I started using this lately since I find my skin has been ultra sensitive with the pregnancy and now with breastfeeding, I just don't think my skin is as resilient as it usually is without all the raging hormones so I wanted to find a way to exfoliate and brighten my skin at the same time since I did get a bit of pregnancy mask...I have posted an exfoliant tip in the past of using baking soda which you can find here, this works really great too, but not if you have really sensitive skin, and mine has been lately so I've had to avoid it.
Rice flower aka rice powder has been used by many for beauty purposes to lighten and brighten the skin, I find it also works well as an exfoliant but I found that different brands have different textures, both having their own benefits. I use a mix of two of them and I'll explain why. I use the ones below.
There is a difference between these two brands. The one to the left is by Bob's Red Mill (and they have many different types of flour that I'm going to test out in the future for cooking purposes) and then there's this other brand I found that is a product from Thailand that I found at the same natural food store. People use rice flour to bake gluten free breads, cakes, cookies etc... (which I'm interested in testing out in the future too!) but in this case, I purchased it to test it out as an exfoliator. The bob's red mill brand has a tiny bit of a yellowish tint compared to the brand to the right which is super white, and it isn't as fine (the Asian brand is like talc as it's very fine, it would be great to create a diy loose powder if adding micas). As an exfoliator, the Red Mill brand has more of a texture to slouch off the dead skin, but the Asian brand also has a bit of texture but not enough to really exfoliate enough if used alone unless you rub it in for a while, so I combined the two and I really liked the results. I've only just started using it so I can't comment on the skin brightening components, but it did exfoliate nicely! As for the ratio of the two brands I used about 2/3 of the red mill and 1/3 of the super fine Asian brand so that it wouldn't be too rough on the skin, if you want it to be less abrasive just switch the ratios so that there is more of the super fine flour for a more gentle exfoliation. I'm going to also try a version adding a bit of kaolin clay and fruit extract powders and test that out, and once I do I'll update. This exfoliant was inspired by a pretty nice product used on my skin when I went to get a facial at a spa last week, it's by Dermalogica and its called Daily Microfoliant which I will also post a review on (I was given samples to try at home). I really liked the dermalogica, but there were a few ingredients that I was not crazy about (some animal derived ingredients and contains parabens), and the price is a bit steep, 2.6 oz for 72$. It too is a powder you introduce a bit of water to then scrub on the skin, and it actually lathers which was interesting. I'm on a quest to formulate an all natural version that works nicely too.
How I use the Rice flour:
I just place a little more than a tsp in my hand, add a bit of water, moosh around in my hand so there's a bit of slip, then scrub gently on my face. Rinse and voila!