DIY Tutorial: How to Make Sake Kasu (Fermented Rice) Face Mask

Uncover the remarkable benefits of Sake Kasu, packed with amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, and learn how to craft a luxurious face mask that rivals the effectiveness of high-end skincare brands like SKII, all at a fraction of the cost.

For hundreds of years, rice water has been used in Japan for skin care and hair care.

As far back as 794AD, the benefits of rice water for the skin, face, and hair has been known. And court women regularly use a combination of rice water and rice bran powder to improve their skin complexion. 

Check out the facinating history of how Japanese women started to use rice water for skincare here.

japanese women long hair

The benefits of rice water for the skin and hair have been known for hundreds of years through anecdotal evidence. 

Women who had used rice water for the skin seemed to have fairer complexion.

Sake brewers who dipped their hands in rice water everyday to make sake fermented rice wine seemd to have more youthful skin.

Japanese people who lived in the northern regions of Japan who drank more sake fermented rice water, seemed to have better skin complexion. 

Japanese women even drank Amazake 甘酒 which is a traditional Japanese health drink that's made with fermented rice water, in order to maintain their youthful look. (Read this article to make rice water at home the correct way that is approved by fermentation experts and sake brewers in Japan.)

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • Is Rice Water Good for My Skin?
  • What is Rice Water and How is it Made?
  • How to Make DIY Sake Face Mask
  • Free step-by-step guide
amazake health benefits

Is Rice Water Good for My Skin?

While the benefits of rice water have been known for centuries, it wasn't until the 1970s that this was scientifically proven.

You might have heard of the premium skincare brand SK-II

SK-II was the first skincare company to notice the benefits of rice and sake for the skin and really started to conduct research into this. What they found was that rice water and fermented rice water had tons of beneficial nutrients for the skin and hair. They isolated a couple key compounds from rice water and trademarked them as PITERA. 

Now, their products which are made with PITERA sell for anywhere from $100-400. Their PITERA face cream sells for $400. 🤯

To learn more about all the beneficial compunds found in rice water and sake fermented rice water, and the history of PITERA, check out this article.

rice water for the skin
rice water benefits for the skin

It's not just SK-II either. There have been dozens of studies that discuss the benefits of topically applying rice water compounds to your skin. 

Check out the studies here.

Even drinking Amazake (fermented rice water drink) has been shown to have incredible benefits for your skin.

A study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that Japanese women who consumed amazake for four weeks showed a decrease in sebum content compared to the placebo group. The participants also reported improvements in face color, dark circles under the eyes, glossy hair, and overall well-being. 

Another study found that Amazake has vitamin B2 which can help protect the mucous membrane and maintain healthy skin and hair, and ferulic acid which promotes cell metabolism, making the skin smoother, softer and younger-looking.

Is rice water good for you?
Multiple studies have shown that yes, rice water has tons of beneficial compounds for your skin, hair, and general well-being. 

Below, we'll show you the ultimate way to use these beneficial compounds to improve your face complexion. 💆‍♀️

What is Rice Water and How is it Made?

Fermented rice has been the best kept secret to youthful skin and general well-being. 

 - Hatayama Natsuko 
Japanese Fermentation Expert

Before we show you how to make your very own rice water face mask, we first need to tell the important difference between rice water and fermented rice water.

Regular rice water is the liquid residue obtained from rinsing rice prior to cooking.  As previously mentioned, historically this water was cherished by court ladies for its ability to bestow their hair with a glossy shine and remarkable strength. Beyond its traditional role in hair care, rice water was also prized for its benefits to the skin.

Fermented rice water is even more amazing! The fermentation process transforms the rice water elevates it to new heights of efficacy. While regular rice water has dozens of beneficial compounds, fermented rice water has over 100 skin-loving compounds. 🙌

how to make rice water

A Word of Caution:
Many online tutorials that show you how to make, use, and store fermented rice water are unfortunately ill-informed and incorrect. Many of the online tutorials you find tell you the wrong way to make fermented rice water which can actually be extremely dangerous to your skin. 

To watch a video on the correct way to make fermented rice water, click here. This method has been used by Sake brewers and fermentation experts in Japan for centuries.

How is Rice Fermented in Japan?

Understanding the Sake Brewing Process

Making sake is just like making grape wine – it's a complicated process that needs special equipment and a controlled environment. This sets the stage for the good microbes to thrive while keeping the bad ones away.

While it can be done at home, if done incorrectly, it can lead to spoilage and wasted time/effort. However we have a few tips and tricks so you can make it at home (keep reading).

Koji & Sake Yeast: The Fermentation Dynamic Duo

To make fermented rice water, there are 2 major fermentation steps. 

At a high level, you want to convert the starch in rice into sugar, then convert the sugar into alcohol. This conversion process is "fermentation".

Starch > Sugar > Alcohol

In Sake rice fermentation, Koji mold (the National Mold of Japan), converts rice starches into sugars. Then Sake Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) turns the sugar into fermented rice wine (aka Sake).

If you're eager for more knowledge, take a deeper dive into the traditional art of Sake brewing right here.

Fermentation Boost the Skin Benefits

It's this unique double fermentation proces that gifts us over 100 skin-nourishing compounds. 💯

The fantastic benefits for the skin have skyrocketed "fermented rice water" to fame, making sake a beloved ingredient in cosmetics and skincare products.

See here for a list of compounds that are found in fermented rice water.

🤔 After reading this you might be wondering, "I don't have a sake brewery in my kitchen, so how do I get access to the fermented rice water goodness. And without fermented rice water, how can I make my own face mask?" ... Right? 

But fear not!
We've asked koji fermentation experts and sake brewers in Japan, how you can make a simplified yet still nutrient packed face mask at home! We're thrilled to pass on this rare knowledge to you! 🎉

How to Create Your Own Sake Fermented Rice Water Face Mask

Here's a helpful guide on DIY Sake Skincare.

Remember, that fermenting rice into sake is a 2 step process:
1. Turn the starch in raw rice into sugars by using Koji
2. Turn the sugars created into alchol (aka Sake) using sake brewer's yeast.

So based on this, there are two ways to create rice water face masks.

The first way is to embrace your inner sake brewer and ferment the rice yourself using Koji 🌾 
This takes some time but is doable at home and we've put together a video guide that you can follow to ferment rice at home. This allows you to turn rice into sugars using Koji, and you can use the Koji fermented rice as a face mask.

Unfortunately, it's near impossible to turn the Koji fermented rice into Sake (step 2 outlined above) at home. So the next best alternative is to just to high quality sake and Sake Kasu (the byproduct of sake making) to create a sake face mask. 🍶 This is the method that we'll explore below.

how to make fermented rice water

For this process, you'll need:

(1) 3 tbsp warm rice water
(2) 1 tbsp quality Japanese sake
(3) 1 tbsp Sake Kasu

Helpful Hint: Don't get super cheap or super expensive sake. Medium tier Junmai sake is fine. Don't get sweetened sake either.

Where can you get Sake Kasu? Sake Kasu is the byproduct mash of the sake making process. You can find Sake Kasu at your local Japanese grocery store, sake brewery, or Japanese sake stores, and it should stored in the fridge. Don't use the dry powdered Sake Kasu since the freeze-drying process gets rid of many of the nutrients; instead try to find the moist blocks. Note that Sake Kasu has trace amounts of alcohol.

how to make sake face mask

Step 1:
Tear the Sake Kasu into smaller pieces and mix the Sake Kasu with the warm rice water until it turns into a paste.

Helpful Hint: Use a fork to mash the mixture. You can also use a blender if it's easier.

Step 2:
Add the Japanese sake to the mixture and stir well until fully incorporated. 

Optional Step:
You can add other ingredients like honey at this point too. But don't add anything that is acidic or can oxidize or else the paste will turn into a brownish color.

sake kasu face mask

Step 3:
Voila, once the mixture is well mixed your Sake Kasu Face Mask is ready to use. It should have the consistency of thick custard.

Helpful Hint: If your mixture is too watery, add more Sake Kasu. If your mixture is too hard, add additional warm rice water bit by bit until you get the preferred consistency.

Step 4:
Apply the paste to your face or other parts of your body and let it sit for 20 mins. Wash it off after 20 mins.

You can store the Sake Face Mask in the fridge for up to 3 days.

See All The Ways to Use Rice to Get Amazing Skin 👇

Once you've mastered how to make your own genuine Sake fermented rice water face mask, there are so many ways you can use it for your skincare and hair care routine. 

DIY Sake Toner...Yes please! 🤩
Sake Rice Bath Soak...Count me in! 🙋‍♀️
Exfoliative Rice Bran Body Mask...Heck yeah! 💖
Fermented Rice Water Serum...Absolutely, positively! 🌟

Get our FREE downloadable guide below to get Sake Brewer-approved ways to get amazing skin through the power of rice!

Get the Ultimate Guide to Using Rice for Better Skincare

The Fountain of Youth is in Your Kitchen! Get Radiant Complexion in 3 Days.

Easy ways to see if your skin is getting all the nutrients it actually needs?

Learn how to create your own rice water serum.

Step-by-step guide on creating your own fermented rice body and face mask.

Get your soak on, and learn how to whip-up a Sake-tastic bath bomb.

27 pages chock full of minimalist skincare tips!

Rice: The Timeless Secret to Glowing Skin in Japan

Ever since Japan's Heian period in 794 AD, rice has served as a nourishing secret in skincare, its magic further captured by the beauty brand SK-II in the 1970s.

But what if you'd rather skip the DIY route and get straight to the good stuff?
We've got you covered with INÉ's Sake Fermented Rice Skin Nutrient Bar.

Handcrafted in Japan, this hybrid soap bar infused formulated with Sake Kasu lets you cleanse and nourish your skin from head to toe in a single shower.

We're bringing the Toji's secret to radiant skin directly to your bathroom. Consider this your ticket to an effortless, all-over glow!

INÉ Skin Nutrient Bar: Your Key to Unlocking the Ageless Beauty of Fermented Rice Water!

Introducing the INÉ Skin Nutrient Bar

An Artisan Soap Bar Made with Japanese Sake

Immerse yourself in the transformative power of fermented rice with the Skin Nutrient Bar, meticulously crafted with 100% organic Sake Kasu, a legendary secret from ancient Japanese skincare rituals.

Each bar, lovingly crafted to preserve the full, potent benefits of Sake Kasu, is designed to cleanse, nourish, and rejuvenate your skin from head to toe—all in the meditative mist of your shower. Just as the Toji's hands glow from daily immersion in sake, your skin too can embrace the radiant benefits of sake.

  • Free from Harmful Additives
  • Vegan Friendly 
  • Non-Comedogenic
  • Safe For All Skin Types
  • No Artificial Coloring or Fragrance
Learn More

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