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The rise of rice as an essential skincare and haircare ingredient

As Asians, we’ve known about the wonders of rice for years. But it’s fun to see the rest of the world wake up to the phenomenon, and incorporate rice in skincare and haircare products.

A staple in our diets, rice is making an unexpected — or at least nearly unexpected — breakthrough in the cosmetics industry. This active ingredient is not new, nor can it be called innovative, but it does respond to the desire of consumers to turn to (more) natural ingredients to care for their skin. And we have to admit that this ingredient in particular offers a multitude of benefits. Here are some of them.

[Hero Image Credit: Eva Elijas/Pexels]

Image Credit: Korres via Facebook

DIY skincare leads the pack

Eggs, sugar, cream, honey, and even olive oil… not just in our kitchen but in our bathroom! Consumers are increasingly turning to DIY, with recipes found online and on social networks — such as TikTok and the various videos espousing the joys of sugar-based hair removal — while brands are focusing on natural ingredients as they concoct the formulas of their new cosmetics. Several studies have shown that the pandemic has signaled the return of the authentic, the natural and the essential, testifying to the desire of consumers to no longer use products with lengthy formulas, and to focus on preventing the ravages of time, pollution, and stress, rather than treating or concealing them.

And so it’s in this context that we see the emergence of an active ingredient that no one saw coming: rice. A favorite new component for the beauty industry, rice, whether in grains, powder or water, is showing up in the products of various brands, at all price ranges and for all demographics, making its way into creams, serums, scrubs and makeup removers. Of course there is nothing particularly innovative about rice. The powder has even been used for centuries in some cultures, particularly in Asia, to enhance the hair and skin of women. Women use rice water — that’s right, we’re talking about rice cooking water — to take advantage of the vitamins and minerals it contains. Because rice does have many strong points.

Image Credit: Jocelyn Morales/Unsplash

Mattify and regenerate your skin

One of the advantages of rice is that it comes in different forms, each adapted to a different skin type. It meets the needs of mixed and oily skin types as well as dry skin, sensitive skin, and mature skin. That’s a lot of people! But it is undoubtedly those whose skin has a tendency to be shiny or oily who will most appreciate rice powder for its strong absorbent and thus mattifying capacity — goodbye excess sebum. This means that it works well in creams, milks, or masks, as well as in certain makeup products such as mattifying powders, eyeshadows, and even certain blushes.

Image Credit: Tatcha Beauty via Facebook

But if you want to fight against skin aging and lack of firmness, you should look to rice water, packed with antioxidants, among other elements. Rice water can help fight the signs of aging, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and promote smoother, firmer skin. And while rice powder has intense mattifying capacities, rice water also helps nourish dry skins with deep moisturizing abilities.

Image Credit: Armin Rimoldi/Pexels

Rice water for stronger hair

And rice water is not only good for skin; it is also beneficial for hair. It can be used as a mask, left on for a few minutes, to make your hair stronger and shinier. It can also be used to help put an end to annoying frizz, while it can accelerate the growth of hair, even giving it more volume.

Numerous are the brands today that have products or ranges whose formula includes this everyday ingredient. Some examples are KorresPai Skincare, Tatcha and Elemis. But to take advantage of the benefits of water, there is a much less expensive solution: wash your rice and keep the water you use, or even use the water you use to cook your rice after cooling it down. Be careful though, it can only be kept for a few days. Get cooking!

This article is published via AFP Relaxnews.

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