Depending on where you are in the world, the idea of using rice in your beauty products may seem either very obvious, or very strange. Asian women have been using rice water rinses on their hair for centuries; more recently, Korean skincare brands have elevated rice to the status of star ingredient, but it seems that rice is still misunderstood as a skincare ingredient in other parts of the world. If you want to learn more about the benefits this wonder grain brings to the skin and identify some rice-based skincare products you can try right now, you’ve come to the right place. It’s time to get the rice out of the kitchen!
How does rice benefit your skin?
In order to learn about the skin benefits of rice, we must first learn about the types of rice extracts we’re likely to find in our skincare products. Looking through the ingredients list of a skincare product, you may come across ingredientes like rice bran extract, rice bran oil, rice bran wax, rice bran water (rice bran being the brown outer layer of the rice grain), and rice starch, among others.
In general, these extracts are said to help prevent skin dryness, aging, and hyperpigmentation, but it’s worth looking into more specific information.
A study from 2002 found that rice starch, for instance, can be “recommended as a skin repair bathing additive for barrier damaged skin, particularly in the case of atopic dermatitis patients.” The study found that “exposure to rice-starch-containing bath water–twice daily for 15 min–led to a 20% improvement on the healing capacity of damaged skin. […] Skin barrier function in patients with atopic dermatitis also improved after the addition of starch powder to bath water.”
Studies also indicate that rice bran oil, rich in antioxidants like ferulic acid and phytic acid, can have a protective effect against UVB radiation injuries. Additionally, rice bran compounds have been found to have anti-aging properties, and to be effective in the treatment of alopecia.
Rice water is one of the most popular rice extracts used in skincare. This ingredient has been used by Asian women for centuries, but scientific evidence supporting its benefits is limited. This doesn’t mean, necessarily, that rice water doesn’t have any benefits–only that science has yet to confirm them. A 2018 study, for instance, found that a skincare gel containing 96% rice water “was biocompatible with the human skin and presented suitable cosmetic properties. Rice water should be thus considered as an anti-aging ingredient to be used as raw material for skincare applications.”
Our favorite skincare products with rice
We’ve seen how rice can show up in a variety of skincare products, and now we’ll show you a few options we love. From serums to moisturizers, here are some of our favorite rice-infused skincare products:
Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics SPF50+
Sunscreen with rice
A sunscreen may not be the first product that comes to mind when you think of rice-infused skincare, but lo and behold: they do exist.
It’s likely you’re familiar with the Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics SPF50+ sunscreen by now; this is a silky sunscreen infused with ingredients from traditional Korean medicine, including rice and fermented grain extracts. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, these traditional ingredients help moisturize and soothe the skin, making this high protection sunscreen ideal for anyone with sensitive skin.
NUXE BIO Organic Rice Oil Extract Ultimate Night Recovery Oil
Facial oil with rice
The NUXE Bio range is all about harnessing the properties of organic natural ingredients, and rice wasn’t left out. In this replenishing facial oil, NUXE BIO Organic Rice Oil Extract Ultimate Night Recovery Oil, rice oil extract takes center stage for its ability to help soothe and repair the skin while you sleep.
And here’s a fun curiosity: in order to formulate this product, NUXE Bio selected a 100% natural-origin extract from rice cultivated in Camargue, France.
Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Botanical 2GF Wonderful Ampoule
Serum with rice
Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Botanical 2GF Wonderful Ampoule is a complete multifunctional solution for aging skin. The formula combines traditional antioxidants, like fermented black rice extract and bamboo shoot extracts, with state of the art growth factors like EGF and FGF, which help boost the production of collagen and elastin.
Soothing DERMA-CLERA™ and brigtening MadeWhite™ round out the formula, resulting in a comprehensive product that helps restore and strengthen aging skin.
Spa Ceylon White Rice Nourishing All-Day Protector
Moisturizer with rice
A moisturizer can make or break a skincare routine, so we couldn’t possibly not include a rice-infused moisturizer. The Spa Ceylon White Rice Nourishing All-Day Protector is a lightweight cream formulated around the natural antioxidant power of rice bran oil. The plant-based formula also features licorice and watercress extracts, which help even out the skin tone, and rose water, whichs helps hydrate and soothe the skin.
Suitable for normal to dry skin types, this is a great option for anyone looking to bring the antioxidant power of rice into their skincare routine.
Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask
Mask with rice
When it comes to rise-infused skincare, it’s hard to leave out the COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask.
Formulated with over 68% rice extract, this creamy mask is the perfect overnight skincare trick–after all, it also contains brightening and soothing niacinamide and nourishing sunflower seed oil. Use this mask as the last step of your skincare routine, just before bed, and you’ll see results in the morning!
Collistar Body Multi-Active Deodorant 24h Cream With Rice Milk
Deodorant with rice
Ever thought of using a rice-infused deodorant? With Collistar Body Multi-Active Deodorant 24h Cream With Rice Milk, you can. In addition to providing an anti-perspirant action, through the properties of aluminum, this delicately scented cream also helps hydrate the delicate sensitive area.
A unique combination of rice milk and hawthorn extract helps soothe and protect the skin, making this a perfect anti-perspirant for anyone with delicate and sensitive skin.
Missha Airy Fit Sheet Mask Rice
Sheet mask with rice
The Missha Airy Fit sheet masks pop up a lot in our product recommendations, and that’s because… we love them. They’re affordable, comfortable, easy to use, and there’s one for every natural ingredient you can think of–in this case, rice.
This Missha Airy Fit Sheet Mask Rice is an extra-thin sheet mask infused with rice extract and hyaluronic acid. While the rice extract provides a powerful antioxidant action (it’s rich in vitamin E!), the hyaluronic acid hydrates and replumps the skin. Wear it for 10 to 20 minutes, and you’ll notice an improvement in the radiance and vitality of your skin.
Holika Holika Daily Fresh Cleansing Foam Rice
Cleanser with rice
A good cleanser is a skincare essential, and we love this Holika Holika Daily Fresh Cleansing Foam Rice. This is a gel-to-foam cleanser that combines the soothing properties of our ingredient du jour, rice extract, with the cleansing action of soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) extract.
This combination provides a gentle cleansing action without drying out the skin, makes this cleanser ideal for those with dry to sensitive skin. Perfect!
With so many options of rice-infused skincare products, there’s sure to be one for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a cleanser or a serum, a moisturizer or a sunscreen, the world of rice-infused skincare is vast–and, from the looks of it, it’s only going to continue to grow!
Not quite sure rice is quite right for you? Then make sure to explore our full selection of trending skincare ingredients in the shop: we’re sure you’ll find your perfect match!
Beauty Writer & Editor