Rice - the latest 'go to' ingredient in Japanese cosmetics

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Rice - the latest 'go to' ingredient in Japanese cosmetics
Oryza sativa, the annual herbaceous plant that produces rice has been gaining momentum as an emollient for its sebum restitutive properties.

The plant with Chinese origins, features ferulic acid and gamma-oryanzol which gives the rice bran oil antioxidant and protective properties against UVA rays, responsible for the ageing and photo-ageing of the skin.

Rice flour and starch, due to their high derma-compatibility, are widely used cosmetics, particularly in products that treat dry and delicate skin.

While the ingredient has become less popular as a food, it is gaining momentum in cosmetics.

According to regional publication, the Japan Times, rice consumption has been diminishing over the years because of the shrinking population and the steady Westernization of the Japanese diet.

In June 2012, Kose launched a range featuring extracts made by fermenting and maturing rice, a line the brand claims lured more than 100,000 subscribers to the online store.

Scientists develop cheaper method to make Gamma Oryzanol

A Vietnamese scientist recently developed a method in which to make Gamma Oryzanol from rice bran, that can then be used in cosmetics and anti-ageing supplements.

Vietnam is a big rice producer and exporter; however it imports Gamma Oryzanol to make cosmetics, so this new finding could have big potential.

According to Nguyen Duc Tien and his colleagues, the process of making Gamma Oryzanol comprises of 12 steps. In the pilot production period, Tien and his colleagues could make 568 grams of Gamma Oryzanol products with the purification level of 68.5 per cent from 120 kilos of rice bran.

They also collected 5.8 kilos of soap embryo, which is used to make soap, and then make 10 litres of herbal soap from 2 kilos of soap embryo.

Gamma Oryzanol has also been utilised in making supplement food and cosmetics, including lotion and hair cream.

Regarding the production costs of Gamma Oryzanol, Tien said it costs VND1.9 million (€69) to make one kilo of Gamma Oryzanol which has the same quality as the current product on the market.

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