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In Korea, beauty comes through rice!

Two South Korean cosmetics firms are boosting sales of cosmetics goods made from Asia's staple food, rice.

fashion and trends Updated: Nov 03, 2007 18:14 IST

Two South Korean cosmetics firms are marketing beauty products made from Asia's food staple, rice, which they say is as good on your body as inside it.

Korean make-up firm The Face Shop has seen sales boom over the past several months for a line of 14 products including moisturisers, face packs and cleansers made from the grain and water drained after washing polished rice.

And CJ Lion Beauty Care in October revamped its "Enjoy Your Rice Day" line of hair care and beauty products, hoping to cash in on the beauty craze.

Beauty-mad South Korea is one of Asia's biggest cosmetics markets, where even male conscripts spend time and money to look good. Plastic surgery is also common.

"Since the Joseon Dynasty in Korea (1392-1910), rice and rice water in particular were known to be effective for whitening and moisturising," said Roh Suk-ji, executive director of product planning at The Face Shop.

Rice-based cleansers are among the top sellers, with some 40,000 products sold a month, Roh said.

CJ Lion is marketing its rice-based products as good for sensitive skins. "We decided to release products based on this ingredient because our ancestors used to rinse their hair with rice water and it has great moisturising effects," said Kim Jee-yun, assistant brand manager of CJ Lion.

The Face Shop, which has stores in 18 countries, started exporting the rice-based cosmetics to other parts of Asia.

In Asia's biggest economy of Japan, water run-off from rinsing polished rice has been used around homes for years.

Image caption: A man is seen holding rice beside a glass of water in Srinagar in this September 26, 2007 file photo. Two South Korean cosmetics firms are marketing beauty products made from Asia's food staple, rice, which they say is as good on your body as inside it.