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Home > Mumbai Guide News > Things To Do News > Article > Why is rice water the latest buzzword Experts decode the Korean beauty regime

Why is rice water the latest buzzword? Experts decode the Korean beauty regime

Updated on: 14 June,2024 09:23 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Anindita Paul | theguide@mid-day.com

Inspired by K beauty regimes, rice water is the latest buzzword in the beauty world with the promise to transform skin and hair health. An expert decodes if it lives up to the hype

Why is rice water the latest buzzword? Experts decode the Korean beauty regime

Rose from Korean girl band Blackpink is famous for her glass skin

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The quest for ‘glass skin’, inspired by Korean beauty, has captivated skincare enthusiasts both on social media and in real life. From snail mucin to sheet masks, beauty lovers are leaving no stone unturned in a bid to give their skin an almost glass-like and marble-smooth appearance. The latest skincare trend in this succession to catch their attention is not nearly as exotic as its predecessors. Rice water is far more budget-friendly and approachable, and has its roots in centuries-old beauty regimens practised by Korean and Japanese women.


Mrunal Thakur is a fan of making her own rice water, which she freezes into ice cubes
Mrunal Thakur is a fan of making her own rice water, which she freezes into ice cubes



Rice is nice


“Rice water has become quite popular because of its extensive history and reputation in traditional beauty rituals, especially in East Asian cultures. It contains a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that provide numerous benefits for the skin and hair,” explains Dr Niketa Sonavane, celebrity dermatologist and founder, Ambrosia Aesthetics. Some of the elements that make rice water so effective are:

Inositol: A carbohydrate that has the ability to repair and protect skin and hair from damage.
Antioxidants: These are beneficial in fighting free radicals, which may help reduce signs of aging.
B vitamins: These help to nourish the skin and hair, promoting a healthy appearance.
Ferulic acid: An antioxidant that boosts the stability and effectiveness of vitamin C and E.

Kim Kardashian has used rice water to grow her natural hair out. Pics Courtesy/Instagram
Kim Kardashian has used rice water to grow her natural hair out. Pics Courtesy/Instagram

How to use?

Rice water can be incorporated into your skincare routine as a facial cleanser, toner, or as an ingredient in a face mask. To apply it to your skin, use a cotton pad or a spray bottle. You can leave it on or rinse it off, says Dr Sonavane. In terms of hair care, use rice water as a rinse following shampooing or as a leave-in conditioner. You can also gently massage it into their scalp and hair, allowing it to sit for 10 to 30 minutes before rinsing it out completely. 

Famous actor Lee Jong Suk has seemingly flawless Korean skin
Famous actor Lee Jong Suk has seemingly flawless Korean skin

Who is it for?

Rice water is known for its astringent properties, which can be beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin, says Dr Sonavane. “It can help control oil production and minimise the appearance of pores. If you have dry or sensitive skin, this product can offer soothing and moisturising effects,” she adds, cautioning that individuals with sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema should conduct a patch test prior to using the product extensively.

Cardi B demonstrated how she sprays her cleansed hair with rice water, on social media
Cardi B demonstrated how she sprays her cleansed hair with rice water, on social media

A true multitasking hero, rice water can also be used to boost hair health. “Rice water is great for all hair types as it helps enhance elasticity, minimises frizz and gives your hair a beautiful shine. Many people with curly or textured hair love this product because it works wonders when it comes to detangling. However, if used excessively, it can lead to build-up on very fine hair,” Dr Sonavane recommends.

Handy alternatives

If you experience adverse reactions to rice water, several alternatives can help to achieve similar results, says Dr Sonavane. A top choice is aloe vera, which is well-known for its soothing and hydrating properties, making it a great option for both skin and hair. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties — it can help soothe irritated skin and maintain healthy hair.

Niketa Sonavane
Niketa Sonavane

Similarly, rose water offers anti-inflammatory and hydrating benefits, making it suitable for all skin types. Honey acts as a natural humectant, helping to lock in moisture, and has antimicrobial properties that can help keep your skin and hair healthy. Finally, in addition to helping you stay hydrated and being packed with vitamins and minerals, coconut water is also known for its skin-soothing and hair-conditioning properties, shares Dr Sonavane. 

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