We’ve all heard about the health benefits of rice consumption: it’s high in vitamins and minerals, it gives you energy, it 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?
Apparently, 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 rinsed their hair and face with rice water. In Huangluo, a village in China, the Yao women were famous for having voluminous, thick and long hair.
Can you guess what their secret was by now?
They were aware of the health benefits of rice water even back in the day, like 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, protein, as well as some minerals that in conjunction make your skin tight, bright and youthful. Studies show that the rice bran oil found in rice water protects the skin from sun damage. In addition to amazing benefits for the skin, rice water is also amazing for the hair because it contains inositol, a naturally occurring carbohydrate that is known to repair damaged hair.
There’s a reason for its dominance in Asian cultures, both as a beautifying ingredient and as a nutrient powerhouse. When cleaning the rice before cooking, people are often throwing the baby out with the bathwater and the majority of the nutrients from the outer layer are being washed out. 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 it 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 the antioxidants found in it help protect the skin against cancer. You could also drink this innovative concoction, it’s known to help cool off the body and aid digestion.
The beauty of this all-natural skincare product is that there’s no limit to which skin types can use it.
Some people even give it to their kids in order to treat some conditions such as indigestion, diarrhea, constipation and bloating, which is a testament to how safe it is to use. Because of its extremely gentle composition, it doesn’t cause any damage to the skin. It works for people with normal, insensitive skin because it can act as a preventive for dull-looking skin, occasional redness and signs of premature aging. People with dry skin can use it for its moisturizing and softening benefits.
Surprisingly, it also works miracles for people with 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.
Rice water is a cheap and easy, yet effective DIY treatment that you can make at home today. It takes very little time to prepare and the batch you make can be used for the next few days. There are a few types of rice water that you can make:
There is a simple recipe for this type that requires less than 5 minutes to prepare. Soak ½ cup of rice in a glass of water. Make sure that the rice is already washed, 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 either a toner or a face cleanser. There’s no need to wash it off, just let it work its magic.
The difference with this method is that the rice remains soaked overnight or for a couple of days. If you have little more time on your hands, using this method is recommended because of the pH change that happens when the water is fermented - fermentation makes it similar to our own pH level, resulting in the release of a chemical known as pitera.
Follow the steps mentioned previously up until the straining part. Instead of that, leave the rice to ferment for either one night or a couple of days, at room temperature. You’ll know it’s ready to use by the smell of it - it should be somewhat sour. Some studies show that the fermented version contains more benefits than the soaked version, but you can alternate between both, depending on how much time you have on your hands.
If you’re a fan of multitasking, try out this method. Simply boil ½ cup of rice with double the water, as you would normally do when cooking. After the rice has finished boiling, strain the water in a clean bottle or jar and eat the rice (no instructions needed there).
Apart from excellent toners and cleansers, rice water makes for an amazing ingredient to put in your favorite homemade mask. Here are a couple of face mask recipes you can try. Face Masks Using Rice Water
The answer is yes! Because it’s a completely natural product it doesn’t have a long shelf life. When you’re finished with preparing your rice water using one of the three methods mentioned above, make sure to refrigerate the bottle or bowl. Don’t keep it in the fridge for too long, it can last up to 7 days tops. That’s why it’s better to make small batches of water instead of a larger amount that you likely won’t use up in a weeks’ time.
Nourishment comes from within. When it comes to skin health, some people get frustrated because cosmetic products don’t seem to have any effect on 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 until you change what you put in your body.
That being said, as I mentioned above, 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, it’s been used to improve digestion and other related issues, such as diarrhea and bloating. Another benefit of drinking rice water is that it relaxes both your mind and your body. Add a few tablespoons of your water to your bath for natural stress relief.
Patience is key. Rice water, like most skin treatments, 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 it, do a patch test before proceeding to use rice water on your entire face. Make sure to include it in your daily skincare routine, and make a habit out of using it regularly. The results will come on their own, in no time.