Korean skincare trends have always been popular, with rice water being the latest hype. It became even more popular after Kim Kardashian swore by the benefits of rice water herself, claiming that it has amazing benefits.
So, should you be incorporating it into your skincare routine? Let’s find out!
What is rice water?
First things first, let’s understand what rice water really is. In history, rice water had been known to improve the quality and texture of your hair, the earliest known usage being recorded over a thousand years ago in Japan.
Rice water is simply the water that’s left over after you’re done cooking rice. But, there are other ways of making rice water too, which we will discuss later in this blog. Today, apart from being a popular hair care product, rice water has found increasing popularity in skin treatments too.
Does rice water really work for your skin?
There isn’t a lot of research on the benefits of rice water for your skin, and the benefits recorded are more anecdotal in nature. Fermented rice water is known to contain antioxidants such as ferulic acid, inositol, phytic acid and gamma-oryzanol which are known to be good for your skin.
In 2018, a small study was conducted with 12 participants who were asked to use a rice water gel for 28 days, and the results showed that it performed similarly to ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which is another potent ingredient in skincare.
What does it do?
Rice water is said to benefit you in numerous ways.
- Brightens complexion - Even though there’s little scientific evidence, rice water has been touted as a skin-brightening agent that is said to lighten your complexion. It is said to make your skin glowy and make your skin tone more even.
- Reduces skin irritation - Research has shown that rice water improves the skin’s healing capacity by 20%, helping with skin irritation, inflammation and conditions like eczema. It’s even known to soothe irritation caused by a chemical called sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) that’s found in many skincare products and is known to make skin dry and damaged.
- Treats sun damage - Certain essential components found in rice have been found to help protect against sun damage, acting somewhat like sunscreen. A study found that when combined with other plant extracts, rice water can be formulated into an effective sun protection formula. It’s also known to reduce sunburn, redness, itching and inflammation.
- Has anti-ageing benefits - Some studies have shown that antioxidants in rice water, particularly inositol, reduce the activity of an ageing enzyme called elastase, thereby reducing wrinkles and the appearance of other ageing signs.
- Boosts your skin barrier - Research suggests that rice water is beneficial for the good health of your skin barrier, repairing and maintaining it to prevent its damage. The stronger your skin barrier, the better it is at fighting off environmental stressors and allergies. Familiar with sensitive skin? People with this type of skin are known to have a compromised skin barrier and rice water can be especially beneficial for them.
- Helps control excess oil production - Rice water has skin tightening properties, which tones and controls excess oil production in your skin. This can be helpful for people with excessively oily skin.
How do you make your own rice water?
You can make your own rice water at home and there are three most popular methods of doing so.
- The boiling method - Start by boiling rice like you normally would and once it’s cooked, strain the water into a container and let it cool. You can use it immediately and store the rest in the refrigerator for a week at most.
- The soaking method - Soak about half a cup of uncooked rice in about two or three cups of water for about a duration of 30 minutes. You can start using this water immediately and store the rest in a spray bottle or container for not more than a week.
- The fermentation method - This is similar to the soaking method, with the only difference being that after you’ve separated the water from the rice, you leave it at room temperature for about 12 hours to a day. Start using it after that and keep the rest stored in the refrigerator.
Rice water is an effective and inexpensive way to take care of your skin at home while addressing a number of skin concerns. But, like any other skincare item, it’s recommended that you patch test before putting the entire thing on your face.
People with rice allergies should avoid using this, but otherwise, some research and anecdotal evidence suggest that rice water can provide you with excellent benefits that don’t come with side effects. Try it for yourself and see how it fairs on your skin!