Japanese women have been using rice water to rinse their hair each day. © Shutterstock.
The residual starchy water that you usually drain out after soaking or boiling rice contains a gamut of nutrients that are essential for healthy skin and hair. Rice is loaded with minerals, antioxidants, vitamins B, C and E, and eight essential amino acids that not only promote your overall health but enhance your look. For centuries, Asian cultures have sworn by rice water for beautiful skin and hair. Japanese women have been using rice water to rinse their hair each day. This ancient beauty secret is now increasingly gaining popularity worldwide as one of the simplest and most effective home remedies to fix skin and hair troubles. Want to try it out? Let’s first learn how to make rice water. Also Read – Considering hair transplant surgery? Beware of the possible complications
Two ways to make rice water
There are two ways of making rice water–either by boiling or soaking organic rice. Also Read – Foods that can help prevent or fight skin infections
Method #1: Boil1 cup of organic rice with clean water. When the rice is cooked, strain the water into a clean container and allow it to cool down. Store this rice water in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons of this concentrated solution in 1 cup of water to use it for your skin and hair. Also Read – Hair care tips: Things you should never do to wet hair Method #2: Rinse 1 cup of organic rice with water, then add 2 cups of water to it and soak it for 30 minutes. Stir it and then drain the water into a clean container. You can store this white solution in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Shake it well before use. You can also ferment the rice water by keeping it at room temperature for 2 days and then store it in the refrigerator. Dilute the fermented rice water with plain water in the ratio of 1:3 before using it in your beauty regime.
Benefits of rice water for skin and hair
Once your DIY rice water product is ready, you can use it in your daily skin and hair care routine. Here are some skin and hair benefits of using rice water.
Makes hair soft, strong and healthy
The protein in rice water helps replenish your hair, strengthen the hair strands and reduce breakage, resulting in shiny, stronger, and softer hair. Rice water also contains inositol, a type of carbohydrate that can prevent hair damage as well as make it soft and smooth. Rice water can also treat hair loss by promoting hair growth. Rice water is the best natural solution for frizzy and unmanageable hair. How to use it: After shampooing your hair, pour the diluted rice water on your hair, and then gently massage your scalp for 10 minutes using your fingertips. Wash off with plain water. Do this 2 or 3 times a week. To tame frizzy hair, mix the fermented rice water with plain water in the ratio 1:3. Use this mixture as a final rinse after shampooing your hair. Repeat this treatment once or twice a week.
Soothes irritated or inflamed skin
Rice water acts as a soothing balm on irritated or inflamed skin. The starch in rice water may help heal the dry skin lesions resulting from eczema. Bathing with water containing rice starch is known to help improve the healing capacity of the damaged skin. Such a skin repair bath is recommended for the treatment of damaged skin barrier in patients with atopic dermatitis. How to use it: For the treatment of skin irritation or inflammation, add a few cups of rice water to warm bath water, and soak your body in this water for 15 to 20 minutes, twice daily. Alternatively, you can soak a cotton ball in cool rice water and apply it to the affected area a few times daily.
Tightens skin pores, softens skin and improves complexion
Open pores can lead to acne and blackheads. Rice water helps tighten skin pores, restore the skin’s pH balance, stimulates cell growth, and promotes blood flow. Rice water helps flush out toxins, improve skin elasticity, and reduce inflammation. Plus, it can enhance your skin complexion, reduce or prevent the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation, keep your skin soft and moisturized, leaving your skin looking healthy and flawless. How to use it: Mix rice water with an equal amount of water. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply it to your face. Keep it for 15 to 20 minutes, and rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do this every night after cleansing your face.