Asian women are known for their delicate beauty and smooth, fair skin. This is probably why I’m always intrigued by any traditional skin lightening remedies from the Orient.
One of these remedies is rice powder and rice water.
What is rice powder? What is rice water?
Rice powder is simply uncooked rice that has been ground into a fine powder. Water or milk added to rice powder creates a paste, which can be used as a face mask.
Rice water is the nutrient-rich water that comes from soaking or washing uncooked rice. Rice water is cloudy in appearance.
How can rice powder lighten our skin?
There are plenty of anecdotes about how rice powder and more specifically, rice water, can keep our skin youthful and translucent looking. But why does rice powder work, exactly?
Rice contains a high concentration of PABA. PABA (para aminobenzoic acid) is a very good sunscreen. When taken internally, PABA also raises the Vitamin C levels in our bodies.
Rice also contains two other sun protecting agents – ferulic acid and allantoin.
Ferulic acid is an antioxidant. Incredibly, scientists have found that when ferulic acid is added to Vitamin C and E, its sun protection ability doubled. (Scroll down this page to read an extract of the study’s findings.)
Allantoin is a good anti-inflammatory agent. It soothes sunburns and also promotes the skin’s repair.
When applied as a paste on the skin, rice powder has been shown to inhibit tyrosinase.