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Rice Water in Skincare: Unpacking the TikTok Trend

From ancient ritual to modern trend: the revival of rice water in beauty regimens.

The digital age, with its plethora of social media platforms, has given rise to countless beauty and skincare trends. TikTok, in particular, has become a prominent hub for beauty enthusiasts to share their favorite DIY treatments, tips, and tricks.


Among the myriad of trends, the use of rice water for skincare has emerged as a notable standout. But is this trend new? And more importantly, does it work?

Historical Roots of Rice Water in Skincare

Contrary to what one might believe, the use of rice water in skincare is not a new concept borne out of social media. Historical records indicate that women in ancient Japan, China, and other parts of Asia used rice water to cleanse their skin and to maintain a radiant complexion. The court ladies of the Heian period in Japan, renowned for their floor-length hair, reportedly used rice water to maintain its strength and beauty.

@tamsskyn Replying to @Danijela how to make my grandmothers rice water #koreanskincare #skincare #skincaretip #koreanskincaretips #ricewater #affordableskincare #naturalskincare #fyp ♬ original sound – TAMS

How is Rice Water Made?

Rice water is a relatively simple concoction. The most basic method involves:

Rinsing – Rinse a half cup of uncooked rice to remove any dirt.

Soaking – After the initial rinse, add 2-3 cups of water to the rice. Let it soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Swirl it around or lightly knead it until the water becomes cloudy. This cloudiness indicates the presence of the beneficial nutrients and minerals.

Straining – Pour out the water into a separate container, leaving the rice behind.

Benefits of Rice Water in Skincare

While there are limited scientific studies on the benefits of rice water in skincare, several anecdotal evidences and traditional beliefs advocate its advantages:

Rich in Vitamins – Rice water is said to be rich in vitamins B, C, and E, which can benefit the skin.

Antioxidants – Rice water contains antioxidants which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and neutralize free radicals.

Brightening Effects – Many users report a subtle brightening effect after using rice water, which can help in achieving a more even skin tone.

Anti-inflammatory – The presence of compounds like allantoin can soothe irritated skin and reduce redness.

Caveats and Considerations

Like all skincare trends, especially those with limited scientific backing, there are considerations to keep in mind:

Skin Type Matters – While rice water may work wonders for some, it might not have the same effect on everyone. It’s essential to monitor how your skin reacts.

Possible Dryness – Some users report dryness after using rice water. It’s advisable to always moisturize after its application.

Storage – Homemade rice water does not contain preservatives and thus has a short shelf life. It’s best to store it in a refrigerator and use within 3-4 days.

The use of rice water in skincare, while trending on TikTok, is deeply rooted in historical practices. Its potential benefits, ranging from brightening to being rich in antioxidants, make it an intriguing option for skincare enthusiasts. However, as with any DIY skincare solution, it’s crucial to approach it with caution, understanding, and a willingness to listen to your skin’s needs.

Images – BEAUTY SCENE EXCLUSIVE: Calixta Varady by Pablo Rodrigo

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