Calendula

When l was little, l remember my mum growing Calendula (or marigolds as they are more commonly known.) Truthfully, l always thought they were a little 'daggy' - my parents preferred more exotic flowers and the common marigold patch was always a little looked down upon. But when l started soapmaking, l learned so much about Calendula, which is actually a popular herbal ingredient, and have noticed it popping up in skincare products everywhere. You can infuse the petals in oil for a lovely orange colour, blend the petals into soap batches, or use them for scattering on top of finished soap logs. There's even calendula tea at my local health food shop.

Calendula can be used in herbal remedies to heal wounds and soothe skin. It is extremely helpful for dry and irritated skin, and also has proven antibacterial and anti inflammatory benefits. Traditionally used for the treatment of acne, grazes, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.