A brewery in Japan conducted an experiment on it's employees after noticing how soft their skin felt. They had the employees drink 10 ounces of sake a day and found the moisture content of their skin was 30% higher than the employees who drank regular booze. This was not surprising, as it's been heard that Geishas used to bathe in it.
|The molecular structure of Kojic Acid|
The results of this experiment inspired more research and they found that the fermentation process breaks down the rice acids and enzymes to a low molecular weight. This is crucial, as it allows beneficial ingredients such as B complex vitamins, minerals and kojic acid to penetrate the skin down to the keratin layer.
I always knew that kojic acid is a natural skin brightener available in many over the counter products, but I thought that it was only derived from mushrooms. Rice enzymes are used in my favorite professional exfoliator for facials, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. As a skin exfoliant, enzymes gently digest dead skin cells (without physical exfoliation, or "scrubbing").
I am a fan of kojic acid and other brighteners, since my face has stopped getting "tan" and during the summer, ends up with a lot of spots and blotches. As an esthetician, I know that hyperpigmentation is a major concern for a lot of people, so any home treatment that we can create in our kitchens is always exciting.
Internally, rice increases the production of ceramides, which are natural fats that help hold the cells together and lock in moisture, slowing the aging process.
So I just high-tailed it to the Korean market and bought a huge bottle of sake (I bought Yaegaki Sake, created by Reiko Kushibiki, the first female sake master in the U.S.).
With a little more research, I created a really EASY Do-it-Yourself face mask. This mask left my skin super smooth and soft and it does look a little more even. I have sensitive skin and it did tingle a little, but was not uncomfortable or red. Other articles suggested that we use the mask a couple of times a week until skin reaches your desired goal.
Sake Skin Brightening Mask
1 tsp sake (flitered)
1 tsp plain yogurt (contains lactic acid, another brightener)
1 tsp organic honey (anti-bacterial and hydrator)
1 tsp white kaolin clay (or green if you skin is oily)
1 - 2 drops rose and/or geranium essential oils (for dry / mature skin)
1 - 2 drops lavender and/or rosemary essential oils (for oily / combination skin)
Spread evenly with a brush over cleansed, dry skin, leave on for 15 - 20 minutes.