The Rice Bran Oil benefits for skin have been known about for centuries – in the East. Only in recent years has it become more well known in the West. The botanical name for Rice Bran Oil is Oryza Sativa Bran Oil and It is extremely popular in Asian cultures not only for skin care but also for cooking because it has a very high smoke point, so is excellent for frying foods. That stability under heat also makes it a superb oil for infusing cannabis in.
What is the Rice Bran Oil extraction process?
The bran is the hard outer husk of the rice grains. It’s what makes brown rice brown. The husk is taken off to give us white rice which is generally more preferred but that brown husk is a powerhouse of nutrition.
It is pressed, filtered and gently refined to improve the stability – and there it is ready to be used.
Years ago, I had a skincare range called Nuka Bijin which was based on Rice Bran Oil as one of the main active ingredients. For centuries, sake workers in Japan used their arms to stir and aerate the rice and water, ready for fermenting into sake. They soon realised that the skin on their arms looked a lot younger than the skin on their faces thanks to the antioxidant for skin that is plentiful in rice bran.
Honestly, I’d have been lying in the vat having an overnight soak! The water was sought out by the Geisha of the time as a valuable beauty treatment. Saying “Komenuka Bijin” is a complement to the smoothness and radiance of your skin and means “You have a rice bran beauty”. Even without knowing that Rice Bran Oil was a good antioxidant for skin, they saw the evidence that is worked.
Antioxidants tackle free radicals so, what are free radicals?
You can read the technical stuff here but it’s a very dry read so let me tell you how I explain it in my classes.
We are all made of molecules and some molecules have a single electron attached. Electrons like to be nicely together in pairs so a single electron is a little on the wild side. It whizzes around causing mayhem. Think of it like a garden strimmer you use on the edge of the lawns. That little plastic wire spins around slicing anything it comes into contact with.
So does that unpaired electron. It damages the neighbouring cells and causes damage throughout the body from your big toe to your elbow to your vital organs. That, in a nutshell, is called ageing. Free radicals cause our bodies to age.
It’s happening to us from the moment we are born. So how do we slow this down?
We utilize antioxidants. You can read technical blurb about antioxidants here but basically, the presence of oxygen causes oxidation and oxidation causes the formation of free radicals. In simple terms, an antioxidant tangles up those free radicals so they can’t cause the damage anymore.
So should we take antioxidant supplements and what is the best antioxidant supplement?
You may be surprised to hear that it is good quality food. Yep, good wholesome food is rich in antioxidants.
Good antioxidant foods include all the colors. Red, yellow and green bell peppers, tomatoes as well as antioxidant fruits like cranberries, raspberries and mangoes – antioxidants examples in fruit and vegetables are a huge list.
But here’s the thing! When you eat your good, healthy, antioxidant rich foods, you tackle free radical damage all through your body. Every part of your body gets a share and you should definitely do that every single day.
However, when you apply an antioxidant rich product directly to an area of your skin, the antioxidants tangle up the free radicals in that spot first. The skin where the antioxidants are applied gets first grab at removing the free radical damage before the rest of your body gets any.
So do we know a good source of antioxidants that are easy to apply to your skin?
Antioxidants defined here are heavily aimed at medical issues. I can’t make such claims as I am not a medic.
But I do know my oils and Rice Bran Oil contains natural antioxidants which tackle free radical damage. These antioxidants are tocopherol (very good) and tocotrienol (really very, very good!).
Rice bran oil benefits for skin are numerous so let’s look at the fatty acids that make up the oil;
Typical Essential Fatty Acid Content
Palmitic Acid 12% to 18%
Stearic Acid max 0.5% to 4%
Oleic Acid (Omega 9) 35% to 50%
Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) 29% to 45%
Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3) max 3%
Eicosenoic Acid max 1%
Sometimes, in an oil, it’s the very small amounts of something that make a huge difference. You can see there is a tiny amount of Eicosenoic Acid. What is relevant for us, is that it ensures the oil is non comedogenic (will not block the skin’s pores). It ensures the oil is readily absorbed by the skin and it balances the oil production in your own skin making it less prone to being oily.
Rice Bran Oil benefits for skin come from the rest of the components as well, as it has a good balance of Omega 6 and Omega 9 which reduces the size of enlarged pores.
It has a good proportion of Palmitic Acid which is incredible for softening hair. If you have dry, brittle, coarse or over processed hair, get some rice bran oil on it. It conditions your hair without making it feel greasy or sticky.
The Omega 9 content makes your hair grow thicker and stronger and much more resilient against breakage and the balancing act with the Omega 6 keeps moisture locked into the hair ensuring it stays hydrated and flexible.
The Omega 6 content helps to reduce dark circles under the eyes and evens out the skin tone. Rice Bran Oil helps to soften and regenerate the skin and slow down the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Rice Bran Oil skin care is understandably a big thing!
What? You want more? Well how about using it as the oil to infuse the cannabis in? I’ll be showing you how in a video. Cannabis is also a great antioxidant and when you combine that with the Rice Bran Oil benefits for skin, you have something magical!
Will Rice Bran Oil substitute Tigernut Oil? Absolutely it will. Both are heat stable so if you have a quantity of herb that you want to infuse for later use and want a very usable oil for skincare and cooking, either is a great choice and both oils work well when blended together as well.
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