Cosmeceutical potential of geranium and calendula essential oil: Determination of antioxidant activity and in vitro sun protection factor

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Apr;18(2):550-557. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12789. Epub 2018 Sep 24.


The present investigation was aimed to find out the sun protection factor (SPF) and antioxidant potential of geranium essential oil (GEO) and calendula essential oil (CEO) because having a combination of these two properties moves up the oils as an active ingredient of various cosmeceutical formulations for their preventive and protective properties. Essential oils were obtained by hydrodistillation of Pelargonium graveolens leaves (GEO) and Calendula officinalis flowers (CEO). The composition and identification of chemical constituents of oils were determined by GCMS analysis. Free radical scavenging activity was measured by nitric oxide scavenging activity and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity. It was observed that both GEO and CEO have the potential to reduce or prevent oxidative stress and can be used in skin care regimen to slow down skin aging via its antioxidant properties. In vitro SPF was determined by a very simple and rapid spectroscopic method. SPF value of GEO and CEO was found to 6.45 and 8.36, respectively. The SPF of CEO was higher than GEO, and the results of SPF show that these essential oils can be employed in sunscreen formulations to protect the skin from sunburn. From the results, it can be concluded that the combined antioxidant and SPF property of GEO and CEO can provide synergistic photoprotective effect or lift up the additional value of the cosmeceutical formulation.

Keywords: antioxidant; calendula oil; essential oil; geranium oil; sun protection factor.

MeSH terms

  • Biphenyl Compounds / chemistry
  • Calendula / chemistry*
  • Cosmeceuticals / chemistry*
  • Cosmeceuticals / isolation & purification
  • Free Radical Scavengers / chemistry
  • Free Radical Scavengers / isolation & purification
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Geranium / chemistry*
  • Nitric Oxide / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Picrates / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / isolation & purification
  • Sun Protection Factor
  • Sunlight
  • Sunscreening Agents / chemistry
  • Sunscreening Agents / isolation & purification


  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Cosmeceuticals
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Picrates
  • Plant Oils
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Nitric Oxide
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl