Lately I’ve been telling my patients more and more about what Japanese ladies have known for centuries…the amazing skin healing benefits of rice! In fact, recent research has shown that using a rice starch-soak is effective in improving the dry skin lesions of eczema!
That’s not all – rice bran oil, rice bran powder and rice water applied topically can really change the texture and clarity of your skin, smoothing it and brightening dark spots. In addition, adding whole rice bran to your diet can offer a rich source of Vitamin E and linoleic acids which benefit your skin and the rest of you! Let me share with you what I’ve been telling my patients about rice and their skin.
How To Get the Skin Benefits of Rice
Rice bran powder, rice water, and rice bran oil are staples in the beauty arsenals of Japanese women. They credit rice bran derivatives with keeping their faces wrinkle free and smooth. They are used both topically as a moisturizer and taken internally for its antioxidant properties.
Rice bran oil. A rich source of linoleic acids, it also contains squalene a potent antioxidant also found in shark liver oil. It promotes the production of collagen in the skin – a substance that “knits” the skin together and keeps it from wrinkling. Squalene also confers some protection from sun damage as well. Rice bran oil also contains large amounts of Vitamin E and gamma oryznol, which confers heart health and reduces cholesterol.
Rice bran oil is very good to use for cooking as it is smoke-stable at higher temperatures and is used almost exclusively in Asian-American restaurants. It can be purchased very economically in Asian grocery stores or grocery stores that carry a variety of cooking oils in larger gallon sizes. Also, personal size mixes of rice bran oil and other ingredients can be obtained from health or cosmeceutical stores. Can also be bought as soap in finer soap stores.
Rice bran powder. Used as an exfoliant to scrub the skin. Doing so leaves the skin smooth, reducing pores, and giving a healthy glow to the skin. This is done by applying the rice bran powder directly to a wet facial cloth and massaging in a circular clock-wise motion all around the face – avoiding the eye skin area. Use only rice bran oil on the delicate eye tissues.
You can buy rice bran powder in many sizes from personal to bulk in health food stores or food co-ops. To use as a skin exfoliant, buy the coarse rice bran. To take internally, buy the fine rice bran that can be taken sprinkled into cereal or mixed into shakes. It also comes in capsules form that can be taken orally.
Rice water. Makes an excellent skin toner that helps keep the skin smooth and its tone bright. It also helps heal acne and cools the redness of an outbreak. It acts as an astringent on the skin, tightening the pores. Rice water is available in health food stores selling cosmetics but rice water is also very easy to make and use. Boil rice (not the instant type) until it is soft and ready to eat. In fact, you can use the steam from cooking the rice to open pores and clean out impurities in the skin.
When the rice is done, drain off the water through a colander into a separate container, you may need to do this twice to get rid of all the rice grains. Put the rice away in the refrigerator and let the rice water cool. After the rice water has cooled, take clean pledgets of cosmetic gauze, or even a clean facial washcloth will do, and wet in the rice water. Pat onto your skin, covering your entire face. Do this for several minutes until you have completely saturated your face, or any other part of the skin on your body. Let your skin air dry. Do this twice a week for brighter skin.
Rice starch for eczema. Essentially using rice starch for eczema is like using rice water except do not strain it more than once. You want as much as the starchy components that rinsed off from the rice to be available for use on your skin! Follow the directions above for making it and applying it.
As I tell my patients with skin concerns, natural rice treatments stand out amongst many skin treatments for wrinkles, acne, rosacea, and eczema. Most of them can be made at home and the ingredients can be purchased quite economically. Making your own natural skin care treatments such as those that you can make from rice, cannot only help you keep more $$ in your wallet but give your skin an excellent healing/improving result!
Jay Brachfeld, M.D.
Rice Bran Oil For Wrinkles, http://leonsbeautytipsandsecrets.com/rice-bran-oil-for-wrinkle-free-smooth-and-glowing-skin/
Rice Bran Oil Benefits, http://www.honestfoods.com/topgriloil.html
Rice Starch May Help Eczema and Damaged Skin, http://www.bastyrcenter.org/content/view/441/
Photo Credit: beautythroughstrength.com