Rice water for skin

What are the benefits of using Japanese rice water on hair and face? Is Japanese rice water effective in improving hair and skin quality?

This is something people have been doing for years, it seems to help and it costs very little.

It is important to pick the right variety of rice as there is a significant difference in the nutrients available that are beneficial to skin.

The two that are useful are medium-grain or short-grain white rice - this has a soft and slightly sticky texture when cooked; or fermented rice.

Medium and short-grain rice contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. These won’t necessarily be left in the water to any significant amount, but the rice water has been shown to soothe skin and improve hydration. It may be helpful for dry skin conditions and it is unlikely to cause irritation (unless you have an allergy to rice proteins which is relatively rare, but reactions can range in severity, from mild itching to hives. As with most skincare products and procedures, the outcome does depend on individual skin condition and age.

It seems that as the rice ferments the process draws out more of the helpful enzymes, vitamins and it produces more antioxidants. It is hard to know how much of this can be delivered to the skin, but it can work very well and produces a brightening effect and improved texture.

It can make hair feel silky when added to the final rinse.

It is important to prepare the rice correctly, whichever rice is used:

Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water, to clean it and remove unwanted starch, before soaking it for about half an hour - it is important to leave this long enough to release the compounds you want - (add two cups of water to every cup of rice.)

If this is plain rice, bring it to the boil, simmer with the lid on until the water has reduced by about half. Cool and use.

For fermented rice, after soaking, cover the rice in a bowl at room temperature for 48 hours, this is when the compounds are pulled out of the rice, into the water. Strain the water and use enough to rinse your face. Put the remaining water in the fridge to use the following day.

I wouldn’t make too much as it has no preservative, so won’t be nice to use after 48 hours refrigerated.

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