Science-backed Benefits of Rice Water for Skin: Preparation & Use

A glowing, clear skin is craved by many of us. Incorporating rice water in your skincare may help in achieving that. Check out the benefits of rice water for skin.

Dr. Sravya C Tipirneni
Reviewed by DR. SRAVYA C TIPIRNENI , Dermatologist & Cosmetologist | Written by Chhavi Puri , Skincare Coach & Makeup Expert
Updated on Feb 02, 2024 | 05:21 PM IST | 435.9K
Rice Water for Skin
Rice Water for Skin

We all crave clear, smooth, and radiant skin and often lookout for home remedies to reach our beauty goals. While most beauty experts believe that drinking liters of water every day can take you a step closer to your dream skin, the good news is that applying a particular form of water may provide you with crystal-clear glass skin. At first, you may find it weird, however, using rice water for skin routinely helps you fulfill your beauty goal. Rice water is densely packed with nutrients and is gaining traction in the world of beauty. Moreover, many skincare brands are launching products that contain rice water as an active ingredient. Here, we will be discussing some amazing benefits and how to use rice water for skin. Let’s begin! 

What Is Rice Water and Is It Good for Your Skin?

Rice water is the leftover water you get after boiling rice, the common kitchen staple in Southern Asian countries. The oblong, white grain comes packed with healthful nutrients such as iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, selenium, and magnesium, all of which are great not only for your health but skin as well. This nutrient-dense and starchy water has been an integral part of Korean and Japanese skincare rituals for ages. Thus, many beauty enthusiasts are going gaga over this traditional and affordable remedy to achieve clear and radiant skin. Let’s understand the best skincare benefits, the preparation, and how to use rice water to revive your skin’s elegance. 

Skin Benefits of Rice Water

Many natural ingredients, including rice water, are known to have positive effects on your skin. Here are the top 5 benefits of using rice water on your skin regularly.  


Delays Skin Aging

Delays Skin Aging

Applying rice water to your skin regularly may help prevent skin aging. The starchy water is densely packed with antioxidants that are known to inhibit the activity of the elastase enzyme ( an enzyme that damages elastin in the skin). Thus, it could help maintain the elasticity of the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles on your face. Besides, it hydrates your skin and restores a youthful radiance (1).

Skin Brightening

Though deeper research is needed to support this claim, rice water is said to have a skin-brightening effect. People in Korea and Japan have used rice water to fight dark spots and blemishes on the skin for centuries. It is assumed that rice water may contain some enzymes that are known to have skin-brightening action. It is one of the reasons why many soaps and moisturizing creams contain rice water as the active ingredient. Many medical experts believe that rice water may brighten the skin depending upon the concentration and formulation. Besides, betaine, squalene, and rice bran are the components of rice that are known to have a skin-brightening effect on your skin. Betaine may help reduce cellular melanin content, thus making your skin tone lighter (2),(3).


Protects The Skin Barrier

When your skin’s natural barrier is disturbed, it leads to dry and flaky skin that may further cause problems such as atopic dermatitis. A study pinpoints that the starch in rice water may help maintain and repair your skin’s natural barrier. Thus, it makes a wonderful remedy for those suffering from atopic dermatitis (4). Also, applying rice water on your skin may help relieve symptoms of eczema, rashes, and skin inflammation. 

Soothes The Skin

Rice water is said to have skin-soothing properties and may help relieve sunburned skin. Some people find it very helpful in relieving common symptoms of sun damage such as inflammation, rashes, and redness. 

Dr. Sravya C Tipirneni, Chief Consultant Dermatologist & Cosmetologist at Manipal Hospital, mentions,  “Though rice water cannot act as a substitute for sunscreen but rice water contains antioxidants which can help fight and reverse UV damage to a certain extent, but cannot be a substitute for topical sunscreen.”


Oil Control

Have you ever noticed that many oil-control products contain rice or rice starch as an active ingredient? Though there is less evidence to support this claim, starchy rice water has a toning and skin-tightening effect which may be good for people with oily skin. The active ingredients in rice water may aid oil control and acne.

Some Other Health & Beauty Benefits Of Rice Water

Digestive Troubles

Some people recommend drinking rice water if you have a stomach upset. Rice water contains vitamin minerals and vitamins that fuel your body to stay active and energized. Besides, fermented rice water contains probiotics, which help regulate gut functions and help relieve diarrhea (5). 

Hair care benefits

If you have dry, frizzy hair that is prone to breakage, including rice water in your haircare routine may help. Our contributor Kate Ross, a hair specialist, says, “Rice water can act as a natural conditioner, making hair smoother and shinier. Using it at home is simple and easy too.”

A 2010 study pinpoints that rinsing your hair with rice water may help reduce friction and maintain the elasticity of the hair strands (6). Besides, inositol in rice water may help reduce split ends and make hair smooth and soft.


How to Make Rice Water at Home?

How to Make Rice Water at Home?

Since we now know the best benefits of rice water for the face, let’s give it a try by preparing it at home. You can follow any of these methods to get the perfect rice water for your skin.

The Soaking Method: 

This is the quickest way to prepare rice water for skin benefits. To prepare rice water using the soaking method, you will need to -

Step 1 - Take a cup (approx. 100 grams) of uncooked rice of any variety. 

Step 2-  Rinse them clean under running tap water.

Step 3- Pour 3 cups (approx. 500-700 ml) of water into a deep bowl. 

Step 4- Soak the rice in the water for half an hour. 

Step 5- Gently stir and press down the rice grains in the bowl using your fingers.

Step 6- Separate the rice and water using a fine sieve or strainer. 

Step 7- Transfer the water to a bottle and refrigerate. The rice water can be refrigerated for around 1 week. 

Pro Tip - The soaked rice water can be used as a toner for your skin or you can add it to your DIY face masks for the best benefits for skin care. 


Fermented Rice Water: 

Fermented rice water, also called rice wine, is said to be extremely beneficial for the skin. The active compounds in fermented rice water are known to protect the skin against sun damage and revive the natural barrier of the skin. Regular application of rice water on the skin may help collagen synthesis in the body and slows down the pace of skin aging, preventing wrinkles, and transepidermal water loss (7). Here is how you can make fermented rice water for glowing and radiant skin. 

Step 1 - Take a cup (approx. 100 grams) of uncooked rice, preferably glutinous or sticky rice. 

Step 2-  Rinse them clean under running tap water.

Step 3- Pour 3 cups (approx. 500-700 ml) of water into a deep bowl.

Step 4- Soak the rice for two days. Let it sit in the water to ferment. 

Step 5- After two days, stir the liquid well and strain through a fine sieve. 

Step 6- Transfer this water to a glass bottle and refrigerate. 

Pro Tip -  The fermented rice water can be mixed with your favorite face pack or can be sprayed onto your skin as a toner or face mist using a spray bottle. 

The Boiling Method : 

Step 1- Boil the rice you usually cook to eat with your favorite curry or lentil soup.

Step 2- Strain the starchy water through a metal sieve. 

Step 3- Let it cool. Once cool, transfer the liquid to a glass bottle and refrigerate. 

Pro Tip -  Let the rice water cool completely before refrigerating it. 

How to Use Rice Water for Clear & Glowing Skin 

Now that we know how to prepare rice water for the skin, let’s understand the right ways to use it on your face for the best results. 

Steps to Follow While Using Soaked Rice Water-

Step 1- Fill a small spray bottle with soaked rice water.

Step 2- Spritz it all over your face and neck as a toner or face mist.

Step 3- Leave it on your skin for 15- 20 minutes

Step 4- rinse off with tap water. 

Step 5- If you don’t have a spray bottle, pour a little amount of rice water into a bowl and soak a cotton ball in it. 

Step 6- Dab the rice water onto your skin using the cotton ball. Leave it on for 30 minutes. 

Step 7- Wash off with water and apply a good-quality moisturizer. 


Steps to Follow for Using Fermented Rice Water

Step 1- Take 2-3 tablespoons of fermented rice water in a bowl. 

Step 2- Add 1-2 cups of water (250 to 340 ml) to dilute the liquid. 

Step 3- Mix well and pour in a small spray bottle. 

Step 4- Spritz it on or apply it to your face and neck using a cotton ball.

Step 5- Keep it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse off. Moisturize your skin with regular face cream. 

Steps to Follow While Using Boiled Rice Water

Step 1- Put 2-3 tablespoons of rice water in a bowl.

Step 2- Dip a cotton ball into it and dab the liquid all over your face and neck.

Step 3- Leave it on for 30 minutes. 

Step 4- Moisturize your skin using a regular face moisturizer. 

Step 5- You can add boiled rice water to your favorite mud or fruit face packs as well. 

Side Effects of Using Rice Water on Your Face

Though using rice water on the face can be extremely beneficial, going overboard with it or not using it the right way can result in certain side effects as well. Here are a few of them. 

  • Excessive use of rice water may lead to dry and flaky skin. 
  • It may also cause redness and inflammation of the skin due to starch’s skin-tightening action. 
  • Applying rice water on an open wound may lead to skin infections. 
  • People with an allergy to rice may experience skin irritation and discomfort. 

Precautions to Take While Using Rice Water

Rice water is usually safe to use on the skin for most people. However, taking certain precautions may help avoid discomfort and potential side effects. Here are a few tips you must keep in mind before trying rice water-

Always do a patch test before applying rice water to your skin.

Do not apply fresh rice water to an open wound. 

Dilute fermented rice water before using it on the skin. 

Rice water is densely packed with nutrients and can improve skin health in many ways. With regular use, it can slow down the pace of skin aging, helps in skin brightening, soothes sunburn, repairs the skin's natural barrier, and controls oil production. Besides, it also offers other health and beauty benefits such as strong shiny hair and improved digestive health. However, you must avoid using rice water on open wounds and cuts as it may lead to infections. Rice water can be prepared at home easily by soaking, fermenting, and boiling rice of any variety. Now you know the benefits of rice water for skin, prepare it at home and use it as a toner or add it to your favorite mud face packs for the best skincare benefits.


Contributor: Kate Ross, Hair and Beauty Specialist - Irresistible Me


1. Rice Water: A Traditional Ingredient with Anti-Aging Efficacy

2.  Betaine reduces cellular melanin content via suppression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor in B16-F1 murine melanocytes

3. Dermatological uses of rice products: Trend or true?

4. Effect of rice starch as a bath additive on the barrier function of healthy but SLS-damaged skin and skin of atopic patients

5. Impact of rice-based oral rehydration solution on stool output and duration of diarrhea: meta-analysis of 13 clinical trials

6. Abstracts: The effect of rinse water obtained from the washing of rice (YU-SU-RU) as a hair treatment



Is using rice water every day good for your skin?
Yes, using rice water every day for skincare is generally safe for most people. However, in some cases, going overboard with it can lead to dry and flaky skin.

How often should you use rice water on your skin?
You can use rice water on your skin every alternate day for the best results.

Does rice water tighten skin?
Yes, rice water has a toning and tightening effect on your skin.

Is rice water anti-aging?
The active compounds in rice water diligently fight the enzymes that lead to aging skin. Thus yes, rice water has anti-aging effects on your skin.

Does rice water have collagen?
Rice water itself does not have collagen but the active nutrients in rice water can boost collagen synthesis in your body.

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About The Author
Chhavi Puri
Chhavi Puri
Skincare Coach & Makeup Expert

Chhavi is a certified Skincare Coach and she's also certified in Makeup Artistry. Her fascination with skincare



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