Friday, November 18, 2011

Rice Bran Oil - Magnificent Multi-Tasking Magic

The more I research plants and what they have to offer in the way of skin (and health) care, the more amazed I am at what nature provides. Sometimes, the most magical discoveries are made on the most common ingredients. Todays plant is so common most people don't give it a second thought. It is utterly unfair, because oil made from rice bran has star quality that deserves a spot in the limelight.

The Initial Test
Although it has been around for yonks, I've never had occasion to try Rice Bran Oil (INCI: Oryza Sativa) until recently. The initial test usually goes like this: a few drops into the palms followed by a quick application to face, neck and arms. This is to get an idea of how the oil behaves (absorbs and feels on the skin) and to familiarize myself with the scent and how it reacts upon application.

First Impression
One word jumped to mind immediately: velvet. Absolutely no greasiness – it just sank in and disappeared, leaving a velvet feel, soft sheen and just the slightest hint of a nutty scent. My second thought was: where have you been all my life?

It gets even better when you look at what this oil has to offer.

As far as I have been able to find, the oil is made from all kinds of rice kernels

Good and Good For You
Rice bran oil is extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice kernels. It's jam-packed with all kinds of goodness, like
  • up to 33% omega-6
  • omega-9
  • stearic acid
  • gamma-oryzanol and ferulic acid: this combination is considered to be up to 10 times more antioxidant than vitamin E. (I'm checking that claim)
  • high content of vitamin E (a natural antioxidant)
  • Phytoesterols: which offer calming and soothing properties when used topically. As for internal use, phytoesterols are proven cholesterol-lowering compounds and are widely used as food additives.
  • Carotenoids such as: Beta-carotene (pro vitamin A), alpha-carotene, lycopene (for a healthy glow)
  • Co-enzymes Q10 (and others) for antiaging action
  • Minerals such as zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium
Anti-aging
The complex collection of antioxidants in rice bran oil makes it a natural free radical fighting ingredient. It even has some built-in UV blocking ability (though not enough to where you can just use the oil as a sun screen). In short, it's great for mature skin and as an overall anti-aging helper.

Cucumbers are a classic for puffy eyes, but rice bran oil has a few extras to offer.
Natural Puffy Eye and Dark Circle Battler
Rice bran oil helps to activate microcirculation and assists in draining and decongesting swollen tissue. This makes it ideal for battling dark circles and puffiness in the delicate eye area. And, because it is such a light and dry oil, it is absorbed quickly and can 'get to work' right away.



What the bad ones feel like
Hot Flash Tamer
Rice bran oil was shown – in Japanese research – to be effective in relieving hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause for over 90% of the women who took it as a supplement for 4-6 weeks. This is impressive for a couple of reasons. First, because this is the first time I have run across ANY studies in hot flashes, and second, because those are some eye-popping numbers!  Since I have been monitoring my hot flashes for the entirety of this year, I can't help wondering if topical application of the oil could also be a viable option (and you can bet I am going to start using this stuff in the kitchen).

LisaLise Products With Rice Bran Oil
None so far. I am still trying this oil out in a personal blend, but have a million ideas gelling (ok, maybe not quite a million, but a whole lot).

The oil I am using is 100% organic and from India.

So, would you have imagined oil from this common grain could have so much to offer?

6 comments:

Lola Zabeth said...

Hey Lise, you know I was waiting with bells on for this post! Wowzers, I'm all over this. I don't see how I can't include this in my skin care regimen. Awesome, awesome info (as usual)!

Lise M Andersen said...

Thanks Lola - (my amazing partner in tress-taming research)!
I was really bowled over by how much rice has to offer, and reading your post on the benefits of rice water - well it's an absolute no-brainer that rice rocks for skin AND hair!

Marilyn said...

Where did you buy your organic rice bran oil? I've found some on eBay and Amazon but neither ship to Canada.

Lise M Andersen said...

HI Marilyn,

Check the links on the right hand side of this page for Aroma Zone. These folks are in France, but you might be able to source this in Canada from Voyageur or Rose Mountain Herbs (sorry, I don't have links but you will be able to find links at Susans blog (she's in canada) Point of Interest (check the blogroll for a link to her blog). Good luck!

Zeenath Anwar said...

thankyou such a gr8 info.

Lise M Andersen said...

you are most welcome Zeenath