An under-appreciated carrier oil that has recently caught my attention is rice bran oil – but what is it and what are its benefits when it comes to skincare/haircare purposes?
Rice bran oil is extracted from the outer husk of brown rice, containing many good fats and antioxidants. It was founded in Japan and is known to be rich in vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids, helping to keep the skin soft and supple.
Still confused about rice bran oil? Don’t worry, as in this article we’ll be going through everything you need to know about rice bran oil, such as how it’s made, its uses and benefits, appearance and scent profiles, plus some potential alternatives with similar effects.
What is rice bran oil made from?
Rice bran oil is made from the outer layer of brown rice called the bran. Bran is a by-product of typical rice production, and it is either hand or cold-pressed to extract the magical oil found within.
It was founded in Japan and is still produced in this country, however, it is also made in other Asian countries such as Thailand, India, Vietnam, and China. India is known to be the largest current producer of rice bran oil, with the annual rice bran input coming to around 10 million tonnes!
Uses for rice bran oil
There are many key uses for rice bran oil in the beauty industry. Here are some of my favorites that you should check out!
- As a facial/body moisturizer
- As a finishing oil for hair
- Within shampoos/conditioners
- As a moisturizing oil for nails/hands/cuticles
- As an ingredient in skincare products such as serums, toners, and cleansers
Benefits of rice bran oil
There are many benefits to rice bran oil due to the amount of vitamins and nutrients that it contains.
Take a look at the below list of benefits to see just how good rice bran oil can be for the hair and skin:
- Helps even out skin tone
- Has decongesting properties thereby reducing the appearance of dark circles/eye puffiness
- Suitable for all skin types including oily skin
- Moderately low comedogenic rating of 2
- Absorbs well into the skin
- Mild fragrance
- No major allergens
- May help to repair skin tissue due to containing antioxidants, vitamins A, B, and E, and minerals
- Promotes skin microcirculation due to being rich in linoleic and oleic acid
Appearance and scent of rice bran oil
Rice bran oil is golden yellow in color, however, it tends to be darker and more cloudy prior to the refinement process. This is because some manufacturers bleach the oil prior to selling to make the appearance more appealing to customers.
It has a fairly neutral scent, with some comparing the mild scent to that of sunflower oil or palm oil. It is particularly popular with those that prefer unfragranced/lightly fragranced products as it’s virtually unscented.
Substitutes for rice bran oil
Here are a few substitutes for rice bran oil that offer similar properties for your hair/skin:
- Canola oil
- Coconut oil – check out this comparison of coconut oil vs rice bran oil!
- Sweet almond oil
- Arnica oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Baobab oil
Shelf life and storage of rice bran oil
Rice bran oil has a relatively short shelf life of up to 1 year. It’s essential that rice bran oil is kept in a cool, dark place away from sunlight to prevent spoiling.
If your rice bran oil has separated in any way or has a strange color/scent we would recommend disposing of it and repurchasing to prevent any adverse effects to your skin or hair.
Here are some popular questions around rice bran oil that will help you learn more about this underrated carrier oil!
Rice bran oil can be very beneficial for the skin, helping to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark circles/eye puffiness. This is because it has decongesting properties, and can provide a clearer, healthier-looking appearance.
It also helps to keep the skin moisturized due to it containing essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, and mineral salts, plus it can help to promote skin microcirculation and help soothe inflamed skin.
You can apply rice bran oil to your face as it is suitable for all skin types. It is known for its cleansing properties, as well as its ability to soften and moisturize the skin.
It also plumps the skin which can slow the appearance of aging and give the complexion a brightening effect.
Rice bran oil is suitable for application on the skin and can be used for oily, dry, or normal skin types. It has no major allergens, and can also be used on the nails for a moisturizing effect for the cuticles.
It has many excellent benefits for the skin including helping to reduce the signs of aging, softening and smoothing effects, as well as helping to protect the skin from environmental damage.
Rice bran oil is very good for the hair as it’s rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamins, all of which promote good health in hair and help to give it a moisturizing shine.
It is also thought the help strengthen hair follicles and roots, promoting good hair growth and a healthy scalp. You may also find that you have fewer split ends when using rice bran oil on your hair.
Rice bran oil is not thought to clog pores as it has a low comedogenic rating of 2, which is a moderately low comedogenic score and wouldn’t cause blocked pores for the majority of people.
If you have very oily skin you may want to use it in moderation, but you should still be okay to use a small amount on your skin.