What Rice Starch is Used for, a Foodstuff with Many Uses, including in Cosmetics and for Children

Our Comprehensive Guide to this White, Fine, Tasteless Powder

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By Kenny G

Rice Starch

Rice Starch is an ingredient with a thousand uses, not only in cooking. We find it in many cosmetics and baby products, but it can also be used at home for easy beauty recipes.

What is Rice Starch

Starches could come from corn, potato, wheat or rice. The one that derives from rice takes the form of a very white, fine, tasteless, water-insoluble powder.

It derived from rice of the Oryza sativa variety, and it is the grains of the plant itself that release it (it is that whitish, sticky liquid that comes to form during cooking), in rather variable amounts depending on the type of rice.

Starch is a complex carbohydrate that serves as an important source of energy in many diets worldwide. It is composed of long chains of glucose molecules.

Its content in amylopectin varied by the two main botanical variety, Oryza Japonica or Oryza Indica. To take advantage of this starch, it is important to use a rice with small, round grains that are rich in amylopectin, a highly digestible glucose that is also perfect for those who are gluten intolerant.

Rice starch is commonly used in various industries, including food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, due to its great properties.

Rice Starch

If added in food preparations, it give a soft and creamy texture. So, it is used in food industry as a thickener, stabilizer, binder, or texture enhancer (in soups, sauces, desserts, and baked goods) because it would improve their texture, viscosity, and mouthfeel sensation.

In the pharmaceutical industry, it is used as a binding agent or filler because it helps to create cohesive tablets and capsules, ensuring that the active ingredients are properly formulated and delivered in a consistent manner.

In the cosmetic industry it can be found in skincare and haircare products for helping to absorb excess oil and moisture from the skin and hair (in dry shampoos, powders, and facial masks).

It is generally considered safe for consumption.

How to produce Rice Starch

This kind of starch is obtained by isolating the starch from grains through a process called wet milling. During this process, the grain is soaked, ground, and separated to extract his starch, that is then purified and dried to become a fine powder.

What are the Benefits of Rice Starch

Starch is an unsuspected ally for our health! In particular, it has soothing and moisturizing properties, which make it a major ingredient in the cosmetics industry, but also in baby products (moisturizing creams, powders, soaps, and mud baths). For its rapid absorbing power it is used in several preparations. Because of its easy digestibility, it is also used in baby food.

Specifically, it is used in food industry for giving:

  • Thickness and soft structures like ‘melt-in-mouth’ sensation in normal food products, as it provides viscosity and stability in sauces, gravies, soups, and other culinary preparations.
  • Soft and creamy textures in fat-reduced products
  • Whiteness and smoothness in confectionery coatings, chewing gum, and bakery icings and fillings
  • Shelf-life and freeze-thaw stability in food products like infant jars, fruit preparations, frozen meals

And offers several potential benefits in beauty and diet:

  • Gluten-free alternative: it is naturally gluten-free, making it a suitable ingredient for who’s gluten sensitive or celiac. It can be used as a substitute for wheat-based thickeners and binders in gluten-free recipes.
  • Digestive tolerance: it is well-tolerated by people with sensitive digestive systems. It is easily digestible and less likely to cause digestive discomfort compared to other types of starches.
  • Absorbent properties: for his absorbent qualities, it is useful In cosmetic formulations, in order to absorb excess oil from oily skin and hair, providing a mat effect. It is used also in dry shampoos, powders, and oil-controlling skincare products.
  • Hypoallergenic: it is gentle on the skin, making it suitable for sensitive or reactive skin types. It is often used in skincare products designed for sensitive skin, baby products, and hypoallergenic cosmetics.

Is Rice Starch same as Rice Flour?

Starch and flour are not the same, although they are both derived from rice grains. Starch is a refined product that primarily contains starch, while rice flour is made from whole rice grains and contains a broader range of nutrients and components.

You can see the 2 product differences :

  • Rice Starch. It is composed of starch molecules extracted from rice, refined and purified, it consists mainly of carbohydrates. Its consistency is a fine powder often used as a thickening agent, stabilizer, or binder in various applications.
  • Rice Four. It is made by grinding whole rice grains into a powder and it contains not only starch but also other components of the rice grain, including proteins, fibers, vitamins, and minerals. It is available in different forms, such as refined white flour or wholegrain brown flour, depending on whether the outer bran layer has been removed or retained. Due to the presence of other components, it has a different nutritional profile and texture compared to starch. And it is used in baking and cooking as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour. It can be used to make bread, cookies, pancakes, and other baked goods.

Is Rice Starch Good to Eat?

Starch is used as a food ingredient for its many properties and it is generally considered safe for consumption, but it is not consumed on its own as a food product.

However, the starch alone does not provide significant nutritional value, as it mainly consists of carbohydrates in the form of starch, with minimal amounts of other nutrients.

Rice Starch

If you’re looking for a nutrient-rich food, consuming whole rice or rice-based products (such as rice flour) would be more appropriate, as they retain the bran and germ layers that contain additional nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

What Products are Made from Rice Starch?

It is possible to find starch in some food as thickener or stabilizer, especially in pre-gelatinized form, that has been cooked and dried. You could find it in instant puddings, fillings, soup mixes, salad dressings, candies.

In the pharmaceutical industry is used as an excipient, diluent, a tablet and capsule disintegrant, a glidant, or as binder.

How do you Use Rice Starch on Clothes?

It has been traditionally used as a laundry stiffening agent. It gives a stiff texture to cotton clothes, reduce wrinkling, and provide a crisp appearance.

After spraying the rice starch on the fabric, iron when it is still damp or slightly moist. The heat from the iron will help set the starch and create a crisp finish.

It’s worth noting that rice starch may not provide the same level of stiffness as commercial fabric starch products. And, it may not be suitable for all types of fabrics, particularly delicate or sensitive materials.

Can you Drink Rice Starch Water?

The water that comes from boiled or cooked rice contains a lot of starch and can be put to various uses. And it could be drank as well.

It is easy to digest and so can be used as an energy drink. Add some salt, pepper and butter and serve it as a soup.

Rice Starch

How to use Rice Starch

Rice starch is an excellent soother, moisturizer, and mineralizer. As such, it finds widespread use in natural cosmetics. A few examples?

  • Facial Cleanser. A fistful of starch mixed with a few drops of water, massaged into the skin, especially of the face, in the morning or evening, is an effective cleanser
  • Body Hygiene. it is also perfect for hygiene of the intimate parts, even in infants, because it refreshes and relieves irritation and for making a relaxing bath.
  • Shampoo. If you want to make a mild shampoo, which you can also use every day, just dilute the usual cleanser with 2 tablespoons of water and add 1 teaspoon of rice starch.
  • Dry shampoo. Starch is also suitable as a dry shampoo for those who cannot wash their hair (if you are in the hospital, for example): it should be sprinkled over the hair, absorb from the scalp and hair the film of grease and dirt that has settled there, and then be brushed away carefully.

But if you want to take care of your own well-being, here are some easy and fast, and most importantly, all-natural DIY recipes below.

Masks with Rice Starch

Thanks to its nourishing and anti-inflammatory properties, this type of starch is perfect for a face mask, because thebeta-carotene is an effective antioxidant to fight the signs of aging, while the rice starch will take care of skin hydration.

  • 1 teaspoon rice starch
  • 1 carrot

Preparation. Peal the carrot and boil it in boiling water. Then mash it with a fork or run it through a blender. Add the starch to the resulting puree. Apply half an hour to the face and then rinse with lukewarm water. Repeat daily in 2-week cycles.

Here is also a mask for a relaxing effect in just a few minutes.

  • 1 tablespoon rice starch
  • 3 tablespoon yogurt

Preparation. Amalgamate the starch with the yogurt and apply to the face with the help of a brush, avoiding the eye area, for 15 minutes; you will immediately look fresh and relaxed.

rice starch mask
Rice starch is perfect for face masks.

Rice Starch for hair removal

It is very useful as a repairing cream for post hair removal irritation and redness, especially in the groin.

  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon rice starch

Preparation. Add 1 tablespoon of rice starch and a few tablespoons of milk in a bowl and stir. The mixture should not be too liquid because it should be spread on the irritated areas and kept on for ten minutes, then rinse with warm water.

As Foot Refreshener

You can also use it to fight as a prefreshing powder for foot odors and in sneakers.

  • 3 tablespoons rice starch
  • 3 drops mint essential oil


Preparation. In a plastic or metal jar you can mix starch with essential oils. Sprinkle this mixture on clean feet and in your sneakers. It prevents the formation of bad odors, especially in summer.

Relaxing Bath with Rice Starch

To make a relaxing bath

  • 1 cup Rice Starch
  • 2-3 drops favorite essential oil

Directions. Just dissolve the starch in the tub, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and relax.

For Newborns

Rice-based starch is perfect for baby skin as well: add 1 tablespoon to his bath water or use it as a talcum powder. It does not clog pores and calms redness because it is not as harsh as regular soaps.

Where to Buy Rice Starch?

You can find it commercially in herbalist shops, already dried and pulverized, although it is treated with substances and tools that aim to make it 100% pure.

Finding it online is easy. For your convenience, we point out some offerings that you can find online.

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