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6 Reasons Calendula for Acne Is a Bad Idea

Calendula, often called marigold, is a flowering plant renowned for its medicinal properties and various uses in skin care. From anti-inflammatory effects to the acceleration of healing wounds, the benefits of calendula have been widely celebrated. 

However,  it is important to tread cautiously when using calendula for acne. This article aims to delve into calendula and its application on acne-prone skin. Here are six reasons why using calendula for acne may not be the wisest choice.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Calendula for acne can be problematic due to potential skin irritation and ineffectiveness for deeper acne issues.
  • Both aloe vera and calendula have benefits for the skin but must be used cautiously as they can exacerbate certain conditions.
  • Natural ingredients like jojoba oil and antifungal agents offer benefits but are not one-size-fits-all solutions for skincare.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers a balanced blend of effective ingredients like tea tree oil and salicylic acid, specifically designed for acne-prone skin.

Hand holding a dropper of calendula oil

Potential to Irritate Sensitive Skin

Is Calendula Suitable for All Skin Types?

Calendula is often promoted as being suitable for all skin types, yet the truth is not as straightforward. While it may soothe various skin conditions, from eczema to diaper rash, people with sensitive skin might experience the opposite effect.

Triggers Irritation

Calendula oil may contain compounds that irritate sensitive skin, leading to redness, rash, and exacerbated acne conditions. Contrary to popular belief, the anti-inflammatory effect of calendula may not be universal. For sensitive skin, the irritation may outweigh any potential benefits of using calendula for skin health.

The Risk of Allergic Reactions

How Common Are Allergic Reactions?

While calendula is generally considered safe to use, allergic reactions are not unheard of. Calendula belongs to the Asteraceae family of plants, known for triggering allergies in some individuals.

A Rash Decision

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild skin irritation to more serious issues such as a rash. Even creams and cleansers formulated with calendula may cause skin concerns if you are allergic to components within the Asteraceae family.

Woman suffering from allergic rash

Excessive Oiliness and Breakouts

Oiliness—A Double-Edged Sword?

Calendula oil is often promoted as hydrating the skin without clogging pores. However, like any other oil, its application can potentially exacerbate skin issues by contributing to excess oil production.

The Downside of Hydration

Excess oil can become a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria, negating the benefits of calendula for skin. For individuals with oily skin, using calendula oil may not be the best approach for preventing acne.

Limited Effect on Severe Acne

Can Calendula Treat All Types of Acne?

Calendula's anti-inflammatory properties make it appear suitable for calming inflamed skin and soothing acne. However, the extent to which calendula can treat severe acne is limited.

Not a Cure-All

Applying calendula cream or calendula ointment may not offer a viable solution for individuals suffering from deep-rooted cystic acne. While calendula may calm the surface-level redness and irritation, it is unlikely to treat the underlying issues causing severe acne.

Woman looking at severe acne with mirror

Risks Associated with Purity and Composition

Calendula Source Matters

The quality of calendula extract or oil may vary significantly depending on the source. Cheaper products with calendula may include fillers, additives, or other essential oils that can irritate the skin or worsen acne.

What Are You Really Applying?

Even if you are using pure calendula oil, differences in the extraction process and the origin of the calendula flowers can lead to variations in the oil's composition. This makes it challenging to determine how the use of calendula will impact your skin's overall appearance and health.

Questionable Long-term Benefits

Temporary Relief, Permanent Damage?

Although calendula has some benefits like hydration and antioxidant properties, its long-term effects on skin health, especially when used for acne, are poorly understood.

Woman worringly look while holding face with acne

Think Twice Before Making it a Routine

Before incorporating calendula into your skincare regime, consider whether it improves skin texture, fine lines, or collagen production. Many people use calendula oil or calendula petal-infused calming masks expecting to enhance the overall appearance of their skin, only to find the benefits are either short-lived or non-existent.

A Better Alternative: The Advantages of Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

While calendula for skin care may pose certain risks, particularly for those dealing with acne, effective alternatives are available. One such alternative is Exposed Skin Care, a comprehensive range of products designed specifically to manage acne and improve the overall appearance of your skin.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Reasons to choose Exposed Skin Care:

  • Calendula Benefits, Minus the Risks: Research has found that calendula extract is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. However, Exposed Skin Care products ensure that calendula officinalis extract is used in a balanced way to prevent skin damage.

  • Target Multiple Concerns: Whether it's damaged skin tissues, skin disorders, or skin inflammation, Exposed Skin Care offers a holistic solution. Products like calendula cleanser are formulated to improve the appearance of the skin on your face and neck.

  • Learn How to Use: The brand educates its users on ways to use calendula and other ingredients effectively, allowing you to integrate them into your skincare regime without worry.

So, if you've been thinking about applying calendula oil or using products containing calendula, consider switching to Exposed Skin Care for a safer and more comprehensive approach.


In the complex world of skincare, ingredients like calendula and aloe vera often steal the spotlight for their multifaceted benefits for the skin. Calendula is an excellent choice for many, known for its anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe your skin and relieve various conditions.

However, when using calendula for skin, especially for treating acne, one should exercise caution. It's important to remember that what works for dry skin or diaper rash may not be effective for acne-prone or irritated skin.

Similarly, aloe vera and calendula, often celebrated for their contributions to skin hydration and calming effects, might present unforeseen challenges when used carelessly. 

Whether you use it in your skincare routine as a carrier oil or a standalone treatment, knowing the limitations of each ingredient is crucial. Jojoba oil, for example, can be used for skin hydration but can also contribute to oily skin if not applied correctly.

Antifungal agents are another commonly praised component that may not be suitable for all skin types and conditions. While they can target various issues, their efficacy is not one-size-fits-all. Similarly, the potential benefits of calendula oil should be weighed against its risks, such as irritation or allergic reaction.

Given these complexities, opting for specialized treatments like Exposed Skin Care could offer a more balanced and less risky approach. These products are formulated with effective ingredients like aloe vera and calendula, designed to address the various needs and challenges one may face in their skincare journey.


What are the risks of using calendula for acne?

Calendula for acne can potentially irritate the skin, disrupt the skin's natural oil balance, and may not be effective for deeper acne issues.

Can calendula oil benefits outweigh the risks for acne-prone skin?

While calendula oil has anti-inflammatory properties, its benefits often do not outweigh the risks for acne-prone skin.

Is calendula safe for all skin types?

No, calendula may not be suitable for sensitive or acne-prone skin and can sometimes cause irritation or allergic reactions.

How does aloe vera differ from calendula in skincare?

Aloe vera is primarily known for its hydrating and soothing properties, whereas calendula is more recognized for its anti-inflammatory and antifungal capabilities.

Can jojoba oil be a substitute for calendula oil?

Jojoba oil is generally used for hydration and is less likely to irritate the skin, making it a possible alternative for some but not necessarily a direct substitute for calendula's specific benefits.

Is Exposed Skin Care a better alternative for treating acne?

Exposed Skin Care offers a range of products designed specifically for acne-prone skin, using a balanced blend of ingredients like aloe vera and calendula to offer a more comprehensive solution.