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Ingredient Spotlight: Rice Bran Oil Benefits For Skin

How This Japanese Beauty Secret Protects, Brightens & Soothes

Read Time: 2-3 Minutes


Ingredient Spotlight: How Rice Bran Oil Benefits the Skin


Rich in antioxidants and packed with Vitamins B and E, Rice Bran Oil is quickly becoming a major player in the world of skin care. Rice bran has been used for centuries in Japan as a key ingredient in cleansers, masks, toners, and bathing powders to keep skin smooth and supple. The versatile, gentle oil extracted from rice bran effectively reduces signs of aging while soothing, hydrating, and protecting the skin. Gamma-oryzanol, a unique, very rare component, particularly helps promote circulation to effectively even skin tone.


In this installment of our ongoing “Ingredient Spotlight” series, we delve into the individual components of Rice Bran Oil and explore its numerous benefits.


First off, what is Rice Bran Oil, and where does it come from?


Rice Bran Oil (Oryza sativa) is derived from the hard, outer layer of rice—the bran. Bran, a byproduct of rice milling, is the layer that lies under the chaff, or husk. (Removing this nutrient-rich bran allows for the transformation of brown rice into white rice.) After being harvested, the bran is either pressed by hand or cold pressed through machinery to obtain the oil.


Why is Rice Bran Oil so popular in skin care products?


As mentioned earlier, rice bran contains high levels of Vitamins B and E, and is an excellent hydrator and anti-ager. It also contains squalene, which occurs naturally in human sebum (the oils in our skin that keep us hydrated and maintain the skin’s protective barrier). Rice Bran Oil’s fatty acids and other nutrients, meanwhile, provide excellent anti-aging properties while protecting against environmental pollution and UV rays. Powerful but easily absorbed, Rice Bran Oil provides serious hydration without clogging pores.


How do each of these ingredients work to benefit the skin?


Rice Bran Oil’s many nutrients deserve their own exploring; take a deeper look at this oil’s components below.


  • Vitamin B — Rice Bran Oil contains various types of antioxidant Vitamin B, including Thiamine (B1) and Niacin (B3), as well as Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) and B6. Vitamin B helps soothe the skin, alleviating rosacea, sunburn, eczema, and even evening out hyperpigmentation. By better allowing the skin to retain moisture, Vitamin B easily penetrates the skin to protect and strengthen the skin’s barrier.


  • Vitamin E — Thanks to its soothing, softening, and protecting properties, antioxidant Vitamin E is often used in anti-aging skin care products. It’s also used in after-sun products to rehydrate and alleviate redness and irritation. Anti-inflammatory and anti-aging, this versatile vitamin even helps increase the efficacy of SPF products by absorbing energy from UV rays and thereby preventing sun-induced free radical damage like wrinkles and fine lines. Multitasking Vitamin E helps keep our complexions firm, youthful, and radiant.


  • Gamma (γ)-oryzanol — A naturally occurring mixture of plant esters and sterols, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory Gamma-oryzanol promotes circulation, reducing puffiness and uneven skin tone while diminishing the appearance of dark under-eye circles. Gamma-oryzanol intercepts ultraviolet rays at the skin’s surface, thereby helping to prevent transmission and slowing the progress of melanin pigmentation.


  • Squalene — Highly moisturizing and easily absorbed, squalene is found naturally in our skin’s sebum, helping to protect the barrier and aid in cell regeneration for a fresh, radiant glow. Locking in moisture and diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, squalene is also useful in alleviating irritation and speeding up healing processes.


  • Ferulic Acid  — Found in various plants, this powerful antioxidant helps defend against UV rays and is even more effective when exposed to sunlight. Preventing free radical damage, this ingredient helps keep skin looking smooth and young and has even been shown to help repair sun that has already suffered free radical damage. Ferulic acid also increases the stability of Vitamins C and E, preventing oxidization and maintaining the efficacy of these powerful vitamins.


  • Fatty Acids — Acting as the building blocks of our skin’s membrane, fatty acids help protect our skin’s barrier while keeping skin hydrated. Rice Bran Oil is rich in both linoleic and oleic fatty acids.


    • Linoleic Acid — Linoleic Acid, also referred to as Vitamin F, is an omega-6 essential fatty acid (EFA), meaning it’s critical for human health but isn’t produced naturally in the body. By strengthening the skin’s barrier, Linoleic Acid protects against UV rays and environmental pollution that can cause free radical-induced wrinkles. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce irritation and acne.


    • Oleic Acid— An Omega-9 fatty acid, Oleic Acid protects the skin’s barrier, locking in moisture and protecting us from pollution and the elements. This anti-inflammatory fatty acid helps the skin retain its firmness and elasticity, allowing for a more youthful appearance.


Let’s sum this all up. How does Rice Bran Oil benefit the skin?


  • Helps prevent premature wrinkles
  • Lightweight linoleic rich oil makes it suitable for acne-prone skin
  • Softens and smooths the skin
  • Helps inhibit melanin pigmentation  
  • Evens out skin tone and texture
  • Increases skin barrier protection while effectively retaining moisture


Packed with antioxidants and nutrients, Rice Bran Oil provides lightweight but powerful hydration while protecting the skin from free radical damage. To reap the benefits of this versatile ingredient, try our Akwi Purifying Cleanser. In addition to Rice Bran Oil, this oil-based, pH-balancing cleanser also contains detoxifying Castor Oil, soothing Argan Oil and antioxidant-rich Camellia Seed Oil.

Munemi Imai, Founder
As an international makeup artist, Munemi sees many different types of skin, but she knows that every one needs nurturing, balancing and brightening to achieve that youthful glow. She also knows firsthand that our #MUNGLOW starts with a healthy and mindful lifestyle. She shares her tips and knowledge right here and in our newsletters!
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