Time for a DIY Challenge! Have you heard about the new trend of using rice water as a toner for your skin? I just recently came across it and my mom was raving about how her skin was glowing and felt more supple and moisturized. Not to mention her co-workers and I had noticed and demanded to know what she was doing differently!
So I did a 7 day challenge where I incorporated it into my normal skin cleansing routine and applied it on my face as I would a toner. Then my moisturizer.
And My Results…? WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY OILY-SKINNED LIFE!?
After the first 1-2 days, I had visibly brighter and immediately smoother skin, like I had just had an expensive facial at a spa. I couldn’t believe it! And as someone with oily skin and can see my pores from space due to those rapidly forming (and annoying) sebaceous sebum accumulations (those bumpy pockets of oil in my nose and chin) my pores seemed non-existent. Normally it takes using my glycolic acid treatment (read more about how to use it safely for bright skin!) and proper exfoliation before I see those kinds of results!
Further along into my week, I noticed that my blemishes had been shrinking and had become less inflamed. Not to mention, I had far fewer blemishes around my problem areas, like the sides of my face and forehead.
By the end of the 7 days, my hyperpigmentation had been much less noticeable, which is an amazing result for us women of color. With all the creams and cleansers I’ve used in the past that made these very claims and failed, it was such a relief to see positive and truthful results from a natural, homemade remedy. And in a MUCH shorter time than those products promised!
And one of the best results so far? My skin was so hydrated and moisturized that my oily skin seemed MUCH less oily than the week before. Can I tell you how ecstatic I was? I’ve been fighting this battle since high school!
Why Rice Water Works
Using rice water as a facial treatment has been an ancient Chinese and Japanese practice for hundreds of years. The starch in rice is full of Vitamins B3, B12, E and Vitamin C, all very beneficial nutrients for the skin and body. And the longer the starch ferments (leave in room temp for ~24hrs), the better the benefits!
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
Vitamin B3 is known to work against deterioration of the epidermis by repairing skin cells that have been damaged due to free radicals found in environmental pollutants, smoke, exhaust, industrial fumes, toxins, and household chemicals. Things we are exposed to every day! It is also very helpful in fighting hyperpigmentation, age spots, and retains moisture in the skin, which is essential for battling wrinkles. It’s never to early for prevention!
Vitamin B12 has anti-inflammatory properties which reduce redness, irritations and even stimulates blood flow to the skin. Did I mention that even my under eye circles had brightened? Thankfully, I’ve been having to use considerably less concealer, which is perfect for my low-maintenance makeup routine. The less products on my face, the better!
An antioxidant that counteracts the chemical reaction that leads to the production of free radicals (oxidation), which damages skin cells. As a result, the aging of skin is slowed down and elasticity is retained, meaning less wrinkles over time!
Vitamin C is naturally found in rice water is also an antioxidant, necessary for collagen production (elasticity!) which keeps the pores from enlarging and becoming more visible. Translation: Much smaller pores! It is also responsible for helping the skin keep its elasticity and even stands as a mild protection to the sun’s UV rays. Don’t lean on this as your main UV protection though! A moisturizer with SPF should still be a vital part of your skin care routine.
Pro Tip: After cleansing your face, splash it with some cold water. I do something similar to close my hair cuticle after a wash day, to keep the moisture locked in. I usually store my rice water in the fridge to cut out this step if needed!
I can’t believe it worked! In the past, in attempt to control my oily skin, I used to use store-bought toners and astringents. But for some reason, I felt like my skin was even oilier than before! After some research, I learned that the main ingredient of these products, alcohol, was actually depriving me of the necessary oil and drying my skin, which made my skin panic and produce even more oil to make up for the lack of moisture.
And if you’re an oily T-zone girl, that is not what you want (read more oily skin DON’Ts). Even the one brand that claimed to be alcohol-free still had a derivative of alcohol listed in ingredients and took me FOREVER to find. So in a nutshell, it wasn’t worth the time, money and sacrificing my skin.
Making your own beauty products allows for more control over what you use on your hair and body, it’s easy to make, inexpensive, and reduces waste. And with everything we eat, drink, put on our body, and surround ourselves with, we could all do with a few less chemicals, right?