’s an able skin soother and anti-inflammatory; as such, it can help reduce redness and itching.
Saponins: These interesting ingredients are known for their emulsifying properties, but that’s not all they’re capable of doing. Also found in oatmeal, saponins have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory capabilities. (That said, you can give dry, itchy skin a one-two punch by bathing in an oatmeal bath and sealing in the moisture with a Calendula-infused moisturizer, such as Calendula Hydrate.) Saponins may have something to do with Calendula’s wound-soothing effect, too.
Carotenoids: These compounds, which give the petals their robust gold color, are another form of powerful antioxidants. Carotenoids seem to have some ability to repair the damage in your skin after you’ve been in the sun too long without SPF. They may even help to renew it. Researchers have found that younger, smoother skin has higher levels of carotenoids than older, rougher skin.