Our kitchen is a place that we spend a respectable amount of time daily whether we are good cooks or not. If we put calories aside, that are directly related to the word kitchen, it is a place we find things that provide us with great comfort. A cup of coffee in the morning to shake the night away, a snack whenever we run out of energy, a delicious meal, preferably which we prepare, for our loved ones, a double-choc-chip ice cream to mend our broken heart; remedies for almost any need.

Yet the kitchen offers something else, which we don’t really take advantage of, a “4-letter word” secret to beauty. And as economy around the world has been hit with some serious problems and consequently our wallet, it is something we should look into carefully.

japanese woman

The word is rice.We all have rice in our kitchen, white, brown, red. In order to eat it we need to boil it first.That we all know. What we didn’t know, or at least not all of us until now, is that the water the rice is boiling in is a perfect beauty remedy. And Japanese women with their flawless, porcelain skin and long, silky hair are the proof of that.

Rice is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin E, as well as B vitamins and minerals. Its medicinal use was known as back as 2800 BC where royal physicians in Japan used it for healing purposes and to calm those who got easily upset but it was also used for beautiful skin and hair.

The court ladies of the Heian Period, whose long hair reached to the floor, were said to have combed their hair daily using Yu-Su-Ru (water obtained from washing rice). Also, the privileged should have had white, untanned skin as a mean to differentiate from those that participated in outdoor work, and they used rice water to wash their face or little bags containing rice bran to polish their skin.

So, let’s take a closer look on the benefits of rice water on the hair and skin and the way it can be done.

A. Benefits of rice water on Hair 

[quote_box_right]How to use on your hair:

Wash your hair as you normally do and rinse them well. Work in some rice water in your hair, leave for a 2-3 minutes and rinse well with water. Repeat once or twice a week. If you need to use extra conditioner, use a leave-in one after you towel-dry your hair.[/quote_box_right]

Rice water is an excellent hair conditioner. Studies have shown that it contains the carbohydrate inositol, which stays inside hair, even after rinsing, offering continuous beautifying and protective effects:

  • Increases hair elasticity
  • Reduces surface friction
  • Strengthens hair
  • Helps restore damage
  • Make hair shiny and manageable

B. Benefits of rice water on Skin

Rice water has many healing and beautifying effects on the skin deriving from the many vitamins and antioxidants it contains:

[quote_box_right]How to use on your skin:

Wash your face as you normally do and pat dry your skin with a towel. Use a cotton pad soaked in rice water to completely saturate your skin, as you would do with any skin toner. Let your skin air dry and then apply your moisturiser. Repeat twice a week for best results.[/quote_box_right]

  • It acts as an astringent on the skin, tightening pores
  • It nourishes and protects skin due to vitamin E it contains
  • It helps the production of collagen, preserving skin elasticity
  • It inositol content helps promote cell growth and regeneration
  • It acts as an antioxidant to protect against free radicals and aging
  • It protects the skin from UV-damage
  • It helps heal acne and cools redness
  • It helps treat eczema

boil rice

How to make rice water

Many prepare rice water by letting the rice soak for 15-20 minutes in cold water and then draining it. This is rice water but it does not have all the benefits of rice.

The best way to make it is to properly boil rice, using more water than you would normally do, until it is fully cooked and use that water after draining it. Let the rice water cool down and it is ready to use. Any remaining amount can be stored in the fridge but it is best to use fresh each time. Just remember to use pesticide-free rice and no salt in the water.

So, next time rice is on the menu, don’t forget your beauty regime that goes with it!

Lab scientist, sharp dresser and cooking guru Maria is one half of the original alwaysladies.com founding team. She brings her opinions with earnestness and a smile, even when there are razor blades inside.


  1. Hello Maria…… I am trying to find an answer to a question. I have looked everywhere but can not seen to get any information. I have even contacted Ask a Chemist websites, but to no avail. My question is: I use rice water on my hair without rinsing it out. I love how my hair feels when it dries. I can only find information on people that rinse it out. Will leaving it in after I shampoo and condition hurt my hair? Will it weaken my hair or lighten my color treated hair? If you have an answer, I sure would appreciate it. My email is: ptstjohngirl1@gmail.com if you have an answer. Thank you!

Leave a Reply