What Is It?
Calendula officinalis is a plant known as pot marigold. It should not be confused with other types of plants more commonly known as marigold, such as those in the genus Tagetes. A number of ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products are made from Calendula officinalis, including an extract of the whole plant (Calendula Officinalis Extract) the flowers, flower extract and flower oil (Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil) and the seed oil (Calendula Officinalis Seed Oil). Of the Calendula-derived ingredients, the flower extracts are the most commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products. Ingredients derived from Calendula officinalis may be used in the formulation of a variety of products, including skin and eye products, hair products and bath products.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
In cosmetics and personal care products, Calendula Officinalis Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract and Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil function as skin conditioning agents – miscellaneous. Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract and Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil also function as fragrance ingredients. Calendula Officinalis Seed Oil functions as a skin conditioning agent – occlusive.
Calendula officinalis has been used orally and on the skin in traditional herbal medicine, often because of its reported anti-inflammatory activity. Important components of Calendula officinalis include triterpene saponins, flavonoids, and carotenoids, which give the flower the orange and yellow colors.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Calendula officinalis on its list of substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as a spice and natural seasoning/flavoring. The safety of Calendula Officinalis Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil and Calendula Officinalis Seed Oil has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated scientific data and concluded that the Calendula-derived ingredients are safe as used in cosmetics and personal care products.
More safety Information:
CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel reviewed safety data on Calendula offinalis as well as safety data on major components of this plant. Acute toxicity studies indicate that the flower extract is relatively nontoxic. Tests showed at most minimal skin irritation, and no sensitization or phototoxicity. Six saponins isolated from Calendula officinalis flowers and a flower extract were not mutagenic in bacteria, and a tea derived from Calendula officinalis was not genotoxic in Drosophila melanogaster. Coriander oil, which contains components similar to those found in Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil did not cause any developmental effects. A carcinogenicity study of a Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract was negative.
Although persons with allergies to plants in the Aster/Compositae family, such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, and daisies may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to Calendula, clinical testing of cosmetic formulations containing the flower extract caused little dermal irritation or sensitization. The CIR Expert Panel reviewed safety assessments of the components of Calendula officinalis that included a threshold of toxicologic concern analysis. They concluded that potentially problematic components were not present in the cosmetic ingredients at sufficient levels to be a safety issue. Based on the available data, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Calendula Officinalis Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil and Calendula Officinalis Seed Oil are safe as used in cosmetics and personal care products.
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Calendula http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr…
Calendula officinalis-derived ingredients may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in the European Union according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm
More information about ingredients derived from plants.
More Scientific Information:
Calendula officinalis is an annual plant with yellow or orange flowers. The major chemical components of the flowers include triterpenes, saponins and flavonoids. In traditional medicine, preparations made from the flowers have been used to treat superficial cuts and minor inflammation of the skin.
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration
Food Ingredients and Packaging: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/default.htm
Food Contact Substances: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/default.htm
Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS): http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/default.htm
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
Medline Plus http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-calendula.html
World Health Organization’s monographs on selected medicinal plants, including Flos Calendulae http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2002/9241545372.pdf
EU Cosmetic Ingredients Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/