Here is a DIY recipe you must try! If you’re not a fan of the Japanese fermented rice wine called Sake, you will be after reading this post. And I don’t mean a fan of drinking it. Instead, make a rice water and sake face mist and watch your face glow.
You might have heard of the famous SK ii Facial Essence. It gets glowing reviews and has some famous celebrities endorsing it. But, it retails $230 for 269 ml. Whoa! This is certainly a very expensive proposition!
I read up on it and I decided to try to make a DIY dupe for this famed facial treatment.
What is Facial Essence?
Essence is a liquid formula that specifically targets various skin issues such as wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone. Best essences contain active ingredients meant to improve your skin’s natural cell turnover rate – for example, fermented yeast.
If you use it regularly, you should be able to see your skin getting brighter, plumper, and revitalized. Some essence makers claim that only a few weeks are enough to take your skin from meh to wow!
Why should essence be the essential step in your skincare regimen?
Toners, essences and serums are sometimes confused and used interchangeably.
So what are they and what are the differences between them?
One major difference is that toners are used to prepare the skin to better absorb the skincare products that follow them like essence, serum, and moisturizer. The three products also differ in the concentration of active ingredients from the lowest in toners to the highest in the serum.
Do you need toner, essence, and serum all together?
Generally, I want to simplify my skincare routine. The fewer steps the better. But there are some specific benefits to adding essence to the other steps in your skincare regimen.
I use a toner after cleansing to restore the skin’s PH levels to a normal level. This step is especially important if you are using a soap-based cleanser. With a soap cleanser, your skin’s PH levels will be stripped of its lipid barrier and a little off immediately after cleansing. Using a toner like the one I make here or a store-bought, alcohol-free Thayers will not only bring your skin’s PH level back to optimal but also it will replenish the lost moisture. I use toner even if I cleanse will oil (my preferred method of cleansing for a while now) to remove any leftover dirt and oily residue.
The essence is the next step after the toner. It is packed with nutrients to a much higher degree than a toner but it is also more lightweight and less concentrated than a serum. It serves as a skin food and an additional layer of moisturization.
Because essence is pretty watery, I put it in a spritzer bottle and spray directly only face. This way you won’t avoid wasting the product by spilling it onto the hands. After spritzing you can gently pat or tap it into the skin and give it a minute or so before applying the next step of your routine.
Serums are the thickest of the three water-based products (but still much lighter than lotions, creams, and facial oils). Since they are so highly concentrated, you will use less and so they come in smaller bottles, usually with a dropper or a measured dispenser.
An ideal serum is packed with specific nutrients for your specific skin concern. For best absorption, gently massage it into the skin, or use it with a jade roller or nanochip on a derma-pen. This will ensure a much deeper delivery of these concentrated bioactive ingredients. Check out this post on the benefits of a Hyaluronic Acid serum for the skin.
What is the best facial essence on the market?
A quick glance at Sephora’s website will show many, many results for essence. Since the essences were born in Asia, many of the best essences are part of the Korean skincare or are inspired by Asian ingredients like Sake.
Sake is produced by fermenting rice through a brewing process where the rice starch is converted into sugars. By adding yeast into the brewing process, these sugars are then fermented into alcohol. Now, it turns out that Sake has some pretty amazing properties that are beneficial to your skin.
Toji, or sake master brewers, are famously known for having baby-soft, wrinkle-free hands well into old age. The reason? Making sake involves working with koji(cultivated mold that helps to ferment the rice), which is packed with enzymes and amino acids that help to moisturize and nourish skin.Tokyo Weekender
It is said that geishas bathed in sake to keep their skin young and white. Sake has whitening properties because it contains kojic acid which has whitening and brightening qualities. Kojic acid is a by-product of the fermentation process and it can inhibit pigmentation and promote a lighter skin tone.
Sake can provide many positive benefits for your skin, such as evening your complexion’s appearance, gentle cleansing, reducing the blemishes of sun and age spots, helping to minimize signs of aging by lessening free radicals, brighter and tighter skin, and helping to soothe the inflammation from eczema and acne.100% Pure
Sounds great right? The only problem is that these commercially available essences are outrageously expensive.
Here is a comparison. A 269 ml bottle of SK II costs 230 USD, while a 750 ml bottle of good, organic Sake will cost you at most 15 USD. For me, the math is clear. I make my own Sake essence!
How to Make Rice Water and Sake Facial Mist?
If you are looking for a DIY facial essence, look no further. The one I started making is pretty amazing and I will gladly share the recipe for here. It takes only a few ingredients and the cost is truly minimal.
You will need
- A spritzer bottle
- 2 Parts Mild Unfiltered Sake
- 1 Part Organic Aloe Vera Juice
- 1 Part of Fermented Rice Water
How to make fermented rice water?
Take 1/4 cup of white rice. Rinse it twice. Then cover with 1/2 cup of filtered or distilled water and let sit for a day. Drain the fermented water and use in the essence. You can use the soaked rice for eating of course. Just cook it up with new water 🙂
Back to our essence
Mix it up and you’re done. The consistency is watery but it has a little slip from the aloe vera juice. Instead of letting it soak through cotton pads, I find it works best if placed in transfer the spritz bottle and sprayed directly onto the face and neck (and wherever you need the rejuvenating effect).
After cleansing your skin, apply a toner to remove all impurities and prep your skin for the essence. Then sprits the essence all over your face and neck.
If you’re so inclined you can add a few drops of essential oils of your liking. I don’t because I like the aroma of sake!
How much to make?
I make about one ounce total and try to use it up within a week. So basically it comes down to 2TB Sake and 1TBS each of rice water and Aloe vera.
The reason for making such small amounts is the fact that the essence is so pure because it has no preservatives. Because of alcohol content and the presence of yeast in the rice water, it is most likely safe to use longer. But, I’d rather be safe than sorry and make small batches.
PS. You can also mix it up some Sake with brown sugar for a fantastic Sake Sugar Scrub.