4 Beauty Benefits of Rice Water
Sometimes, the very best ingredients for your skin can be found as staples in your very own home. Rice is a ubiquitous grain not just in Korea but in almost all of Asia – meals are never complete without a bowl of rice, and most households have a dedicated cooker just for the purpose of making steamed rice. Beyond being healthful and nutritious, it has also been in use as a traditional ingredient in skincare for centuries. Next time you make rice, think twice about letting all that good rice water go:
- Rice water can do wonders for the hair.
Historians have recently uncovered groundbreaking evidence that suggests that women in East Asia, particularly those in China and Japan, used to wash and rinse their hair with rice water. It is generally believed that they did this in order to maintain long, lustrous locks – indeed, the art depicting women from the time shows that they had hair so long it touched the floor. Today, the women of the Yao minority ethnic group in southern China still use rice water to wash their hair – and are able to maintain its color and thickness up to the age of 80.
- Rice water is a mild exfoliant.
With its natural vitamin, mineral, and amino acid content, rice water makes for an excellent exfoliant that is able to slough off residue and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin without stripping it of moisture or causing it to dry out. Washing your face with rice water every day is enough to take advantage of these benefits, or you could use a product that is specially formulated for the purpose, such as the Rice Mask Wash Off from Skinfood. It contains rice extract as well as tiny rice particles which, when combined, perform both chemical and a gentle physical exfoliation for brighter, softer skin.
- Rice water is soothing.
In 2002, a study conducted in Brussels found that rice water had a positive effect on patients who suffered from atopic dermatitis. Rice water is helpful in calming acne as well as soothing redness caused by inflammation or a reaction. Thus, it can also be used to help relieve sunburn and accelerate its healing.
- Rice water has anti-aging properties.
Fermented rice water, in particular, is rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamin E and pitera, a substance that is produced during the process of fermentation. These help turn ordinary rice water into an anti-aging powerhouse, able to reduce wrinkles, smooth out fine lines, heal scarring and calm inflammation. It also aids cell regeneration and renewal, maintaining the skin’s supple quality and texture. Are you suffering from sun or age spots, or some other form of pigmentation? Thanks to its brightening quality, rice water can help with that, too.
Whether you decide to make your own rice water (it’s easy!) or use products that have been formulated with rice water as a major component, you’ll be sure to reap its countless benefits. If you do decide to go with homemade rice water as a cleanser or toner, do keep in mind that it’s important to change the water every couple of days or so. Never apply a product on your face without conducting a patch test to check for reactions first. Finally, it’s always a good idea to check with your dermatologist before committing to any skincare products full-time.