Simply pouring away the cooking water after the rice preparation would be unthinkable in Asia. For thousands of years, the valuable liquid has been used for beauty care and, thanks to its versatile effects and well-tolerated ingredients, is perhaps the beauty secret of many Asian women. In any case, there are plenty of reasons to use this supposed waste product for skincare, thus eliminating the need for some synthetic care products.
Rice water, which you can obtain as a by-product when cooking rice, is particularly natural and suitable for allergy sufferers. In addition to starch and protein, unpolished rice contains almost all B vitamins, many minerals, and linoleic and linolenic acid. The cooking water has an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, soothing effect and keeps the skin and hair young. With daily use, rice water also softens acne, scars, and pigment spots.
Application of rice water for the face
Rice water is suitable for facial cleansing and toning (increasing muscle and skin tension) after washing. For skin cleansing, I would recommend it mainly in the morning if only a slight refreshment is necessary, and you do not need to remove any make-up residues.
After a thorough evening cleansing, you can apply diluted rice water (about one tablespoon to 100 ml of water) with a cotton pad as a face tonic. This soothes the skin, moisturizes it, and provides it with valuable vitamins and minerals.
For a more intense effect, you can make a mask out of undiluted rice water by soaking large cotton pads or cosmetic wipes with the water, spread them on the face, and let it work for half an hour. Then rinse or let dry and wipe gently with a cloth. The contained starch removes excess fat and acts as a gentle exfoliation.
Rice water soothes the whole body.
To refresh the skin, you can put the rice water in an empty spray bottle and wet the face, hair, and other body parts with it. In the form of ice cubes, it cools irritated skin, for example, in case of sunburn, insect bites, or after shaving. A bath in which you add a liter of fermented rice water can provide relief for skin problems of all kinds.
Haircare with rice water
The inositol, a vitamin-like substance abundant in rice, is considered a source of gloss for matte hair. Therefore, rice water is optimally suited as a rinse for more elasticity and shine in the hair. With regular use, the hair should grow even faster and get a stronger structure.
I can recommend using a coarse comb or brush with wood bristles to make the rice water evenly distributed for long or thick hair. Carefully wrap the hair in a towel and let the rice water act for about 20 minutes. Then rinse and, if necessary, add a few drops of oil to dry peaks.
You can also massage the rice water into the hair after washing and let it dry in the air. This way, the hairstyle gets more stand, and you can save yourself more styling products.
How to make rice water
You are totally convinced of the many applications of rice water but do not yet know how you get the valuable liquid in the first place? Then the following tips can certainly help you.
Rice water extraction during rice boiling
Which type of rice you choose doesn’t matter for effect. However, organic rice is recommended so that you get as many of the valuable ingredients as possible.
If you want to extract rice water when cooking rice, do the following:
1. Put a tablespoon of rice in a saucepan and add as much water until the rice is generously covered.
2. Cook the rice until it is soft, then pour the water through a sieve into a lockable glass.
The now freshly collected rice water can be held in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake well again before use.
Note: Especially with dry skin and hair, you should dilute the rice water. Put 100 ml of rice water in one liter of tap water.
Rice water extraction with raw rice
Another way to make rice water is to use raw rice, which you cover with cold water and draw for at least an hour. Before making the rice water, you should rinse the rice once briefly under running water.
Fermenting rice water
To enhance the effect of rice water, you can ferment it. Let it stand in a warm place for a day. As soon as it tastes and smells a little sour, the fermentation process is complete. Then keep it cool again and apply as described.
Have you tried rice water or another natural alternative to synthetic toiletries? Then read more about your experiences in the comments below!