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From apples to Amalfi lemons, foods are being used in Italian cosmetics

by Roberto Iotti

Annurca apples, Amalfi lemons, and Vesuvian apricots: these typical products from the Campania region and the coastline are being used as bases in luxury cosmetics. Through a deal between Trento-based Effegilab, a company that specializes in preparing natural cosmetics, and Palazzo Avino di Ravello, a five-star luxury organization, apples, lemons, and apricots are being used for a professional cosmetics line, which will be used at Palazzo Avino's spa (and, therefore, sold to their clients worldwide).

“This is also a way to let people know about the features of our local agricultural products, in order to increase their value through an innovative channel involving our foreign clients,” explains Mariella Avino, Managing Director of her family's hotel.

“We've created a line of food-based cosmetics, by studying each fruit's characteristics and features,” adds Francesca Ferri, General Manager of Effegilab.

The Annurca apples provide their juices, which have strong anti-aging properties, lots of vitamin C, and revitalizing enzymes. By drying and breaking down the seeds of the Vesuvian apricot, they produce a cream that's used for facial peeling, and essential oils that are rich in omegas and vitamins E and F, which hydrate and nourish the skin.

Finally, there are the Amalfi lemons—which are already famous for being used in making limoncello—that provide essential oils that have purifying properties. They spent a year studying these fruits and making preparations, in order to gain the necessary authorizations and certifications; they also had to reach agreements with the local growers, who provide the raw materials for the laboratories in Trento.

“The creation of this cosmetics line,” adds Mariella Avino, “is a natural step forward, given the history and philosophy behind the Palazzo Avino project: we're uniting our hotel's hospitality with the local traditions and products. We want to offer our clients products that they could never find in New York or London, which they can only enjoy when they visit the coastline.”

In fact, alongside the cosmetics line, Michele Deleo (executive chef of Palazzo Avino's Michelin-star-winning restaurant “Rossellini's”) has created dishes that are based on Annurca apples, Amalfi lemons, and Vesuvian apricots.

“The raw materials that we receive from the growers are completely organic. The name ‘Cosmetic Food' communicates the idea behind the entire project, to experience the area both gastronomically and sensorially through the skin,” adds Francesca Ferri. In short, food for the body and the soul.