The hype of Kojic Acid is not new. Today, most of the skin lightening and bleaching products contains Kojic acid as their main ingredient. Kojic acid is a more recent remedy for treating pigment problems and age spots. Kojic acid (KA) is a natural metabolite produced by fungi that has the ability to inhibit tyrosinase activity in synthesis of melanin. It is also often considered as a less-aggressive answer to hydroquinone (another powerful skin lightening ingredient). Before we see how to prepare natural kojic acid with rice water for skin lightening at home, lets know But how this ingredient is even prepared commercially?
Dangers of chemically derived kojic acid
Deriving naturally occurring ingredients chemically and using them in skin care products is not funny. It can do serious damage to the skin, if used in the long run.
Kojic acid can be chemically produced through the fermentation by saprotrophic and pathogenic fungus according to the method as described by Mohamad and Ariff [See source at the end of the post]. In this method, the fermentation medium consisted of glucose, yeast extract, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, magnesium sulphate, and methanol. After incubating and treating this solution in different lab generated temperatures, Kojic acid is formed.
Just to derive one single ingredient, see the type of ingredients that went into the process and the way it was prepared. Very artificial and creepy. Isn’t it?
Imagine the number of side effects that your skin can have due to this kind of processes. Although the use of products containing kojic acid may be considered safe for most people, there are some risks and possible side effects. To name a few,
#1: A review of chemically extracted kojic acid found that some studies in mice suggested there was a link to tumor growth when the acid was used in high concentrations.
#2: Using chemically derived kojic acid may make someone more likely to develop a sunburn. Melanin helps protect the skin from sun damage due to UV rays. Since kojic acid prevents melanin production, it leaves the skin more vulnerable to sunburn and in turn makes one’s skin sensitive with continuous usage.
#3: Kojic acid can lead to contact dermatitis in some people, especially those with sensitive skin.
As we are unfortunate to know the concentration of kojic acid in creams, serums, and soaps which may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer/ brand to brand /product to product. Products with a higher concentration of kojic acid may be and are more likely to lead to these disadvantages.
Thankfully, Kojic acid can be extracted from natural sources too..
Kojic acid is a chemical which is produced from different types of fungi like a by-product of fermented soy, rice or fungi like mushrooms. This is the reason you find mushroom extracts in most of the natural products which claim to lighten your skin.
Today, we will see a simple method in which the ingredient may not be Kojic acid by itself but the by-product of it is. That is, fermented rice water.
Left to ferment, rice water becomes a veritable anti-aging elixir. It’s rich in minerals, antioxidants, B and E vitamins, and traces of pitera. These minerals and antioxidants help to purify and smooth the skin, working to minimize fine lines and decrease the appearance of pores.
How to Prepare fermented rice water for Skin lightening
To prepare fermented Rice water, take a small cup of raw, un-cooked rice in a bowl and wash it twice with fresh water to remove any dirt and dust on the grains.
Now add 2 cups of water into it and keep it aside for at least 9 hours or overnight covered.
Now strain the liquid into a jar the next morning and let it ferment for another 6 hours at room temperature.
And Voila..! Your Fermented Rice water is now ready to be used. Remember, this water is highly potent and hence it is advised to dilute it before using for your skin.
Pro Tip: Get raw, unboiled rice. Most of the rice we get in our locals stores sell par-boiled or semi boiled rice. So be sure to get only raw rice to prepare fermented rice water for skin lightening to get the maximum benefits.
You can use this rice water for your hair too. This is how you can do it.
How to use Fermented Rice Water for Skin lightening:
To use fermented rice water for your skin, take two teaspoons of water into a small cup and dip a face sized muslin cloth into it. Let it soak in for 10 seconds. Now remove the cloth by squeezing out the excess water from it.
Drape this cloth on to your well-cleansed face. Dab on to the face gently so that the cloth touches all the corners of your face.
Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash off with normal water.
You can use this fermented rice water face mask twice or thrice a week to see visible results.
Another Tip: Instead of making this rice water in bulk, prepare this rice water in small amounts whenever you are cooking rice. This way no rice is wasted and no rice water too. 🙂
Advantages of using naturally derived kojic acid
Some of the benefits of using the naturally derived sources of Kojic Acid include,
Dark Spots reduction: As kojic acid has skin lightening effects, it can fade away brown spots caused due to aging and dark spots caused due to acne and pimples. it gradually lightens the skin in that area to by fading away the spots slowly. Remember that it does not give the skin lightening effects which the fairness cream advertisers promise us on TVs, but is does make your skin even looking and bright.
Decreases blemishes and scarring: It’s proven to treat blemishes and acne, resulting in bright and rejuvenated skin. It is beneficial for acne because it soothes the skin, clears blemishes and also helps heal the damaged skin.
Clears Tan:Rice water acts as a coolant for sunburns and clears tan effectively. For better results, add few drops of rose water while using fermented rice water for clearing tan.
Treats Melesma: Kojic acid may also be helpful in decreasing melasma, which is darkening of the skin caused in some women during pregnancy.
Anti fungal and antibacterial effects: Kojic acid may also provide antibacterial and anti fungal benefits. It may help decrease the chances of developing common types of bacterial skin infections like acne and pimples.
Anti-aging effects: Its anti-aging properties make it the perfect option for those struggling with fine lines and wrinkles
Who should use Fermented Rice water for skin lightening?
Although it is safe to use by every skin type, it is more beneficial for those who have a tendency to get hyperpigmentation, whether caused by the sun, signs of aging, or post-breakout effects, or hormonal changes.
You can use this fermented rice water face mask twice or thrice a week to see visible results and others can use it once a week to keep good health of your skin.
Did you try incorporating rice water in your skin care routine? How did it work for you?