Looking into the benefits of the rice water trend for its anti-ageing properties

Rice water contains substances that could protect and repair the skin. Picture: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki

Rice water contains substances that could protect and repair the skin. Picture: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki

Published Nov 30, 2023


Skincare has become a hot topic of discussion lately. With new trends constantly emerging, it's clear that taking care of our skin is seen as an important investment. One such trend that has caught the attention of many is the use of rice water.

Believe it or not, rice water has been used for centuries to promote healthier and more beautiful hair. Its earliest use dates back over 1 000 years in Japan.

But now, it's not just for hair anymore. Rice water is gaining popularity as a skin treatment as well. It is said to soothe and tone the skin, and even improve various skin conditions. The best part? You can easily make it at home without breaking the bank.

Rice water contains substances that are known to protect and repair the skin. While there are real benefits to using rice water, it's important to note that not all claims about it have been scientifically proven.

You may have heard about the extensive skincare routines followed by many Korean women, with some involving more than 10 steps. They start these practices early, often in their adolescence, to maintain youthful skin.

But for those of us who don't have the time or money for such elaborate routines, the TikTok beauty community suggests turning to rice water.

The TikTok beauty community is known for sharing skincare tips and tricks, some of which are incredibly useful and others a bit unconventional.

The latest DIY skincare trend to go viral on this platform is rice water toner. Influencers swear by it, and the hashtag #ricewater has garnered over 800 million views. It's no wonder that women all over the world are giving it a try.

@mamalindacooks Like and follow to see my skincare routine! There are many different recipes for fermented rice water and this is how I make it. I’ve been using it as a toner and face mask for many years and love how hydrating and soothing it is. It has also helped me improve skin texture. Some benefits of fermented rice water: 🍚 Super hydrating 💦 Sooth irritation 🍚 Helps reduce wrinkles 💦 May lighten dark spots If this is your first time making fermented rice water, I recommend letting it sit in room temperature for 1 - 2 days then use it or keep in the fridge. ( You might see yeast forming, which is normal.) Enjoy! #rice #ricewater #fermentedricewater #homemadeskincare #asianskincare #beautytips #beautyhacksskincare #momover40 #tiktokmomover40 ♬ Sunshine - WIRA

Making rice water is incredibly simple. Just steep white rice in cold water for about 30 minutes, then drain the water from the rice. Some prefer to cool it in the fridge while others use it at room temperature.

Dip a cotton pad in the liquid and gently sweep it across your skin, allowing it to dry before applying your serum or moisturiser.

According to TikTok, this cloudy water makes the perfect toner, enhancing the skin's radiance, reducing redness, soothing irritation, and neutralising free radicals due to its antioxidant content.

While rice water may be a new social media trend, its use in beauty is not. Ancient Chinese and Japanese women have documented using rice water to cleanse their skin and hair, believing it gave them a radiant complexion and shiny hair.

However, it's essential to investigate any skincare trend that emerges on social media before trying it yourself.

That's why we turned to Karen Bester, a Medical Trainer at Lamelle Research Laboratories, a leader in the skincare industry, for her professional opinion on the rice water toner trend.

Bester explained: "The fermentation of rice water may change its pH, making it more compatible with the skin. The carbohydrates present in rice water could help the skin retain moisture. Additionally, rice contains Ferulic acid, which is a great exfoliator and antioxidant.”

“Fermentation also increases the probiotics in the solution, which may have a positive effect on the skin's biome. While rice and human probiotics may not be the same, being a human food, it likely provides some benefits.”

“However, it may not reverse severe sun damage or manage acute inflammatory acne. It could be beneficial for generally healthy skin in need of a boost, and it is cost-effective.

“While rice water may not be a cure-all for all skincare concerns, it does offer its own set of benefits. We harnessed the power of rice water ingredients in our professional treatment called the Rice Bran Peel,“ said Bester.

This treatment is highly regarded for its anti-ageing properties and its ability to reduce and manage pigmentation issues. The key ingredient in the Lamelle Rice Bran AO Peel System is Japanese rice bran extract, which is rich in Ferulic acid.

This powerful polyphenol is combined with Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Retinol, and Panthenol to create a potent peel. The Rice Bran AO Peel System is an effective in-office treatment for those looking for age prevention options, explained Bester.

The combination of these ingredients provides an effective resurfacing treatment without the risk of sun sensitivity that is often associated with alpha hydroxy acids peels.

The benefits include increased shedding of dead skin cells, enhanced antioxidant protection, improved skin texture, and brightness, and reduction of irregular pigmentation as well as increased product penetration.