If you were to collect all your K-beauty faves and do a label check on them, chances are you will find rice as an ingredient in about half of them. Rice water has been used in Asian beauty rituals for centuries; it is the secret behind complexion that is clear and glowing. Rice water is gentle, brimming with skin-healthy nutrients and extremely easy to DIY at home. But before we get into that, we have a few things you need to know about using rice water for skin.


1. What makes rice water so good for your skin

What makes rice water so good for your skin

The reason rice water is so good for your skin is that it is rich in a lot of nutrients. For starters, around 16 percent of its composition consists of proteins which are the building blocks of skin cells. It is also enriched with triglycerides, lipids and starch, which are all responsible for enhancing skin health in various ways. Carbohydrates, inositol, phytic acid and inorganic substances make up the rest of the composition, making rice water an ideal DIY ingredient for achieving glowing skin.


2. Beauty benefits of rice water for skin

Beauty benefits of rice water for skin

Much like it benefits your hair, rice water has multiple benefits for your skin as well. Here are some ways rice water can be used for your skin:

i) Skin brightening -

The skin brightening enzymes present in rice water make it a key ingredient in Japanese and Korean beauty rituals. It is known to fade dark spots, blemishes and brighten up the complexion for a clear and smooth texture.

ii) Anti-aging -

Rich in antioxidants, rice water has shown to inhibit the action of elastase, a compound that causes damage to elastin in your skin and leads to premature aging. That is why rice water can safely be used to delay and reduce the appearance of aging signs on the skin.

iii) Boosts skin barrier health -

Some studies have found that rice starch can be beneficial in repairing and maintaining the natural barrier of the skin. This can be helpful to prepare your skin to fight eternal aggressors and prevent issues like atopic dermatitis and protect against pollution damage.

iv) Soothes sun damage -

Devoid of harsh chemicals and when used raw, rice water can have a cooling effect on mild sun damage like redness, sunburn, inflammation and itching.

v) Mattifies oily skin -

Starchy rice water can have a pore tightening and toning effect when used on oily skin. Dabbing some rice water with cotton pads can help mattify super oily skin.


3. How to make rice water for skin

How to make rice water for skin

There are three major ways to prepare rice water for the skin:

i) Soak it -

The easiest and quickest way of preparing rice water for the skin is the soaking method. Run uncooked rice grains under a faucet until the water runs clear. Soak the clean rice in a bowl with water for about 30 minutes, while gently mixing and pressing down with your fingers. Strain the water and store it in a tight-lid spray bottle; you can refrigerate it up to a week, after which you need to prepare a new batch.

ii) Ferment it -

Fermented rice water is a more potent form of treatment that has added benefits of smoothening and conditioning. Rinse the rice properly with water first. Then, place the rice into a glass bowl filled with water and soak for two days. This will trigger the natural fermentation process of rice. After two days, strain the rice and store it in a glass bottle in the refrigerator.

iii) Boil it -

Cook rice like you usually would for eating purposes. Then, strain the starchy water and transfer to a glass bottle with the lid open. Let it cool down completely before putting the lid back on and refrigerating it.


4. How to use rice water for face

How to use rice water for face

Depending on how you have prepared the rice water, there are two options of using it for your face:

i) If you’ve soaked or boiled it -

Soaked or boiled rice water stored in a spray bottle can be directly used on your skin. Whenever you decide to spritz a toner or mist, keep it on for 30 minutes and wash with warm water after. You can use a cotton ball or pad to apply it wherever needed.

ii) If you’ve fermented it -

As mentioned before, fermented rice water is more potent than the soaked or boiled variations. When using fermented rice water, dilute a couple of tablespoons with normal water and apply with a cotton ball or pad. Leave it on for a half-hour and then wash as usual.

Apart from this, you can also use rice water as a base for face packs; aloe vera, honey and ground oats make good DIY packs with rice water as the base.


5. Precautions to take while using rice water for the skin

Precautions to take while using rice water for the skin

While rice water is comparatively safer to use than other DIY kitchen ingredients, there are some precautions you should be taking. Most commercially available packaged rice is treated with pesticides and can have dirt and bacteria accumulated from the production and packaging process. Therefore, it is important to clean your batch of rice thoroughly before using its water for beauty purposes.


6. Did you know?

Did you know?

As mentioned earlier, rice water has been used in Asian beauty rituals for centuries. Particularly in China, Japan and Korea, ladies used rice water as a natural conditioner to wash their face as well as hair. In fact, the Chinese village of Huangluo, where the native Red Yao women live, holds the Guinness record of the ‘world’s longest hair village’. With an average hair length of 1.6 meters, shiny texture and considerably low signs of aging in both skin and hair, these women attribute their ageless beauty to rice water. Some South-East Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia also have a history of using rice water in their beauty routines.


7. FAQs about rice water for skin

FAQs about rice water for skin

1) Can rice water be left on your face overnight?

A. Yes, you can leave rice water on your face overnight and wash it off the next morning. You can also add some aloe vera to the overnight treatment for extra moisturization.

2) Can rice water be used every day for the skin?

A. Yes, rice water can be used twice on your face as a toner and once a day as a facial mask or a rinse. Make sure you do the smell test of the stored rice water before using and if the batch smells sour, discard it and prepare a new one.

3) How long can you store rice water prepared for the skin?

A. The shelf life of homemade rice water toner is seven days. Post that, the natural fermentation process can render it useless for application purposes.