Benefits of Fermented Rice Water for Skin

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Fermented rice water has long been believed to help retain the beauty and vibrancy of a full head of hair but is now gaining more popularity for the way it is used as part of a skin care routine.

What is fermented rice water? Fermented rice water is the water leftover after soaking rice for about 15 to 30 minutes and then kept in the fridge for about 24 to 48 hours.

What are the benefits of fermented rice water? Fermented rice water is traditionally and most commonly used for hair growth and strength. The benefits of fermented rice water on the skin are as follows:

  • Facial rejuvenation
  • Skin lightening
  • Skin hydration
  • Sun damage protection
  • Healing rashes, eczema, and acne

Read on to learn more about fermented rice water for skin, where it comes from, and its benefits.

Also, for excellent rice water products, take a look at our top pick, the Rice Toner:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

What is Fermented Rice Water?

Fermented rice water is the water leftover from soaking or rinsing rice. Its first known use dates back to a thousand years ago in Japan, used by Geishas to wash their hair and face to help keep their skin bright and very fair. 

In recent years, fermented rice water has gained even more following thanks in part to a small village called Huangluo in South Central China.

This village is known as the ‘long hair’ village, with an average of over 1.5 meters of hair per woman. Their secret, of course, is fermented rice water, particularly coming from glutinous rice.

But the younger generation of women in this small village no longer wish to grow their hair long with the benefits of the fermented rice water. Their elders say these young ones do not like the sour smell of the water, thus not wanting to have it anywhere near their skin and hair.

But why is it becoming more popular in other parts of the world that a lot of major skin care brands now have their own line of fermented rice water products?

The answer is simple – more and more people realize that the benefits of using fermented rice water for skin and hair greatly outweigh the not-so-pleasant smell it might have.

The scent is a concern for some, but if used in the shower, there is no lasting smell. We will look into each of the long lists of benefits in the next section.

Benefits of Fermented Rice Water for Skin

fermented rice water for skin

The different benefits of fermented rice water go beyond the ancient Chinese tradition of cleansing and nourishing hair strands for stronger and more vibrant hair.

The chemical inositol, found in fermented rice water, helps keep the hair strong and vibrant. It also helps repair hair damage due to excessive bleaching and split ends. 

In recent years, the benefits of fermented rice water for skin have been closely looked at and studied [1].

Here are some fermented rice water for skin benefits:

1. Facial Rejuvenation: Fermented rice water contains amino acids, enzymes, and ferulic acid, which help clean out impurities from pores while stimulating skin cell turnover.

It also contains antioxidants and kojic acid that can help improve skin damage caused by sun exposure. It also promotes collagen production to keep skin supple and prevent the early onset of wrinkles.

2. Skin Lightening: Though this is yet to be thoroughly researched and proven, there are a lot of testimonials from women around the world that support this claim. Those who have used fermented rice water notice a significant reduction in dark pigments and patches on their skin

3. Skin Hydration: Skin dryness is often followed by skin irritation. Many personal care products with sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) cause irritation. Research suggests that using fermented rice water twice a day can help soothe and repair skin that has been dried out or damaged by SLS.

4. Sun Damage Protection: Fermented rice water has been found to be a natural barrier against the harsh rays of the sun, especially when combined with a specific set of plant extracts.  

5. Healing Rashes, Eczema, and Acne: Most skin problems stem from inflammation and irritation on the skin’s surface. A lot of people praise how soothing and beneficial fermented rice water for skin is, helping clear up stubborn blemishes due to eczema or acne. 

6. Improved Digestion: Consuming fermented rice water can indirectly benefit the skin by improving digestion. There are some accounts supporting the benefits of fermented rice water in helping ease digestive upsets like food poisoning and diarrhea.

More research is needed to prove its effectiveness, and disadvantages as some types of rice contain traces of arsenic which is generally bad when ingested in large amounts.

How Can You Use Fermented Rice Water for the Face? 

Fermented rice water can be used in a variety of ways on the skin surface of your face. It can be a face wash, face mask, or toner, depending on the needs of your skin.

To use as a facial wash, prepare some of your fermented rice water in a separate bowl, and use it to wash your face completely. Rinse the excess with clean water and pat your face dry.

As a toner, soak a cotton ball on your prepared fermented rice water and gently smooth over your face and neck. You can also rinse if desired or just leave to air dry on your skin. 

Some people are also finding it useful as a face mask. Most beauty stores are already offering generic face masks, which you can soak in fermented rice water, after which you can already use it as a regular face mask.

For convenience, the J. Lexi Rice Water Shampoo, Conditioner + Serum Set gives you everything you need.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Each product in this set includes fermented rice water along with other fermented ingredients. Fermented Aloe Vera leaf repairs dead skin cells on the scalp. Zinc controls the production of sebum. ProVitamin B5 strengthens the hair.

If you don’t want the set, you can get just the bottled fermented rice water. The Uhuru Naturals Fermented Rice Water is amazing for growing and strengthening the hair.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

It detangles, removes frizz, hydrates, and strengthens the hair. Use on your skin also. In the shower, simply spray on your face and body, then rinse off. It heals your skin from damage, hydrates dry skin, and helps to lighten dark patches.

How to Make at Home

how to prepare rice water for skin

If you have the time, you can experiment with making the fermented rice water at home.

You will need:

  • ½ cup of uncooked rice of your choice
  • 2 cups of water


  1. Thoroughly rinse the rice to remove any dirt or impurities, much like how you would prepare rice for cooking.
  2. Place the rinsed rice in a clean bowl and pour a couple cups of water. Let soak for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the rice using a sieve and set aside the rice water.
  4. Pour the rice water in an airtight container and leave on your counter-top for about 24 to 48 hours. 
  5. Refrigerate after the fermentation process.

Your fermented rice water will keep in the fridge for about a week, by which time you can already prepare a new batch.

You can then make the rice. If you can’t finish all the rice, it freezes really well. Just place the rice in air-tight Ziploc bags and store them in the freezer for no longer than 1 month.

If you just don’t have the time to prepare a batch of fermented rice water, then go for the prepared products like the J. Lexi Rice Water Shampoo, Conditioner + Serum Set, or the Uhuru Naturals Fermented Rice Water.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

With its growing popularity, I wouldn’t be surprised if fermented water starts showing up more and more in skin care and hair care products.

There are a lot of other uses for fermented rice water for skin, not just as a facial treatment. It can also be used as a bath soak, body scrub, and of course, an organic hair treatment.

For a bath soak, prepare enough fermented rice water with some vitamin E and shavings of your favorite natural bar soap for a relaxing and soothing bath soak.

You can also use fermented rice water as a natural exfoliant / body scrub by adding a bit of sea salt, your choice of essential oil, and citrus. It’s as easy as rubbing it on and rinsing!

As mentioned, fermented rice water has long been used as a natural hair treatment. To do this, after your favorite shampoo and conditioner, pour a generous amount of fermented rice water on your hair and massage gently on your scalp.

Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly with water. This treatment can be repeated two times each week for stronger and healthier-looking hair. 


Fermented rice water is just the water leftover after rinsing or soaking rice for about 15 to 30 minutes. Some might use the water right after soaking, but most people swear by its improved effectiveness after fermenting 24 to 48 hours.

We have only barely touched the surface when it comes to the benefits of fermented rice water for skin. There is still a lot to discover about this miracle solution. One thing is certain, fermented rice water is really popular right now, and there is a good reason for it.

Fermented rice water is considered by many as a miracle tonic because it not only benefits hair (hair growth and strength), but it also has major benefits for the skin. The benefits of fermented rice for the skin are as follows:

  • Facial Rejuvenation
  • Skin Lightening
  • Skin Hydration
  • Sun Damage Protection
  • Rashes, Eczema and Acne

Why not have a go in preparing and trying it for yourself? If you have uncooked rice in your pantry right now, it’s a good enough reason to try this miracle solution.

Or, try one of the products that include rice water as one of their ingredients. In time, you’ll understand the benefits of fermented rice water on your skin.