DIY Beauty: rice water for smooth fair skin


So I read a number of girls raving how water used to wash the rice is great for washing their faces. Apparently the benefits for them are smoother and fairer skin. I remember it was said that steam from cooking rice is great for the face when I watched Jewel In The Palace but I haven’t learnt anything about the rice water though. However, I know that we should be washing our rice grains sparingly so as not to lose the nutrients. I suppose that’s why the water used is beneficial.

I’ve tried using rice water a few times just for fun but I think I’ll need to persist if I want to see some real results. Well, if you’re interested to try this, here are the instructions I took from AsianFanatics.

Instructions to wash your face with rice water
First of all, wash the uncooked rice with any clean water – filtered water if possible – and collect the water in a basin or bowl. Wash your face clean with your regular cleanser and then rinse your face with the rice water before toweling dry. You can then proceed to moisturize as per normal.

If you’re worried that the rice is unclean, then only keep the water after you’ve washed the rice the second time.  But like I’ve mentioned, this is something you need to persist if you want to see results like what some of the girls have reported.  Anyway, rice water is quite pleasant to use and you can pad the water on your face like a toner too.

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  1. says

    I used to use rice water to wash my face as a teen. Tip from my mom. Did it for ages. Still exploded with acne.

    Paris: Hmm…this seems like a beauty tip from the old generation since many said it came from their mothers. Anyway, maybe your acne was hormonal too?

  2. says

    I’ve never heard this before, but that is awesome!

    Leann: Yeah, if it gives the results the girls raved about, this is quite awesome cos it cost next to nothing.

  3. says

    I washed my face with rice water once, and it seemed like my face was paler and had a glow afterwards! I think it really does work, but it needs consistency for its effects to last.

    J: Yup, I think as with most recipes, there should be consistency to see lasting effects.

  4. Den says

    I second that, it takes fooooorever to see effects and I gave up this traditional skin care tip, but it might work for some.

    Den: I was also quite curious cos some of them were saying their skin shade was lightened up due to using this.

  5. Dee says

    Gonna try this one too! Hope it helps to reduce overdue acne scars…

    Dee: Er…don’t be too optimistic about the results cos I think you’ll need patience…

  6. pf1123 says

    Hey Sesame, my mum uses rice water to water the plants. Boy, do they look good.

    Haha…but I’m not sure I will try this. Too much of a hassle and by the time I reached home, the rice is all cooked.

    Btw, I saw on MyPaper today that Eucerin has a promotion. Buy a wrinkle-filler thing or a whitening serum and get a cleansing gel free!

    I went and got the whitening serum straight away to get rid of the pigmention on my nose. Not sure if its gonna work. Have you tried it?

    I think the Sea buckthorn oil evens out my complexion generally, my acne scars are lightened. But they’re still there. I think they don’t do much for my pigmentation though. In fact, I think they got darker. :(

    Hope the serum works.

    pf: I used the Eucerin eye cream but it did nothing for my lines. Instead my eyelashes grew a bit then. Quite strange! Your pigmentation got worst? Could it be due to the oil? It has UV protection properties so shouldn’t be. Anyway I forgot to tell you I started to notice that half of my undereye area is considerly lighter in shade. I think it’s cos I was dabbing this oil on that area! Anyway, I’m out of the oil now and may not get it cos I’m going to try out something new for my pigmentation. But heh, haven’t bought it yet cos need to order from States and get someone to help me ship over.

  7. says

    My mum saves a bowl for me during when she cooks dinner.

    Don’t see much difference.

    I also use a rice toner which made my skin smoother and slightly whitens my skin.

    AtelierGal: Oh your rice toner sounds interesting! Is it available in the market or it’s homemade?

  8. says

    My mom told me to wash my face with rice water also. It does work. My face felt so much more refreshing & clean. I don’t know how to explain. But it worked for me.

    Lipo: Oh that’s good! Glad it worked for you.

  9. Florence says

    I had tried for a period of time,it does make my skin looks better but in the end I gave up,coz I always forget :)Maybe I should try again…..

    Florence: It worked for you! Interesting! But yes, I agree that although this is a simple recipe, the process of collecting the water is too troublesome.

  10. Dee says

    Sesame… have u tried the Neutrogena Wave Cleanser? I saw it at Watson’s S$24.90 with 14 cleanser pad that comes along with the machine wave.

    Read many raves about it but some users find it useless cos it only vibrates as in massaging your face. =)

    They say it feels smooth after doing it so…

    Dee: Yes, I checked it out when it was launched. I almost got it thinking it’s a facial massager but stopped when I realized it contains cleansing ingredients including SLS!

  11. eliza says

    lolz my mom calls it bedak sejuk – cold powder

    to see the effect it takes a long time

    Eliza: Ah…bedak sejuk?

  12. eliza says

    lolz ya hahaha
    btw u can make it into a cooling mask too

    scope the more powdery part of the rice water and cool it in the fridge until it sort of hardens

    i use it on the parts where i squeeze blackheads/pimples to cool it before applying aloe vera to lessen the redness

    Eliza: Wow, I didn’t know the powdery part can harden when cold. Thanks for the tip!

  13. Raelynn says

    my maid uses it to wash her hands since it’s convenient for her..

    when my back acne was at it’s formidable peak, i had a mask of rice and green bean though i dont quite remember whether it was ground or soaked in water. it helped but it was very troublesome too.

    Raelynn: Rice and green bean…you’re really adventurous! But I can imagine the trouble…

  14. pf1123 says

    Sesame, my dots on the nose bridge became spots. They were faint brown shadowy kind of dots before and now I think they have become little spots. It looks like the pigmentation surfacing.

    I cannot say that they have worsen because there aren’t more. But they have become more obvious.

    I think my face colour also lightened. So, I don’t know…maybe because my skin tone lightened, therefore they seemed more obvious?

    Anyways, I shall try the Eucerin serum thing to see if it works. Haha….to tell you the truth. I really wanted to try the Eucerin cleansing gel. If it can be comparable to my Istrilene cleansing gel, I can rotate with Eucerin one so that my face won’t be “immune” to Istrilene. hehe…

    Btw, I told you that I had a strange glow right??? I am beginning to think its something I ate rather than what I slap on my face. Coz I have been sick for a couple of weeks now. And I didn’t take my daily dose of EPO, Fish oil, Zinc and Vitamin E. So, the glow has dimished.

    pf: Oh ya, if your face lightened up then it’s possible the spots look more obvious. Ah, your glow because of the supplements you take! You’re probably right. Anyway, a glow is always good! :)

  15. vicky says

    the old folks in my country always said rice water will whiten the skin. It does work, but according to my mom, it may cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun :(

    Vicky: It causes skin to be photosensitive??? Oh geez…quite incredulous! Then it’s probably washing away the protective layer on our skin…

  16. Ms. Blacklace says

    You know when you cook your rice in the rice cooker and there’ll be some water collected in a small container on the side of the cooker?

    I wonder if that small amount of steamed rice water would be beneficial. I remembered I liked to drink it when I was younger [very little of it anyway… like just…. 30ml max]. Tastes kinda nice.

    Ms Blacklace: Oh yes the small container! Don’t know…I wonder too.

  17. Den says

    Hey Sesame
    hey pf1123

    To side-track a bit and need your help as well, I had enquired with Whoopeekiddies about the Sea Buckthorn Oil and they are now back in stock!

    Which ones would be the better one to purchase? The sea buckthorn oil pulp extract or sea buckthorn oil CO2 extract? These are the current two available. I am confused!

    Thanks for your help.

    Den: Hey, both sounds new to me. I know the CO2 extract is to be added in serums. Not sure about the other cos I used the oil. You can send an email to Whoopeekiddies and ask them.

  18. Dee says

    Sesame, I find out about the SLS thing too after I bought it not too long ago. Since I really like the massaging thing on my face I decided to wash off the pad and use with my cleanser…

    Btw I tried the rice water and is really smooth on skin! I understand it will take time to see any differences but I don’t mind using cos I think I like the feeling already… =) Thk u Sesame for sharing the info! xoxo

    Dee: Hey, you’re welcome! :)

  19. Ms. Blacklace says

    I was wondering…. How about putting a teaspoon of rice in a glass bottle, fill it up with like around half a cup of mineral water, and use it was a toner. Wonder if that will help… Hm….

    So many ideas with the rice thingy….

    Ms Blacklace: I think the water should have the white powder from the rice to be effective so not sure if soaking some will do any good. But you also need to keep it fresh.

    • natural beauty says

      Here’s what to do…

      Take your rice, put it in a measuring cup (easy to pour into a bottle when made,) add however much warm distilled water you like. Let it sit 5 minutes and then start crushing it with a pestal if you have one. Let sit another 5 minutes, and then pour into a glass bottle. Pour more warm water on the rice and grind it again, let sit for 5 minutes, and then pour into bottle, keep repeating, until you get the desired amount.

      I use a 4 oz. bottle, because I also, use it on my neck, chest and arms every single day. Use a cotton ball saturated with the toner, then just splash all over face, let it dry naturally, wait about 10 minutes, then apply whatever else you want.

      If you want to keep it more than 3 days, then you will have to add a preservative like Cosmocil CQ which is a paraben free preservative.

      Also, you can use tea tree oil as a preservative, to fight bacteria, a couple of drops and their you go.

      Simple, effective and very cheap.

      No sense in using organic brown rice if you don’t use filtered water or distilled water. I have a filter on my faucet, but sometimes I still use distilled water, which will cost you a buck at the grocery store.

      It’s worth buying a mortal pestle or small coffee grinder, make sure all your utensils are sterilized.

      Be consistent and you will see dark spots lighten. I am living proof that it works. Rice has so many healthy benefits for the skin.
      The water will be really milky looking and this is what you want.

  20. pf1123 says

    Hey Den, I don’t know about the pulp or CO2 extract thingy. When I bought it, there is only the oil.

    The oil is pretty stinky. I think it has lighten my skin tone and acne scars a little. But does nothing for my pigmentation.

    Its not fantastic but not too bad though, I bring the little 15ml bottle with me when I travel and just put that on at night without the extra moisturizer is still ok. Usually, when I travel, my skin goes haywire…but the recent 2 trips were ok.

    After I finished it, I’m not sure I would re-purchase because I wanna try other oils.

    Btw, if anybody’s interested…the Eucerin Whitening serum is as thick as my Istrilene Collagen cream.

  21. says

    I did a google search on “bedak sejuk”, and it seems they use it for a cooling effect. I added a link :)

    Ms.Blacklace, I think I’ll try out your suggestion.

    Sukidoll: Oh thanks for checking that one out and adding the link!

  22. Den says

    Thanks to Sesame and pf1123 for your help. Will try the oil and hopefully it works!

    Den: I hope you’re like it if you use it. Er…the smell needs getting used to. Also, if the pulp oil is the same oil we used then it will create a temporary yellow stain. Use it only in the night.

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    I am looking for the fashion designer for clothes, bags, etc… So if someone is interested, please contact me, my email address is

  24. anna says

    It works! i got it from my grandma. it got rid of my acne and made my skin smoother and lighter.

  25. em says

    Well the Japanese have been washing their faces with rice bran for decades, and attribute that for their smooth skin. But that is quality rice bran they were using, nowadays manufactured rice aren’t as–how should I put it–‘pure’ (?) so the results won’t be the same. Washing your face with rice, making egg masks, are all old Asian skin care myths. While it is true that egg masks provide vitamin A and a quick facelift, like rice water, it can’t make your skin whiter.

  26. says

    Yes, I think you are onto something good.

    Rice bran is rich in oil, makes an effective exfoliant and contains phytic acid, a B-complex vitamin that seems to help improve blood circulation and stimulate cell turnover when used topically, according to Japanese studies.

    Many famous skin care companies include rice into their products. Dermalogica has the Daily Microfoliant which contain rice enzyme and L’Occitane has many Rice skin care products.

  27. Dani says

    I use rice water daily now.

    I do my regular face wash and exfoliate…

    Then I apply warm rice water with a cotton ball and lightly pat dry. I then wait a half hour or so (when possible) before applying moisturizer and make up.

    It has lightened / evened my skin tone and produced a nice glow. It has also firmed my skin a bit (because of the starch I assume) and reduced the visibility of my pores. It also had a softening effect.

    The changes are visibly apparent. I’ve gotten comments from my husband and friends on how my skin had improved.

  28. Nona says

    Rice water and green tea as a facial mist/toner…
    Add some essential oils as you like.

  29. Angie says

    hey thanks for this!!

    just wodnering, what tempature of water is neeeded? also, how long does it keep for? should i refridgerate?


    • sesame says

      Normal tepid water from the tap is find. No need to refrigerate. I think the best is to use it fresh or at most after a day.

  30. deekay says

    i’m guessing the rice water makes some people whiter/paler is because rice is not naturally white. it is bleached so you’re probably just bleaching your face! haha

    • sesame says

      Hmm…should be possible but I’m not sure if there are benefits to do so…plus, the smell maybe weird.

  31. lalaa says

    well im thinking what are the real uses of rice water? can it take away dark circles too ?

    • sesame says

      Hi, rice water is said to be good for skin whitening but I doubt it’ll do much for dark circles. The dark circles is a result of circulation in that area so you need ingredients that can penetrate and help rectify. It could also be a diary allergy causing the darkness.

  32. Marilyn says

    Just be sure the rice is organic you don’t want all that other stuff sitting on your face it could be quite harmful to the skin

  33. Kira says

    I have been using rice water as a toner for a month now and can see some good results.
    I use organic brown rice from the grocery and make a little bowl at a time, drain cloudy water into a plastic container to keep in the fridge. lasts for about 3-4 days (when it smells bad make a new batch).
    I did recently put a green tea bag (also containing jasmine and orange) with the rice to sit in the water for about 5 minutes.
    now my toner makes my face feel cool, refreshed and tighter plus the tea makes it smell yummy!

    • sesame says

      Oh that’s great! I haven’t tried mixing green tea with rice water. I was worried about the smell but it looks like, I was thinking too much based on what you’ve said about the smell.

  34. SpringLily says

    I have some sun spots on my face and its almost gone now after I applied a mixture of apple cider vinegar, green tea, rice water as a toner to my face. I think it truly works! my beautician told me I needed to either use peeling or laser to zap away the spots but this is inexpensive and good.

  35. Linya says

    Hi, I have a question: Has anyone used the rice water that is left over AFTER cooking?
    I have tried to save some, and it’s much thicker and whiter than the water you get before cooking.
    And I suppose it is cleaner because it’s cooked. I’m gonna try both.

  36. bambi says

    I tried it and its good. The thing about going natural is that you have to eat better. Im not saying to give up your chocolate, pizza, hamburgers, or chips you just need to watch how much of it you consume. I noticed that the more water and 100% juice i drank and heathier foods i ate my skin cleared up. Also working out helped me with stress so my stress break outs stopped as well. I also started washing my face with baking soda and lemon juice once a week it helps too.

    • sesame says

      Yes, beauty comes from within. Whatever you use externally will help with that 40%…the balance comes from your lifestyle and what you eat.

  37. says

    I’ve never tried this, but my Chinese friend tells me her sister swears by this method! 😀 I only use rice water as a soup base, haha. Tastes gooood.

  38. natural beauty says

    Also, drink the water too, full of vitamins and nutrients, then pop your left over rice into a pan, boil it and eat it.

  39. natural beauty says

    By the way, if you aren’t using sunscreen, then don’t bother using lightening products, because it will all be in vain. Use sunscreen regardless of what you put on your skin. It is the best cosmetic purchase you will ever invest in. Physical sunscreen if at all possible.

  40. Caroline says

    While the rice water seemed beneficial the first few uses (I bottled the solution), after a few days it grew so rancid that I could no longer stand the smell. Because it underwent a chemical reaction, I doubted it would still be helpful to my face. That combined with the awful smell provoked me to throw it out.

    • Carrie says

      I have read from a lot of other posts (in Mandarin websites) that you should refrigerate the rice water up to one day only, and then re-make fresh rice water all over again.

  41. lina says

    When I was younger I used to put rice water on my face to fade my freckles. I put it and didn’t rinse the water, so I could leave it all night long. I did this for a year or so and it actually worked for me.

  42. Anita says

    Looks like someone “Borrowed” your photo?

    • sesame says

      Oh…thanks for taking the time to tell me! I visited that blog and told the owner to give my post a link or to remove the picture.

  43. says

    Dear Sesame,

    i would like to make a favorite to my wife.
    She has brown spots on her face and i would like to ask you if you can advice me,

    she is 58 and i want to know if the rice water will work also for her while of the age.

    Best regards Ben

    • sesame says

      It depends. May help to erase some small ones but she probably needs some counter products to get rid of the darker ones.

  44. jiyun says

    okay im kind of late in this but for me it kind of worked
    ive only been using this for a week and today i noticed that my skin became whiter and smoother.maybe tighter?

    still not sure about the acne thing, i need to persist to see more results

    but so far so good. i use it everyday


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