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Saturday, 30 June 2012

Medlar Facial Mask Recipe

Medlar is a fruit that is more popular in Europe than in North America. You can buy the fruit paste at some high end gourmet grocery stores. So far I haven't found it for sale online. If you have access to the fruit, here is a link to a good medlar jelly recipe. I planted one in my yard here in Victoria, BC and the first year it produced fruit. It has the most lovely white flowers that bloom after the leaves have sprouted. Here is a close up of  blossoms on my tree in bloom...

Medlar is primarily used to make fruit pastes due to its high pectin content. Fruit pulp is really good for the skin and is often used in fresh preparations.  The fruit is harvested once it becomes soft on the tree.

It has a sweet sticky consistency.  The scent of medlar reminds me of pears so I like to combine the two fruits. Last year I made a fruit paste. From that fruit paste I have tested the medlars cosmetic 'worthiness'. If you can't get medlar feel free to substitute pears.

It makes a lovely soap. Here is a medlar soap recipe you can try...

Medlar Pear Soap
1 lb Crystal Melt and Pour
2 oz Medlar Fruit Paste
 1 T. unscented cocoa butter
 15 ml Brandied Pear Fragrance Oil

Melt the soap at a low temperature or microwave on high for 1 min. intervals, stirring between. When soap is no longer 'steaming hot' and yet liquid add the fruit paste, cocoa butter, and fragrance oil. Pour into a 1 lb mold. Once cooled and hardened cut into 4 large bars. You can add soap tint to this but I prefer it slightly brown from the fruit. The Brandied Pear fragrance is heavenly! It also turns the soap a golden yellow over time.

Alpha and beta hydroxies are used in the cosmetic industry to reverse the aging process claimed by time. They are particularly effective in facial products. Acidic fruits such as oranges and apples are naturally rich in these chemicals. Since less is known about medlar's chemical compostition I formulated with known sources to increase its effectiveness. The alphas will 'burn' or itch and the betas counteract that effect by soothing the skin. I used a combination of these to create my Medlar Facial Mask.

Medlar Facial Mask

1 Tablespoon Medlar fruit paste or jam
2 T. apple puree (raw Alpha source)
2 T.  almond meal/flour
1 T. pink clay 
1 tsp. green tea powder (Matcha--Beta source)
1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil
Melt the coconut oil and mix in the fruit paste. Add the almond meal. If the mixture is too thick, add water to make it the consistency of pudding (spreadable). Apply liberally to the face. Let dry for 30 min. Wash carefully, by warming a wet towel and soaking it off the skin. Rubbing too vigorously will damage the delicate tissue of the skin. Follow up with your favorite moisturizer. If you have oily skin you can leave out the coconut oil. Smells good enough to eat, but please do not.
This is a single use mask recipe---discard leftovers or freeze for a later time. I often use a ice cube tray to freeze my fresh preparations.

As with all preparations for the skin, allergy test it on a small portion of skin before applying it to large areas of the body such as the entire face. Inside of the wrist application for 15 min then checking for redness or itch is an easy test to perform before using a new product.

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