Rice Fields - Rice Bran Oil is expressed from the bran of the rice kernel

When I first started making soap back around 1998 I used olive oil.  I liked olive oil in my soap and it was a widely used, highly regarded oil in soap making circles.  Then about 5 or 6 years ago when olive oil prices started going through the roof I began looking for an alternative to olive oil and found it with rice bran oil.

Rice Bran Oil (Oryza Sativa) is obtained during the process of milling the rice and comes from the bran of the rice kernel which is the part containing the most oil.   Rice Bran Oil is considered by some to be the “worlds healthiest edible oil” containing many vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients.  It is also trans fat free.  Studies have shown it can help lower cholesterol, enhance the immune system and fight free radicals.

Just some of the great benefits rice bran offers:

  • Rice Bran Oil is a natural source for the following antioxidants:  Tocopherols, Tocotrienols, Gamma Oryzanol, Phytosterols, Polyphenols and Squalene.  Antioxidants of course help fight free radicals and aid in slowing down the effects of aging.
  • Rice Bran Oil has the best balance of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as recommended by such groups as the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization.  That makes it the oil of choice for improving serum cholesterol levels and preventing cardiovascular disease.
  • Rice Bran Oil is considered to be hypoallergenic.
  • It contains proanthrocyanidins which protect collagen and elastin which in turn play in a large part in maintaining the suppleness of your skin.
  • As Rice Bran Oil is particularly high in fatty acids it is very beneficial for mature, delicate and sensitive skin.
  • The shelf life of rice bran oil is very good which helps to translate to a long shelf life for the products made from it.
  • Rice Bran Oil has a small molecule which makes it easier to penetrate the skin.  This gives it good penetration without being greasy.

Rice Bran Oil is commonly used in:

  • Cosmetics
  • Hair care products
  • Skin care items
  • Lipsticks
  • Nail polish
  • Sunscreens
  • Soap

It has been used in Japan by women for centuries to help smooth out wrinkles as well as to provide a slight amount of sunscreen protection.  It is known for its spreadability, hence its use in lipsticks and creams.

After testing Rice Bran Oil in my soaps I decided to make the switch to it from olive oil for all of the benefits listed above as well as two more.  Our soap was creamier and smoother than it had been when made with olive oil.  And Rice Bran Oil was much less expensive (at that time) therefore allowing me to maintain my current pricing level for my customers.  We currently use Rice Bran Oil not only in our handmade soaps but also in our Solid Shampoo BarsBugs Away Natural Insect Repellent and Sensuous Nights Massage Oils.


“Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil in foods, soaps and cosmetics” by Anne Hart, Sacramento Nutrition Examiner

Rice Bran Info

California Rice Oil Company – “Why Rice Bran Oil”

What’s Cooking American – Rice Bran Oil

Welch-Holme-Clarke – Edible Rice Bran Oil

Oils By Nature, Inc.