The present study was undertaken to study the sunscreen activity of herbal formulation. There is no evidence of the sun protection factor (SPF) studies on essential oil of Calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis L., Asteraceae). The study investigates the in vitro SPF by ultraviolet specrtophotometry method of Calendula flower oil in a cream formulation. Calendula oil was isolated by Clavenger's apparatus, compositions were identified by GC-MS and the cream of calendula flower oil was prepared by homogenization method followed by evaluation for physical parameters. The sun protection factor of cream was evaluated by in vitro method employing UV-visible spectrophotometer (Shimazdu-1600). The SPF of Calendula oil in cream formulation exhibited good activity (SPF = 14.84 ± 0.16). Finding of this study suggested that calendula oil cream can be used to protect the skin from UV radiations in form of sunscreen cream and to maintain the natural pigmentation of the skin.
Key words: Calendula officinalis , calendula oil, essential oil, sun protection factor.