How to Make Homemade Radiance Cream With Fresh Garden Ingredients

Are you interested in smooth skin and DIY products? Join Alessandro Vitale, aka Spicy Moustache, to learn how to turn garden-grown herbs into a healing skin cream.

Close-up of female hands holding a small jar of homemade cream over a table with fresh blooming sprigs of lavender and calendula.


When you think of the gifts gardens provide, you may imagine delicious veggies or colorful flowers that brighten the home. And while I love both of these goodies, I also enjoy turning to my garden for self-care. Herbs and flowers like calendula, lavender, and rosemary provide soothing elements that are perfect for helping our skin when it’s feeling dry and chapped.

You can combine these herbs with coconut oil and a bit of vitamin E oil to create luxurious salves I call radiance creams. These homemade products are a must-have for the dry skin that accompanies long winters and sunny summers. I’ll cover how to create these creams at home using herbs you can grow yourself or purchase elsewhere.

Before we start, note that we are not medical professionals; these plants are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a healthcare professional before consuming them, verify correct identification with an expert, and use them at your own risk.


Calendula Seeds

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Calendula Seeds


Lavender Seeds

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Lavender Seeds


Rosemary Seeds

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Rosemary Seeds

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The Herbs: Calendula, Rosemary, and Lavender

Calendula, rosemary, and lavender all offer impressive properties that are great for dry skin. Growing these herbs at home in the summer and preserving them in oil is one way to make them last all year. If you’ve never grown these plants before, check out their care requirements.


Calendula features bright green, lance-shaped leaves and produces vibrant, daisy-like flowers in shades of orange.
Easy to grow and vibrant, calendula enriches any garden beautifully.

Also known as the pot marigold, calendula is a flowering annual in the daisy family. It is quick and easy to grow, making it a welcome addition to just about any garden. Since calendula doesn’t tolerate frost well, wait until the weather warms before planting it outside.

Calendula is easy to grow by direct sowing the seeds in your garden. Plus, the spiny C-shaped seeds are a joy to look at. Just sprinkle the seeds in an area with full sun and cover with a quarter inch (0.6 cm) of soil. Once the seeds germinate, thin the seedlings so they’re 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) apart. You can also start seeds indoors and transplant them into your garden.

The plants will begin producing their stunning round flowers about 70 days after you plant the seeds. Orange blooms are the most common, but you can also find varieties that produce yellow, peach, and pink flowers. Deadheading old blooms will help the plants produce a continuous supply of flowers.

Harvesting the flowers for use is easy—grasp the underside of a flower with your fingers and give it a firm yet gentle pull. Don’t be alarmed by the sticky sap; this is just part of harvesting calendula. I like to harvest the flowers in the morning when they’re fresh and unwilted. Store the loose blooms in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.

Healthy calendula plants will continue to produce flowers over several months. If you have more flowers than you can use, dehydrate them for future use.


Rosemary displays needle-like, aromatic leaves with a gray-green hue and small, pale blue flowers that grow in clusters.
Enjoy the aromatic benefits of easy-to-grow rosemary at home.

There’s nothing quite like the woodsy, fresh smell of rosemary. Although you may already enjoy this herb in the kitchen, it also makes a great addition to your skincare routine. Plus, it’s easy to grow at home!

You can grow rosemary in the ground or in containers as long as you provide it with well-draining soil and full sun. You can start rosemary from seed, but planting a seedling or full- grown plant will allow you to enjoy a large plant in a shorter amount of time.

Rosemary plants can tolerate moderate drought but don’t tolerate wet soil. That means you should keep the soil on the drier side. Aim to water when the top two to three inches of soil are dry.

You can harvest rosemary at any time of year, but harvesting right before the plants begin to flower will provide extra-fragrant leaves. Since the flowers appear sometime in late spring or early summer, a midsummer harvest is ideal. I like to use sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts and avoid damaging the plant.

Harvest no more than one-third of the plant at one time, and avoid cutting woody stems. If you want to dry the leaves, hang them upside down in a dry area or place them in a dehydrator. If you store the dry leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, they will remain fragrant for a year.


Lavender has narrow, gray-green leaves with a silvery appearance and spikes of small, fragrant purple flowers growing in bushy formations in a sunny garden.
Grow fragrant lavender with proper sunlight and well-draining soil.

One of the best aromatic herbs, lavender plants produce light purple flowers that smell as good as they look. If you want to grow these plants at home, take note that there are a few different lavender species, with English and French lavender being the most popular. Although the plants have similar care requirements, they have different cold tolerances and flowering habits. So, choose the plant that works best for your area!

No matter which type of lavender you choose, plant it in a spot with full sun and well-draining soil. These perennials are native to dry areas in the Mediterranean, so they hate sitting in wet soil.

The plants will start blooming anytime from late spring to mid-summer, depending on the variety and where you live. Harvest lavender when the buds are fully formed but before they have opened into flowers. I recommend cutting the stems in the early morning for the best fragrance.

If you want to keep the stems fresh, place them in a cup of water and out of direct sun. You can also hang the stems upside down to dry. Once the flowers are fully dry, store them in an airtight container.

How to Make Herbal Oil

On a wooden table there are several glass jars and bottles of lavender oil against a background of fresh mint sprigs and a bunch of dry lavender sprigs.
Transform harvested herbs into infused oils for skincare and more.

Once you’ve harvested your herbs, the next step is to extract their beneficial properties using oil. This process involves filling a sterile glass jar with fresh or dried herbs, covering the plants with oil, and letting them sit in a cool, dark place for three to four weeks. After you strain the herbs, you’ll have a fragrant oil that’s ready to use in radiance cream and other DIY products.

You can use various oils to soak the herbs. However, I use castor oil or rosemary, argan oil for lavender, and olive oil for calendula. No matter what type of oil you use, make sure to store it in an airtight container after straining.

How to Make Radiance Cream

Top view of white cream in a glass jar with calendula oil on a wooden tray with a glass jar full of calendula oil and calendula flowers nearby.
Craft nourishing radiance cream from herbal-infused oils at home.

Once you have your herb oils ready, it’s time to turn them into radiance cream. This light cream moisturizes your skin while also providing the additional benefits of the herbs.

Start by heating two cups of virgin pure coconut oil in a double boiler until it’s melted. Once it’s in a liquid form, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. Now it’s time to add in your herbal oils!

Add two to four tablespoons of herbal oil to the coconut oil. You can use a single oil or a mixture of multiple herbs. Next, add one tablespoon of vitamin E oil. If you want an extra fragrant cream, you can also add a few drops of essential oil. Stir the mixture to combine the oils.

Place the oil in your refrigerator to cool. The coconut oil will resolidify as it cools, leaving you with a hard material. While you can use this mixture as is, whipping the cooled material creates light and fluffy cream!

Scoop the solid mixture into a bowl and whip it with handheld beaters. The beaters will add air to the oil and create a smooth and easy-to-spread cream. Store the finished product in an airtight container and use it within one year.

If the mixture becomes too warm, the coconut oil will turn into a liquid. Don’t worry if this happens! Just place your cream back in the refrigerator until it solidifies, then re-whip it with your beaters.

The Benefits of Radiance Creams

Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer, which means plain coconut oil will help with dry skin. However, each herb offers specific benefits.


Close-up of calendula cream in a small glass jar on a wooden stump next to fresh bright orange calendula flowers.
Flavonoids in calendula may aid in skin healing and inflammation.

People have used calendula for years to treat skin conditions. The flowers are rich in compounds known as flavonoids, which are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that the flowers may have the potential to improve wound healing. Although people also use calendula products to treat other skin conditions, there’s not much research to back up these uses.


Close-up of rosemary cream in a blue jar with blooming rosemary branches on a wooden surface.
Herbal leaves possess antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, aiding skin health.

Although we often use rosemary leaves in edible dishes, they also have powerful properties. The leaves contain both antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds that may improve various skin problems. For example, topical rosemary applications were shown to improve wound healing, prevent the growth of harmful fungi, and improve skin elasticity.


Close-up of lavender cream with fresh lavender flowers on a wooden table covered with burlap cloth.
Essential oil of lavender is valued for relaxation and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Many people know lavender for its soothing and relaxing properties. That’s why people often use lavender essential oil in aromatherapy or essential oil massage. Most of the studies related to lavender investigated lavender essential oil rather than lavender-infused oil. The essential oil may be calming and reduce inflammation.

Final Thoughts

Creating your own skin products with garden-grown ingredients is a satisfying experience. Not only will you know what’s in your skincare products, but you’ll know where these ingredients came from. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other herbal oils after enjoying these radiance creams.

Close-up of a mint plant - one of the cold-hardy herbs growing in a container with a layer of white snow on the soil.


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Brown paper pots arranged neatly along a white windowsill display a vibrant assortment of herbs, each pot brimming with life. The sun filters gently through the window, casting a warm glow that nourishes the delicate greenery.


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