Bergamot: a natural tanner

Bergamot is a citrus fruit belonging to the genus Citrus and its name seems to derive from the Turkish “beg armudi” which means “pear tree of the Lord”. It is grown throughout the Calabrian coast, with the largest production area being the Ionian coastal area of ​​the province of Reggio Calabria, known as the Costa dei Gelsomini, which it now symbolises. It is only here that this plant finds the microclimate suitable for its growth.

In this area, in the 1960s-70s of the last century, the custom of spreading bergamot oil to tan was born.

Bergamot oil

The bergamot fruit is difficult to find on the retail market, although it is the starting point for the production of pulp, juice and essential oil.  Bergamot oil is extracted from the peels, through the procedure known as cold press. Flowers, young branches and leaves are also sources of essential oil.

Bergamot tanner

Among the numerous properties the essential oil has, it has an exceptional tanning power. Section ends here… In fact, you must be very careful if using bergamot oil to tan, since its high psoralen content makes it dangerous and, currently, contrary to what happened in the past, suntan lotion cannot contain it anymore, due to an express legal prohibition. To make bergamot safe for tanning, today, it is subjected to a process where the level of psoralen (i.e. furocoumarins) is lowered considerably. You may find bergamot oil with reduced furocourmarins in herbal medicine shops or pharmacies in protective and tanning creams.

Properties of bergamot

Nonetheless, the use of bergamot for tanning represents only one of the uses of this fruit. Its use in the kitchen, in its natural state or in the form of juice, enhances its properties, bringing benefits to the whole body. Bergamot is in fact a natural antioxidant, useful for the circulatory system and tissues. Furthermore, it is rich in vitamins and has anti-inflammatory and even antidepressant properties. Thanks to its energising effects, it is also a good adjunct in fighting stress. Among the properties of bergamot, its antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antimicrobial powers are well known, while its healing and astringent functions make it ideal for combating acne and treating oily skin.

Due to its particular scent and refreshing taste, RivaReno immediately fell in love with it and often uses it for summer ice cream cakes and for granitas with a unique and always natural taste.

Combining the intense creaminess that is the trademark of RivaReno, the scent and taste of bergamot is the best way to immediately get in a good mood.