Quince is in season, so what should we do with a harvest of this strange, ugly, but beautiful fruit? We talk to distillation company Alembics, who love to find innovative ways to use seasonal produce, including for beauty remedies. Ancient quince is no exception, with its soothing qualities.
What is quince?
On the outside, quinces appear lumpy, with a slightly marred yellow-green skin. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Peel back the skin of the quince and uncover the most beautiful and delicate dusty pink flesh bursting with gorgeous flavour and aroma.
From ancient times, right up to the middle ages, quinces were more widely used and better known than apples! Regarded as Aphrodite’s fruit, they have long been associated with love, beauty and fertility. The properties of this fruit are perfect for hydrating, cooling, and soothing the skin for an instant refresh.
Hydrosol is an aromatic botanical water. Think of it as the cellular water of plants. When hot water is poured over plants, the heat of the water softens the cells releasing volatile organic compounds into the water. The water soluble parts and tiny molecules of essential oil are caught in the vapours and travel through the copper still to the cooling condenser where they are converted into a liquid form. The end result is a richly aromatic and intensely hydrating botanical water which can be sprayed all over the face and body.
Botanical hydrosols are uplifting and mood shifting, ideal for many therapeutic and cosmetic purposes because the tiny aromatic molecules are easily absorbed through the skin and can travel throughout the body.
- 3-4 large ripe quinces
- 1 litre of water
- Chop your quince into small pieces and place in the pot of your Alembic still.
- Boil the water and pour over the quinces so it feels like a wet sponge.
- Assemble your Alembic still and follow the steps in our online How-to-Guide for making Hydrosol here.
- Transfer your hydrosol into a sterile clear glass jar and store in a cool place.
- Fill a spray atomizer and use your aromatic Quince Hydrosol daily to keep your skin hydrated.
Enlivening Quince Face Gel
- After you have finished your Quince Hydrosol, strain the fruit from the pot and refrigerate the liquid.
- The refrigerated liquid will smell sweet and lovely, be a beautiful deep pink colour, and should have a viscous gel-like consistency. Quince is very rich in pectin and antioxidants, so it is wonderful for dry or dehydrated skin.
- You can use this cool, enlivening gel on its own by painting it onto your face and allowing it to dry before rinsing.
- Or, you could try mixing the Quince Gel with white or pink clay to make a face mask. Use your quince hydrosol to mist your mask and then rinse it off.
As long as it’s refrigerated, the Quince Gel will keep for at least 2 weeks. It can also be frozen so that you can use it throughout the year.
And just one final note — it’s always a good idea to patch test first, to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction!
You can find out more about Alembics by visiting the following links: