If you’ve ever made rice at home, then you’ve whipped yourself up a cult beauty ingredient: rice water. Everyone from celebrities to grandmas swear by its brightening powers. And while scientific proof is still lacking, it’s certainly affordable enough to try, if only for curiosity’s sake.
To make rice water, clean the rice first by rinsing with tap water. Next, soak the cleaned rice in more water, making sure the rice is completely submerged. Leave it in there for about 15 minutes. Now separate out the rice. What remains is the rice water, which should last about a week if you keep it in an airtight jar, chilled in the fridge. That’s all there is to it. (You can then cook the rice as you normally would.)
To enhance hair, shampoo and condition first, rinsing with tap water. Then thoroughly rinse hair with rice water, leaving in for a few minutes, then washing out with tap water again. The nutrient inositol in rice is thought to be the magic ingredient, though more research is needed to confirm that. Still, fans swear that it makes hair stronger, longer, and shinier.
To improve skin, apply with a cotton ball all over your face, and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing with tap water. This is said to help clean, tone, and brighten the complexion.
To calm itch. Spot-treat itchy spots or sunburns by dabbing some on with a cotton ball. You can also add a cup or two of rice water to your bath water to ease dry itchy skin. Again, the scientific backup is a bit sparse, but it’s thought to work because rice water is so chock full of antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamin B and E—nutrients that help improve the health and function of skin. Seal in the goodness by patting skin with a towel after bathing, then layering on an emollient moisturizer (like Calendula Nourish) while skin is still slightly damp.