The idea for this facial scrub came from a book of Meredith’s I perused the last time I was visiting her. The book was called The Japanese Way of Beauty, and included many recipes for face scrubs to be used in silk or muslin bags. The most basic ones were ground rice, to be placed in a drawstring bag, wet, and used to gently scrub the face.


The idea has stuck with me, and I finally got around to trying it. I settled on a combination of brown rice, white rice, baking soda (USA / Canada), and bee pollen. Rice water is said to soften your skin and improve your complexion, explaining its long-standing position in classic Japanese face washing. Baking soda is a wonderful exfoliant, and bee pollen is loaded with vitamins and minerals, said to help soften your skin and reduce acne.


The mixture comes together easily in a coffee grinder. I used a combination of white and brown rice to add a bit of insoluble fibre to the scrub.


After it’s s blended, spoon the mixture into a drawstring muslin bag.


With the bag tied up, all that’s left is to give it a go! Run the bag under some warm water and gently massage your face with it. The muslin, combined with everything in the bag, will give your face a refreshing, light scrub. After rinsing off and drying your face, you’ll be left feeling refreshed, with nice, soft skin. I left the bag to dry on a small plate in my bathroom, for easy use the following day. However, keep in mind that I live somewhere very dry—so dry that the mixture dried out before it could mould. If you live somewhere humid, I’d recommend only spooning a usable amount into the bag for use, and then discarding any wet leftovers before rinsing the bag and leaving it to dry.


Japanese Ground Rice & Bee Pollen Face Scrub

1 tbsp white rice
1½ tsp brown rice
1½ tsp baking soda (USA / Canada)
2 tsp bee pollen

Blend everything together in a coffee grinder.

To use, spoon into a drawstring muslin bag. Wet, and use the entire bag to lightly scrub the face. Let dry and use later, or discard wet contents and rinse & dry the bag for later use.