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The Benefits of Rice Water

December 09, 2019 | Farah Jassawalla

What is rice water?

Rice water is the leftover starchy water after cooking or boiling rice, and it is 75%-80% starch. It has been used for centuries, especially by women in Southeast Asia, Japan, and China, as it has proven beneficial for skin and hair. However, recently, it has gained more popularity due to its easy availability and being cheaper than other alternatives.

Preparation methods

Rice water is prepared firstly by cleaning the rice to remove any impurities under running water, then putting the rice in a bowl and adding water while swirling the mixture. It is then allowed to soak and rest for 15-20 minutes, the water is drained into a separate airtight container, and then it may be used or stored in the refrigerator. To use fermented or unfermented rice while preparing the rice water is debatable. However, the process of designing is the same. Nonetheless, the time for soaking and resting rice in the water is more when it comes to fermented rice. Fermented rice water is ready when its odor is slightly sour.

Benefits of rice water

Rice water consists of vitamins (B & E), amino acids, and minerals essential for healthy skin. The vitamins help lessen dark pigmentation, and the minerals toughen skin pores. Rice water also consists of ferulic acid that soothes the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also has carbohydrates that are beneficial for the hair to reduce surface friction while strengthening the hair.

Further elaborating on the benefits of rice water, another use it carries is that it can be used as a facial toner as it tightens the skin and the pores, keeping the skin fresh and bright. Rice water may also soften the skin as it boosts minerals and vitamins in your skin. This also helps with skin dryness. Research also shows it benefits acne treatment as rice water contracts skin cells, preventing skin breakouts. It may also be used to treat eczema by applying a cotton pad on your skin, as it provides the skin with vitamins that might be lacking. As rice water consists of inositol, a carbohydrate with anti-inflammatory properties, it also proves beneficial in lessening inflammation and redness caused by sunburn. Using rice water while rinsing hair after shampooing helps keep hair healthy and robust and acts as a hair conditioner if lavender or other essential oils are added to the rice water. Hair elasticity is also improved with rice water as it reduces surface friction. Rice water also helps the hair grow longer by enriching it with vitamins and minerals. It is also used for damaged and aging skin, as it smoothens and tightens the skin while reducing and blocking pores.

The benefits of rice water are not just limited to hair and skin but also extend to other body parts. It is beneficial for digestive issues and eye problems if used in a limited quantity. However, these claims are yet unproven and may have adverse effects too. As rice consists of carbs, the primary energy source, it also helps boost energy levels if consumed as rice water. This also helps in summer as it curbs dehydration while keeping your body hydrated and provides other essential body minerals.

Point to remember

Despite all these uses, many benefits of rice water are still scientifically unproven. Therefore, it is advised to use rice water with precaution after discussing it with your doctor or dermatologist.


Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on May 2nd, 2023.