While you may have only learned about the amazing benefits of using rice water or rice oil for your skin recently, the use of rice to keep skin looking radiant and refreshed has been known for hundreds of years in Japan.
There are, of course, numerous ways to nourish your skin with the anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and hydrating compounds found in rice. But one of the most effective ways to take advantage of this ancient and potent skincare ingredient is the use of rice bran ferment in your skincare products.
Benefits of Rice in Skincare
The Western World is only just starting to learn about the incredible powers of rice as a skincare superstar. Rice contains numerous components that benefit skin health, such as phenolic compounds that protect collagen and elastin, squalene which lubricates and protects your skin, and rice bran which is rich in antioxidants and other nourishing benefits.
The Power of Fermentation
In Japan, fermentation has been treasured for centuries as a key to human health and wellness. The numerous nourishing and restorative health benefits of fermentation provide a foundation for Japanese food, culture, and even its world-renowned beauty products.
Japan’s warm, humid climate is ideal for the growth of fermentation bacteria, including Japan’s “national fungus” Kōji. Kōji mold is used in brewing sake, or fermenting soybeans for soy sauce, miso, and mirin, as well as for fermenting rice bran for use in skincare products.
Fermentation in Skincare
The fermentation process uses microorganisms to break down organic materials, leaving behind nutrient dense byproducts such as peptides and amino acids. When these ingredients are concentrated as a consequence of fermentation, they become not only more potent, but also more easily absorbed by the skin.
Fermented ingredients in skincare improve barrier function and collagen synthesis, and are an impressive anti-aging treatment. They promote skin turnover, as well as increase penetration of other ingredients, leading to improved hydration.
What is Rice Bran?
The “bran” of rice is the brown outer layer of the rice kernel, removed and set aside during the milling of rice. But there is a reason the bran is only set aside and never thrown out during the milling process. Rice bran is overflowing with over 100 antioxidant compounds, including:
- Vitamin E
- Ferulic acids
Rice bran is also rich with polysaccharides, omega-3 fatty acids, as well as micronutrients such as zinc, calcium, and selenium. Because of its high nutritional content, rice bran is used to treat a variety of health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.