Botanical Ingredient Spotlight: Rice Bran Oil

Botanical Ingredient Spotlight: Rice Bran Oil

What is rice bran oil?

Rice bran oil (Oryza sativa) is a Japanese skincare staple and has long been used for its skin brightening, nutritive and anti-inflammatory properties. This lightweight oil is full of phytochemicals that help to reduce the signs of premature aging and aid in skin regeneration, skin lightening, moisture retention, and soothing irritated and sensitive skin.

Rice bran oil contains a high percentage of phytochemicals that are rich in Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids, both of which are quickly absorbed by the skin and help to keep the skin hydrated and supple. This oil is so gentle on the skin that it can even be used on dry baby skin or baby eczema.

Rice bran oil is a light golden oil pressed from the bran or the husk of rice kernels. It is derived from the hard, brown, oily layer between the outer husk of the hull and the rice kernel inside. After harvesting, the bran is either pressed by hand or cold-pressed through machinery to obtain the oil. It contains a number of unique phytochemicals and a large percentage of fatty acids.

What are the active ingredients?

Vitamin E is a multitasking vitamin that acts as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is a free radical scavenger and helps to prevent sun-induced free radical damage by absorbing harmful UV rays from the sun (you still have to wear sunscreen). Vitamin E also helps to slow the breakdown of collagen in the skin and minimize the signs of premature aging. Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin. 

The B complex vitamins are a group of eight vitamins, some of which help to minimize the signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Niacinamide helps to improve skin conditions, and acne breakouts while regulating sebum production. Rice bran oil also contains vitamin B12 which plays an important role in skin regeneration and recovery. The B complex vitamins also help the skin retain moisture, regulate pigmentation, reduce redness and improve skin texture. 

Gamma oryzanol (γ-Oryzanol) is a major component of rice bran oil and a mixture of ferulic and triterpenes rather than a single molecule. The major action of gamma oryzanol is its antioxidant activity and the slowing of lipid oxidation in the skin. This unique compound also has UV absorbing activity and is used for its ability to minimize hyperpigmentation and diminish age spots in the skin as a result of UV exposure. Gamma oryzanol helps to regulate sebum production and helps dry and inflamed skin conditions. 

Coenzyme Q10 is found in all our body cells and is used by the mitochondria for energy production. This coenzyme is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger which protects mitochondria, lipid membranes and DNA from oxidative damage, which all help to diminish the signs of premature aging. CoQ10 is not only found in the skin cells but in skin surface lipids in the stratum corneum, which forms the outermost layer in the skin. Research shows that these lipids are in constant contact with UV light, pollution, microbes, and oxidants; and that their levels of CoQ10 decline with age and UV exposure. Suboptimal levels of CoQ10 in skin can also impede the ability to produce collagen and elastin. 

Ferulic acid is an antioxidant that protects the skin from UV damage and from other forms of environmental oxidative stress. It decreases the signs of premature aging including the formation of fine lines and brown spots. Ferulic acid helps to regenerate and maintain skin elasticity through maintaining collagen and elastin synthesis and structure. This component works well with vitamin C and E in skincare. 

Linoleic Acid is an omega-6 fatty acid and helps to restore the skin. It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

Oleic Acid is an omega-9 fatty acid and enhances absorption and moisturization. It maintains softness and suppleness of the skin and reduces the signs of premature aging. 

Squalene is naturally found in our skin’s sebum and it helps to regulate the production of sebum. It has excellent hydrating properties and helps to soften and protect the skin. 

Phytosterols are a large group of compounds that are exclusively found in plants. They have the ability to stimulate collagen and hyaluronic acid production and help to minimize the damage of photoaged skin. Phytosterols are anti-inflammatory and are used for skin regeneration, wound healing, and in inflammatory skin conditions. They help to maintain the integrity of the skin barrier and improve skin elasticity while decreasing skin roughness and irritability. 

Benefits of rice bran oil for skin

Applied topically, rice bran oil helps to improve circulation and even out skin tone by brightening the complexion. Its unique phytochemical profile helps to fight free radical damage from external stressors and pollution and helps to minimize the signs of premature aging through its skin lightening properties and its ability to diminish fine lines and promote collagen formation. 

Rice bran oil helps to strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier by helping skin regeneration and moisture retention. The oil is a safe and effective choice for sensitive, red, and irritated skin conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing actions.  It can be used to aid skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.

Rice bran oil is deeply nutritive and a powerful antioxidant. It hydrates the skin and due to its light and non-greasy texture, it is suitable for most skin types, including oily and sensitive skin. We use it in our Botanical Vitamin C Serum.