Generally, the water in which rice is cooked or washed is thrown away after use. But did you know that it is a nutrient-rich elixir which has a lot of unbelievable health benefits? In states like Kerala, rice water is rarely discarded. It is preserved in earthen pots and consumed throughout the day to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. In South Asian countries, rice water is also a part of many a beauty regimen. It is also one of the best remedies for skin care in these parts of the world, particularly for inflammatory skin problems like acne. Did you know about these health benefits of rice water or kanji?
As someone with acne-prone skin, I am willing to try anything that promises respite from this annoying skin condition. I read up on the matter and found many bloggers talking about the skin benefits of rice water. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough research on the subject. Here are some of the beauty benefits of rice water.
So I turned my attention towards the magic ingredient in rice water --inositol hexaphosphate, a potent phytic acid with a wide variety of health benefits. The bran or the outermost cover of rice contains this valuable chemical. So in order to make the best use of inositol, it's important to use rice with its husk intact. Brown or red rice are the best ones for the job.
I reserved some of the water used for washing Palakkadan matta rice in a small glass bottle. The red rice imparts a pale pink hue, which is a treat to look at. Every day after washing my face with my regular face wash, I dabbed on some rice water on my face with a clean cotton ball, especially in areas where the acne lesions were active. I also used the rice water as a binder in besan face packs. Brown rice or red brown rice -- which is better?
How did the rice water help?
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In the first week itself, the redness associated with acne had greatly reduced. Some of the inflamed pimples on my face had been suppressed and my skin looked more even toned. The best part was that oiliness was reduced and my skin no longer looked like an oil slick.
Did it work in the long run?
It didn't stop new zits from appearing. Because let's face it, acne is an internal aberration. So no matter how much you try to douse it from the outside, it won't really go away forever. In my case, my acne was a result of hormonal imbalance. So unless I got that corrected, there's only so much rice water can do. But was I happy with the treatment? Yes! It made my skin look healthier than before. With the rice water treatment, my skin seemed to bounce back better and was healing faster. I will probably stick to this routine because it is inexpensive, effective and all-natural!