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Why you should be adding rice water to your regime: The benefits, uses, and more

Why you should be adding rice water to your regime: The benefits, uses, and more

Against the grain

Text: Jeway Tan

Editor: Emily Heng


Whoever said simplicity was key got it right, evidently. With skin minimalism and natural formulas taking precedence in recent times, it stands to reason that the latest hit ingredient is easily available in your local supermarket. Yup, we're talking about rice water. While it is a common practice to rinse the grains and toss out the water before cooking, it seems the latest craze involves incorporating it within your beauty regimen instead. Intriguing, alright. We provided a helpful rundown of its benefits and functions, below.


How did this trend start?

As it turns out, this treatment has been used by women in Asia for centuries, dating back to ancient Asia. Rice water is said to be packed filled with rich nutrients such as vitamins, amino acids, and other trace minerals that possess the power to nourish the hair, scalp, and skin.

What are the benefits of using rice water specifically on your face?

  • Brightening and evening out skin tones.
  • Reducing the appearance of pigmentation and dark patches.
  • Reducing the likelihood of sun damage, where it contains natural sunscreen-like properties. We still recommend you slather on SPF, though.
  • Boosting collagen production.
  • Providing relief for dry and itchy skin, where it contains anti-inflammatory properties.



What are the benefits of using rice water in your hair, then?

  • Strengthening of the hair. Rice water contains high levels of starch, which coats the hair strands with essential vitamins.
  • Improving your scalp health thanks to its beneficial infusion of vitamins and amino acids. This, in turn, leads to accelerated hair growth.
  • Boosting shine and overall appearance of your mane. Spilt-ends are one of the leading causes of dull hair. Rice water, on that end, can add hydration and minimise the appearance of spilt-ends, hence making locks look healthier and shiner.


A word of caution, however — while rice water is extremely beneficial for the hair and scalp, it is also known to contain high levels of protein that might dry out the hair and cause a build-up of protein on the scalp. Those with curly or dry strands are susceptible to this, and the generous consensus amongst professionals is to limit its use to two times a week instead.

Do I have to prepare the rice water in any particular fashion?

Nope. Simply:

  • Take some uncooked rice, and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Drain the rice and add new, clean water.
  • Leave it to soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Strain the rice water into a clean container.
  • Refrigerate the water and use within a week.


Alternatively, here are some rice water-infused products to try:

For the skin:

For the hair: