What is Rice Water, and How Can It Help With Bad Skin?

What is Rice Water, and How Can It Help With Bad Skin?

We’ve all heard about the health benefits of rice consumption. It’s high in vitamins and minerals, gives you energy, maintains healthy levels of blood pressure, protects against Alzheimer's disease, and it’s a great option for those who suffer from gluten intolerances.

But have you ever thought about implementing rice water in your skincare routine?

It’s a well-known ingredient in the cosmetic industry - one found in many Korean skincare products. Chinese and Japanese farmers have been soaking their bodies in rice water for centuries. Women in the Chinese Imperial Court have rinsed their hair and face with rice water.

In Huangluo, a village in China, the Yao women were famous for having voluminous, thick, and floor-length hair. Can you guess what their secret was?

They were aware of the health benefits of rice water even back in the day, like a bright complexion and rapid hair growth. So, what exactly is rice water, and what makes it so beneficial?


Rice water is rich in vitamins B, C, and E, starch, complex carbohydrates, and protein, as well as some minerals that, in conjunction, make your skin tight, bright, and youthful. Studies show that rice bran oil (found in rice water) protects the skin from sun damage.

In addition to amazing benefits for the skin, this starchy water is also a fantastic treatment for all hair types. This is because it contains inositol, a naturally occurring carbohydrate known to repair damaged hair. So if you want to keep both your skin and hair healthy, you need rice water in your life. (Psst... we've included a rice water hair rinse down below, too.)

Benefits of Using Rice Water on Your Skin

There’s a reason for rice water's dominance in Asian cultures, both as a beautifying ingredient and a nutrient powerhouse. When cleaning the rice before cooking, people often throw the baby out with the bathwater, and the majority of the nutrients are washed away.

Rice water makes for a cheap and easy face cleanser that, due to its cooling and soothing effects, helps tame inflamed skin. Also, it’s proven to treat blemishes and acne, resulting in bright and rejuvenated skin.

Its anti-aging properties make it the perfect option for those struggling with fine lines and wrinkles. Regular use of rice water helps to minimize the appearance of pores and promotes cell growth. In addition, it makes your skin soft and helps balance pH levels.

Rice water can also be used as a natural sunscreen, protecting you from dangerous UV rays. Similarly, it can work as a natural cream that treats sunburns. Some claim that its antioxidants help protect the skin against cancer. You could also drink this innovative concoction, as it’s known to help cool off the body and aid digestion.

Which Skin Types Can Use Rice Water?

The beauty of this all-natural skincare product is that there’s no limit to which skin types can use rice water rinses.

Some people even give it to their kids to treat conditions such as indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating, a testament to how safe it is to use.

Because of its extremely gentle composition, rice water doesn’t cause any damage to the skin. It works for people with normal, insensitive skin because it can act as a preventive for occasional redness and signs of premature aging. People with dry skin can use rice water for its moisturizing and softening benefits.

Surprisingly, it also works miracles for oily skin because it controls sebum production. Due to its high starch content, it’s helpful for people with sensitive skin - particularly the type prone to inflammation, acute dermatitis, or rashes. People suffering from eczema can also benefit from regular usage of rice water because of its soothing effect. Use it on dry skin or a dry scalp.

How to Use Rice Water on Your Skin

Organic rice water is a cheap and easy yet effective DIY treatment you can make at home. It takes very little time to prepare, and you can use the batch for the next few days. If you're cooking rice for dinner, it's a great way to use up that extra water instead of sending it down the sink. We recommend using organic rice for these recipes.

Here's how to make your own rice water:

Soaked Rice Water

This simple recipe requires less than 5 minutes to prepare.  

Soak ½ cup of uncooked rice in a glass or clean bowl of water. Ensure the rice is washed, and discard the first round of water. Let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour, and then strain the water.

You can put it in a spray bottle and use it as a toner or a face cleanser. There’s no need to wash it off; just let it work its magic.

You can also use this uncooked rice rinse as a hair treatment too to encourage hair growth and promote hair health.

Fermented Rice Water

soaked overnight or for a couple of days. This method is recommended because of the pH change that happens when the rice water is fermented - fermented rice water is similar to our own pH level, resulting in the release of a chemical known as pitera.

Follow the steps mentioned previously up until it comes to straining. Instead, leave the rice soaking for either one night or a couple of days at room temperature. You’ll know it’s ready to use by the scent - it should have a slightly sour smell. Some studies show that fermented rice water contains more benefits than soaked rice water, but you can alternate between both, depending on how much time you have on your hands, as it takes a little bit longer to ferment rice water.

Studies suggest fermented rice water has more benefits than normal uncooked or cooked rice water. This is because fermented substances have a higher number of antioxidants.

Boiling Rice Water

If you’re a fan of multitasking, try boiled rice water. Simply boil ½ cup of uncooked rice grains with double the water. After the rice has finished boiling, strain the water in a clean bowl or jar and eat the rice - we're sure you don't need any instruction there!

DIY Rice Water Face Masks

Apart from excellent toners and cleansers, rice water is an amazing ingredient to put in your favorite homemade mask. Here are a couple of rice water recipes you can try.

  • Mix two tablespoons of rice water with one tablespoon of rice flour and a teaspoon of maple syrup. Apply the mixture to your face and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Make sure to wash this rice water mixture thoroughly afterward.
  • Mix a cup of rice water with half a banana in a blender. You could also use a drop or two of organic vitamin E, argan, or almond oil. Apply it on your face and let it sit for 20 minutes to half an hour. Wash it off and watch the dullness in your skin disappear.
  • Mix two tablespoons of rice water, two tablespoons of blended oatmeal, and a few drops of wild rose oil. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes and wash it off. This mask is perfect for people with dry and tired skin.

Add Rice Water to Your Hair Care Routine Too

We mentioned earlier that Yao women have been using rice water to keep their hair shiny and voluminous. That's right - Chinese and Japanese rice water can do wonders for hair health. The benefits of using rice water as a hair treatment include increased volume, increased hair shine, healthy hair growth, and more. Use it on color-treated hair, thinning hair, frizzy hair, gray hair, and all other types. This is because of the amino acids found in rice water. So if you have dry and brittle hair and problematic skin, we'd recommend using rice water for hair too.

You can use the rice water obtained from the methods above to make an effective rice water hair rinse.

How to Use Rice Water For Hair

You don't need to change your hair care schedule to use rice water for hair. After you've shampooed and conditioned your hair as normal, you can use a rice water rinse. Yep - that's how easy it is.

You'll start to notice the differences after just one wash, but doing this every week will promote hair growth, improve hair elasticity, and bring out your hair's shine. If you don't have time to make rice water yourself, a few rice water hair products are available for you to try.

A Word of Caution

If you're using rice water for hair and skin, you might want to heed this warning. Although rice water is full of amino acids and all that good stuff, you can still overdo it. Excessively using rice water can result in "protein overload" - a build-up of protein on the scalp. Too much protein can actually damage hair growth, so stick to a rice water hair rinse once every week.

However, there's nothing to suggest that rice water will damage the skin, so you can continue using it as a skin treatment without any worries.

Can Rice Water Go Bad?

The answer is yes! Because it’s a completely natural product, rice water doesn’t have a long shelf life. Once you’ve finished preparing your rice water using one of the three methods mentioned above, refrigerate the bottle or bowl.

Don’t keep your rice water rinse in the fridge for too long - it can last up to a week tops. That’s why it’s better to make small batches of water instead of a larger amount you likely won’t use up in a week.


Does Drinking Rice Water Have Any Health Benefits?

Nourishment comes from within. Regarding skin health, some people get frustrated because cosmetic products don’t seem to affect them. It’s crucial to understand that no matter what your skincare routine is if you aren’t getting the proper nutrients from inside and exercising regularly, any changes in your skincare routine won’t be optimized.

That being said, you can also drink this yummy beverage for faster and more varied results. There are a few health benefits associated with drinking rice water. It gives you energy because it’s high in complex carbs that are good for the body.

In Chinese culture, rice water has been used to improve digestion and other related issues, such as diarrhea and bloating. Another benefit of drinking rice water is that it relaxes your mind and body. Add a few tablespoons of rice water to your bath for natural stress relief.

Use Rice Water in Combination with Other Skin Care Treatments

Although rice water has amazing benefits for the skin, the results might be slow. If you want fast and effective skincare results, you need an effective skincare routine designed for your skin type. Misumi's Complete Clear 3-Step System has been perfected to combat acne, killing acne-causing bacteria, reducing inflammation, and giving you that skin glow you deserve.


Patience is key. Like most skin treatments, rice water treatment takes some time to have a noticeable effect on the skin. While there are no side effects of using rice water on the skin, this process can be a little daunting because of how much time it takes to see your skin improve.

If you're still unsure about rice water, do a patch test before using it on your face. If there aren’t any reactions, feel free to include it in your daily skincare routine. Make a habit of using it regularly, and the results will come on their own in no time. 

Rice water isn't just great for skin health; rice water for hair is extremely popular all over the world. Yao women have used it to wash hair for years. Use rice water as a hair treatment to get shiny, lustrous hair, no matter your hair texture and type.


Rice Water: A Traditional Ingredient with Anti-Aging Efficacy

Rice bran mineral extract increases the expression of anagen-related molecules in human dermal papilla through wnt/catenin pathway

The Effect of Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC 8014 and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM Fermentation on Antioxidant Properties of Selected in Vitro Sprout Culture of Orthosiphon aristatus (Java Tea) as a Model Study

The effect of rinse water obtained from the washing of rice (YU-SU-RU) as a hair treatment, The Journal of Cosmetic Science

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