Fermented rice water has been used as a beauty tool for over 1,000 years. That's because rice water, especially fermented rice water, has many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support healthy cell regeneration and other benefits for hair and skincare.
Rice water can be found in commercial skincare products, but you can also make small batches of your own fermented rice water at home if you prefer to DIY.
Why Should I Use Rice Water in My Beauty Routine?
For centuries, rice water has been used to soften, brighten and strengthen skin and hair.
Ladies of the ancient Japanese courts used to cleanse their luxurious hair and beautiful skin with fermented rice water every day. Even now, the Yao women of the Chinese Huang Luo village swear by using rice water to keep their hair long and strong.
Rice water, especially when fermented, is rich in antioxidants, B vitamins, minerals and vitamin E. Many over-the-counter rice water products also contain fatty acids and a natural rice byproduct called pitera that help to reduce inflammation and add moisture to your skin.
According to experts, rice water can potentially help with all of the following:
- Age spots
- Rough skin
- Dry skin
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Dry, damaged hair
- Skin irritation
How to Make Rice Water
If you choose to make your own rice water at home, follow these steps:
- Use a ratio of one part rice to four parts water, and let the rice soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Press the rice grains with a spoon to release the helpful chemicals, then strain out the rice while saving the water.
- Store the water in a sterile airtight container or bottle in the fridge for no more than one week.
To ferment the rice water and increase its effectiveness, follow the same steps for soaking and straining the rice, but leave the container at room temperature for a day or two, covering the container with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and securing it with a rubber band. Then, store it in the fridge for up to five days.
Fermented Rice Water Recipe for Hair and Skin
- ⅔ cup of water
- ⅓ cup of rice
- Wash the raw rice in normal water once, just like you wash them before cooking.
- Add warm water to the cleaned rice
- Keep it aside in a bowl for 30 minutes.
- Stir lightly and once the rice water turns slightly cloudy, strain the rice from the water.
- To ferment, pour the rice water into a sterilized glass jar. Cover with a cheesecloth or coffee filter, and leave out at room temperature for 1-2 days. (The warmer it is, the less time your rice water will need to ferment.)
- Your rice face spray is ready. Pour it in a sterilized spray bottle and keep it in the refrigerator.
How to Use Fermented Rice Water
You can add a drop or two of essential oil to your rice water and apply it generously to your hair from roots to tips. Cover it with a plastic cap, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. If you can leave it on longer, do so. Rinse it out and condition or style your hair as usual.
To use rice water on your face, you can smooth it onto your skin with a soaked cotton pad or gently pat it onto your face with clean hands. If you want to try it as a cleanser, massage a generous amount into your skin, and gently rinse it off.
The Bottom Line
Rice water is a wonderful and simple addition to your beauty routine. It has potential benefits for both hair and skin, so give it a try.