The constant nagging of “Drink your water” is indelibly etched in our mind since the day we know how to hold our cups. Unconsciously, we drink lots of water, whether mineral, boiled, carbonated, distilled, juices or soups. Do we drink for health, or do we drink for beauty?

Regardless of which side of the fence you are sitting on, we like to believe that water is the remedy for good health and looks! Instead of spending loads on moisturisers to keep our skin hydrated, what if there is an alternative that can combine the best of both worlds?

What am I talking about? Now I got your attention, didn’t I? RICE WATER! Yes! The uses of rice water are plentiful which we often neglect unless we have some knowledge about it, and in this article, we are doing to be sharing with you all the benefits of rice water!

Rice water, simply put, is leftover water after washing off rice in preparation for eating. It contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids which are great antioxidants and also; allantoin which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Female rice farmers used to bathe and wash with rice water. Japanese women in the 9th century used fermented rice water to keep their hair long, healthy and beautiful.


Boy, are you starting to regret spending so much on scalp and hair treatments? According to a research proposal done at Japan’s Spring-8 facility, scientists found a specific substance in rice water – inositol. This amazing substance improves hair elasticity and reduces friction in damaged hair.


In another research study published in November 2010 probably more well-known, the International Journal of Cosmetic Chemists also welcomed the idea that rinsing hair with rice water could prove beneficial to people in the modern era, as well.

How to get that great hair?


Add few drops of essential oils such as rosemary, lavender or geranium to rice water. Pour it on your hair after shampooing. Gently massage your scalp and hair then rinse your hair thoroughly with plain water. Use it once or twice a week as the last rinse.


Add few drops of essential oils such as rosemary, lavender or geranium to rice water and apply all over your tresses. Let it stay for 10 minutes and then wash off with cold water.

How to get that great skin?


Simply dip a cotton ball or pad into the rice water and massage into your skin for a couple of minutes. Wait for it to dry. This minimizes the appearance of pores. With regular use, your skin feels soft, tight and radiant. Viola!

Acne/ Irritated skin

Containing allantoin, the liquid cools the redness of an outbreak or rashes, acting as an astringent on the skin.


Say goodbye to eczema as the starch components in rice water are effective against the effects of eczema. Dip a clean washcloth into the water and pat all over the affected skin. Continue doing this for a couple of minutes and make sure you air dry it.

Sunburn Soother

Rice water is also used for cooling inflammations and burnt skin. Cold rice water is recommended.

We know a little more about the uses of rice water in its uncooked form, what about the cooked rice water? I am talking about the excess water in porridge where it is often left behind. Did you know that drinking rice water will also boost overall health?

For Asians, there is a long history of the use of rice water, which is an electrolyte-replacing beverage during bouts of acute diarrhoea. Simply cook a handful of rice with water in a pot and you are ready to drink when the rice boils. It is a proven remedy, and it has been published in a study in July 1981 in the “Lancet” that, “rice water was more effective than an electrolyte solution in reducing the number of bowel movements in babies with acute diarrhoea”.

In a letter published in the July 2001 “BMJ” commenting on a review of literature conducted by British researchers on oral rehydration solution, this point is further reiterated by assistant professor of physiology of National University of Singapore, Ting Fei Ho, who says that “rice water decreases stool output and is effective in mild to moderate gastroenteritis”.

The next time you are unfortunately down with diarrhoea, you know what to prepare.


As good as we make out rice water to be, be mindful that it is not a substitute for breast or formula milk for babies. Rice water doesn’t contain enough carbohydrate to replace protein or minerals lost in diarrhoea, as paediatrician Dr Vinay Reddy explains.


In a rebuttal letter to Ho published in “BMJ” in July 2001, assistant professor of paediatrics at Harvard University Christopher Duggan stated that rice water lacks the sodium and potassium necessary to replace the minerals lost.


This is also supported by paediatrician and author, Dr William Sears, who warns “a baby with severe diarrhoea who loses 10 percent of his body weight, or 2 pounds for a 20-pound infant, is severely dehydrated and needs medical evaluation”.

You’d think we’ve come to the end of the benefits of rice water, you are wrong! Rice water is so useful that the first batch of washed rice water can be used to clean stoves and tiles after cooking to remove the oiliness left behind. Try it, and you will never have an oily kitchen again!

A Little Summary on the Application of Rice Water:

– 1st batch of washed rice water – keep for cleaning

– 2nd batch of washed rice water – keep for Facial Cleanser/ Toner

– 3rd batch of washed rice water – keep for Hair nourishment

Benefits Application of Boiled Rice Water

– Rehydration

– Prevent diarrhoea & gastrointestinal disorders

Go ahead, try them. Let your peers envy your glow from head to toe.