What is rice bran?
Japanese rice bran aka komenuka is the outer layer of the rice grain, extracted from the husk during the rice milling process. With so many skincare ingredients on trend right now, rice bran is sometimes overlooked as a simple dietary staple. But don’t let its humble appearance fool you. There’s a reason for why rice bran repeatedly tops on the list of well-kept Japanese beauty secrets. It has long been prized as a skin savior in Asia due to its unique composition of nutrients, and even the Japanese geisha relied on it for centuries to keep their skin soft, hydrated, and luminous. Rice bran is a force to be reckoned with, and a major player to keep on your radar. Here’s why you’ll want to include it in your skincare arsenal.
Which skin types benefit from Japanese rice bran?
Loaded with over 100 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes, Japanese rice bran is versatile and brings something to the table for every skin type. It nourishes without leaving the skin greasy, making it suitable for dry, oily, normal, and mature skin types. But its soothing and softening properties make it especially great for acne-prone and sensitive skin types struggling with breakouts, eczema and redness.
Skincare benefits of Japanese rice bran
Rice bran contains a very rare and unique mixture of lipids known as gamma oryzanol, which is said to improve skin tone, texture, and radiance. It not only effectively reduces dark under-eye circles and puffiness but intercepts incoming UV rays on the skin surface to prevent discoloration, dark spots, and excess melanin synthesis from occurring.
Rice bran is a powerhouse of B vitamins, including thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), and cobalamin (B12), all of which work together to alleviate inflammation and soothe skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.
Sun damage is notorious as a leading cause of premature skin aging. Thankfully, rice bran contains ferulic acid, an antioxidant that is known to help repair sun damage and keep skin smooth and youthful. Ferulic acid activates when exposed to sunlight and prevents free radical damage from UV rays. But it even goes a step further – it prevents the oxidation of rice bran’s other active ingredients like Vitamin E, making sure you get more out of your routine. Vitamin E is another anti-aging hero worthy of attention, as it helps to repair blemished skin and reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
With a chemical structure similar to skin sebum, squalene is a highly hydrating compound found in rice bran. It not only nourishes, but protects the skin barrier from water loss, locking in all your hard-earned hydration. What makes it extra special is that it’s quick-absorbing and softens the skin without weighing it down.
Where can I find a J-beauty skincare product containing rice bran?
New to Japanese rice bran? We recommend starting out with a gentle product like the Edo Cosme Rice Bran Facial Wash. This facial cleansing exfoliant scrub improves skin radiance by moisturizing while unclogging pores of dirt and impurities. The brand took inspiration from the “Edo Woman,” who (way back in the day) maintained her mochi skin by polishing it daily with rice bran. Fast forward to the present, and rice bran has remained a J-beauty skincare staple in the quest of a plump, smooth, and luminous complexion. Now that’s a tried-and-true, timeless beauty hack we can get on board with!