The average Jane, young or old, holds a beauty recipe in her purse. So when you speak openly about your passion, and listen carefully, you get to learn quite a lot. Over the last couple of years I’ve discovered volumes of DIY beauty recipes – complicated or less so, these prove how necessity is the mother of invention. If the cosmetics industry had a nightmare, it’s definitely women’s curiosity and willingness to experiment.
And though picking favorites is a tough sport, there is one which I believe dwarfs many of them in comparison. Sharing it here, I write this article partially for myself. To reflect, and appreciate, the simplicity of this recipe, and give credit where credit is due.
Surprisingly cheap, and equally easy to prepare, I first learned about it from my Macedonian friend. This small country, shielded from anybody’s view, is hard to point on the map. It is hardly likely that you even heard about it, either. Located at the heart of the Balkans, it enjoys Mediterranean climate and all the organic produce that comes as a result. Resourceful as they are, people from Macedonia have relied on homemade medicine and quaintly archaic recipes for centuries on end. And for my friend, who is a girl of 26, this reflects nonetheless. Curious as she is, experimenting is her hobby.
To cut the story short, she lives in Skopje, Macedonia’s capital, and picks DIY wisdom from many relatives who reside in the province. Few of them, believe it or not, come from a small town named Kocani, where rice production is what fuels most of the economy. So the moment she learned about the beauty properties of rice, she’s been paying lip service ever since.
Benefits of rice water
When it comes to organic produce, Macedonia is a kaleidoscope run wild. Women there, for generations back, have smooth skin, which proves only the importance of a healthy diet. To describe my friend, I’d say this – she has a face that commands attention.
And though eating healthy is super important, this article will focus on a simple recipe instead. What I’m about to share is a rice milk facial toner, which is surprisingly cheap and easy to prepare.
So now that shine is off the apple, allow me to introduce you to the beauty benefits of rice water (also referred to as rice milk).
- Rice milk contains inositol. A chemical compound with the properties of a pseudo-vitamin, inositol is largely mistaken with Vitamin B8. Found in plants and animals, it has an active stereoisomer Myo-inositol, with a structure similar to that of glucose. What this compound does, is promotion of healthy cell growth, and improved blood flow. To translate in English – it reduces large pores, giving your face a more vital appearance.
- Rice water, containing a rich amount of niacin (Vitamin B3), can also remove blemishes and garden variety of spots, mostly caused by hormonal changes or exposure to sun. With a gentle withering effect, it is the perfect replacement for a cleanser.
- With a host of vitamins, minerals and amino acids mixed together, rice water includes allantoin as well. This compound, known for its anti-inflammatory properties will calm irritated skin and reduce redness. Few dermatological studies on patients with various skin conditions claim that taking a 15 minute bath with rice water, twice daily, could significantly reduce the irritation.
- The ferulic acid in rice water can act as a powerful antioxidant, especially when applied directly on your skin. It will rejuvenate your face, for a more vital and equally fresh appearance.
Having these in mind, you can use rice water as a replacement for a facial toner, facial cleanser, and even as treatment for irritated skin, acne or eczema.
My Macedonian friend told me that people there use it as a sunburn remedy as well – one that effectively improves skin recovery rates, and prevents further damage.
And though some of the properties extend their use to hair as well, acting as a hair conditioner or offering a healthy hair rinse, I want to focus on the facial toner recipe and discuss results.
With the theory lesson out of the way, let’s get our hands dirty and tackle the pragmatics.
How to prepare rice water (rice milk)
The easy approach, right off the bat, would be to place half a cup of rice, into a container, covered with one cup of water. Should you decide to use this recipe, the rice must rest there during the night, and release all of its healthy micro nutrients by itself.
Needless to say, buy organic rice, regardless of the type. It can be brown, white – long grain or short – jasmine etc. Compromises can be made but make sure it’s organic. K?
Note, also, that you must remove all dirt and impurity, by washing the rice under cold water. Hot water might drain some of the ingredients out, and we don’t like that.
The second option, if you decide to save on time, is to boil the water, along with the rice, and strain the liquid afterwards. It will give you a denser lotion to work with, which I myself prefer, though it is messier to apply with a cotton ball.
Simple as that, this is the most affordable and easy to prepare beauty fix, if ever there was any. The thought of noticeable changes, at first, is admittedly remote. But, as daily application forms a routine, you shall, before long begin to see incremental improvement. This recipe, for better or worse, requires with discipline and commitment. They work, more or less, in tandem.
While easy to prepare and equally easy to apply, there are few points I’d like to address. First, you don’t have to repeat the preparation process every single time. If you prefer the option with slow overnight release, then the liquid can be easily preserved. Once boiled though, I wouldn’t recommend storing it. Some of the properties found in rice act weirdly when exposed to temperature swings.
Furthermore, no results will be noticeable at first. But give it some time. After several days, a symptomatic curve will form, and you will begin to see improvement. People routinely underestimate patience, and I’m here to remind you how invaluable it can be.
From a concept standpoint, this recipe looks like a hack. But remember though, that the hacking mindset flatters the part of us that is lazy. Instead of searching for a duct tape solution, try and stick with it over the course of several weeks. Otherwise, it’s a chase around the maypole and a short exercise in frustration. Seeing that we are not six, I’d go ahead and make a habit. If soft skin won’t motivate you I don’t know what will!
Folding up this letter, I’d give kudos to my friend from Macedonia, and impart some of her wisdom – while organic produce can take care of the skin externally, it can do much more if consumed on regular basis. So take a bite, will ya?