Rice: Unveiling its Virtues and Applications

Throughout history, rice has been a well-kept beauty secret of Japanese women, who have harnessed its incredible benefits to enhance their skin and hair. With its widespread cultivation and easy accessibility, rice has served as a key ingredient in beauty treatments since the 8th century.

Rice: Unveiling its Virtues and Applications
Rice: Unveiling its Virtues and Applications

Throughout history, rice has been a well-kept beauty secret of Japanese women, who have harnessed its incredible benefits to enhance their skin and hair. With its widespread cultivation and easy accessibility, rice has served as a key ingredient in beauty treatments since the 8th century. Women working in rice fields quickly noticed the rejuvenating effects it had on their skin, leading them to incorporate this cereal into their beauty routines for cleansing and skincare. Small bags filled with rice bran were used as soap, and even today, these rice bags are popularly used in bathwater to soften and moisturize the skin.


Brown Rice is Preferred for Cosmetics.


In the world of cosmetics, rice bran or brown rice, rather than white rice, takes the spotlight due to its rich concentration of active ingredients. Rice bran boasts vitamins B and E, minerals, amino acids, starch, complex carbohydrates, proteins, fatty acids, ceramides, and inositol, an organic molecule that contributes to cell regeneration. This multivitamin cocktail provides exceptional anti-aging and antioxidant benefits.


Rice: A Star Ingredient


Today, the beauty industry recognizes the virtues of rice, and it has become a star ingredient in various products, from drinks and desserts to masks and anti-aging skincare products, adorning our favourite store shelves.


The Many Virtues of Rice:


1. Tightens pores and refines skin texture.

2. Stimulates cell renewal and collagen formation.

3. Reduces eczema and soothes irritation.

4. Tones the skin and illuminates the complexion.

5. Strengthens the scalp and nourishes the hair.


Rice in Beauty: Different Forms and Recipes


1. Rice Water: An Ancestral Recipe


Rice water, the first beauty recipe for skin and hair cleansing, has been used for centuries. Women later discovered its moisturizing and clarifying benefits, utilizing it as a lotion. During cooking, rice releases starch, vitamins, and minerals, such as vitamin B, folic acid, iron, potassium, zinc, and magnesium, which tighten pores and moisturize the skin.


To make a simple lotion, collect the rice water after cooking and store it in a glass spray bottle for easy use. Spray the liquid on the body, face, and hair, or apply it using cotton pads. The preparation can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. To enhance the anti-aging and antioxidant effects of rice water, add 1 level spoon of matcha per 100ml of liquid.


Rice water can also be used as a hair rinse to add shine. It is known to smooth the hair fibre by closing its scales, thanks to the starch, restoring shine to dull and brittle hair and working wonders on curly hair by relaxing and taming it.


2. Rice Bran Oil: An Extraordinary Anti-Aging Elixir


Cold-pressed from the germ and shell, rice bran oil contains oleic acid, over 100 different antioxidants, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, and more omega 6 and 9 than olive oil. Apart from its culinary uses, it has been a base for producing soaps and beauty creams for over 300 years. This potent cellular regenerator and skin nourisher protects the skin from external aggressions and aging, boasting decongestant properties and promoting microcirculation. Despite its thick texture, it penetrates quickly and does not leave the face greasy.


Recipe for Eye Cream with Rice Bran Oil:

- 5ml rice bran oil

- 5ml avocado oil

- 2 drops of vitamin E

Mix all ingredients in a sterilized glass jar, close the lid, and shake the mixture. Apply morning and evening for astonishing results.


3. Rice Bran: Moisturizing and Softening


While less common in the West compared to rice bran oil, rice bran itself holds exceptional virtues for health and skin; containing 15% to 20% lipids and all the active principles of bran oil, it forms a regenerating and purifying mask when combined with honey.


Recipe for Exfoliating Mask with Rice Bran and Honey:

- 1 tablespoon of honey (thyme honey is ideal for skin applications)

- 1 tablespoon of rice bran

- A little water (to dilute if the paste is too thick)

Mix all ingredients, apply the paste on the face for 10 minutes, then perform circular massages to exfoliate before rinsing off.


4. Small Pouches of Rice Bran for the Bath


Create four pouches with gauze and one tablespoon of rice bran each. Immerse the pouches in a hot bath above 40°C directly or in a bowl of water at 50°C to obtain milky and softening water. Pour this water, along with the pouches, into your bath for a delightful experience.


5. Rice Powder or Rice Flour


Rice powder, used for centuries to protect against the sun and to whiten and mattify the skin, has made a comeback with the rise of vegan and "slow cosmetic" movements. Ground from rice grains, it imparts softness and hydration while controlling sebum, mattifying, and unifying the complexion. Its finesse makes it a popular choice for major brands in producing powders.


6. Recipe for Dry Shampoo:


- 1/2 cup of rice flour

- 5 to 10 drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil

Mix the ingredients and use a large brush for application. Leave it on for 10 minutes before brushing the hair to remove the powder. For dark hair, add a tablespoon of powdered charcoal or cocoa powder.


In conclusion, rice offers a wealth of beauty benefits that have been cherished for centuries by Japanese women. Embrace the power of rice in your beauty routine and unlock its miraculous virtues for rejuvenated and nourished skin and hair.


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