Rice is Nice
Usage of rice water is originally an ancient recipe made popular by Japanese, Chinese and Koreans. Dr Nivvedita Mahandru, beauty therapist, and naturopathic, notes that the discovery of rice as an ingredient for beauty treatments began recently with the popularity of South-Korean skincare regimen. She advises preparing rice creams, serums, toners, scrubs for everyday use that can be refrigerated for 10-15 days. Her pick is a rice-water toner for night-care routine that can give you a blemish-free, glossy skin.
If you don’t want to make your own, there are many brands (from Japan, Korea, China) that offer rice-based skincare product line. Taneja adds, “Studies have shown that vital bioactive ingredients in rice water, produced from boiling or soaking rice, is beneficial in anti-ageing.” To make activated rice water at home, Taneja suggests either soaking rice for 30 minutes or boiling rice and then straining the water. Store in a spray bottle and refrigerate. Spritz it to refresh and revitalise your skin or use as a hair conditioner. Use it as a last rinse – leave for 10 minutes and then wash with water.
For a face mask, get rice powder that also works as a gentle exfoliator. Mix 1 tsp besan, rice powder, a pinch of turmeric and a few drops of milk (for more, see box). Apply on face and let it dry. Gently scrub and wash off. Taneja adds that while most brands offer rice paper, you can get same benefits with rice water and powder.
Mahandru says: “As such it is safe for all skin types and hair but it’s preferable to use organic rice and in diluted concentration.” Rice is back on the menu, it seems.
Ways to use it
1. Use fresh diluted rice water as a hair rinse. Also, fermented rice water can help in removing dandruff. Make a hair mask with rice water and avocado
2. Diluted rice water is an excellent refreshing mist spray and sun protector
3. Soak facial tissues in diluted rice water. Use as a mask for 10 minutes
4. For treating fine lines, add coconut, almond or vitamin-E oil to rice powder
5. Soak washed rice for 1 hour in raw milk with cream. Add honey and besan for a brightening scrub
6. Take milk cream and cooked rice with water, aloe gel, rose essential oil, mix and apply every day as a night cream. Cook rice with extra water. Blend to make an anti-ageing cream
7. Freeze diluted rice water in an ice tray and use the cubes to soothe mosquito bites, redness and eczema
8. Soak in a tub filled with rice water for tan removal
Note: The key to using rice water at home, for skin or hair, is to dilute its concentration
— Dr Nivvedita Mahandru, beauty therapist