Rice is pretty great on all counts. It’s good for tossing at newlyweds, it’s (damn) good with honey chicken, and it’s even supposedly good for absorbing moisture if you (God forbid) drop your beloved phone in water. As it turns out, though, it’s also great for skin. We chatted to Susie Wang, expert skin care chemist and founder of 100% Pure to find out why rice water is the hottest thing in skincare right now.
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What exactly is rice water and how is it used in skin care?
“Rice water is fermented sweet rice that is fermented for about a month using microbes, similarly to how beer and yogurt are fermented,” explains Susie. “After the rice is fermented, the alcohol is allowed to evaporate off and the beneficial enzymes, vitamins, minerals remain, which have many skin benefits. This is a similar process that’s used to create the popular alcoholic beverage sake; however, the alcohol is evaporated off and the fermented rice is also concentrated. Fermented rice is water soluble, so it will work in any water soluble formulas, particularly in cleansers, toners, and serums to allow for the deepest skin penetration,” she says.
What are the benefits of rice water in skin care?
“Fermented rice first began being used for skin care when it was realised that the workers who worked in processing sake (using their bare hands) did not show signs of ageing on their hands, even though the rest of their faces and bodies did,” Susie tell us. “While other areas of their body were loose, wrinkled and [showed] age spots, their hands appeared lustrous, hydrated, and free of age spots, wrinkles and other pigmentation,” she explains.
Is rice water best suited to specific skin types or conditions?
“Fermented rice is suitable for all skin types, especially to prevent and reduce the visible signs of aging. Unlike other acidic, exfoliating ingredients that are dehydrating, the acids from fermented rice (particularly kojic acid) are, in fact, hydrating,” says Susie. “Rice water is [also] rich in compounds, such as kojic acid, that brighten the skin and downregulate hyperpigmentation. It truly shines in preventing sun damage to skin, keeping the skin flexible and free of age spots,” she confirms.
Try this rice water regimen:
Cleanser: Swisse Sweet Almond Cream Cleanser
Toner: Tonymoly Wonder Rice Smoothing Toner ($21, myer.com.au)
Serum: 100% Pure Fermented Rice Water Serum ($54.95, nourishedlife.com.au)
Main image credit: @100percentpure
Have you tried rice water products before? What are your thoughts on it as a skin care ingredient?