Washing Grains

Last year, I replaced my VO5 Hot Oil Treatment with olive oil. Since then, I’ve been thinking about some other products I’d once used, but have long forgotten.

Back when I was in high school, I loved The Body Shop. I still do, actually.
In the early 1990s, they had a product called Japanese Washing Grains. It was a grainy powder that could be used with a little bit of soap to exfoliate your skin. If I recall correctly, the suggested regiment also involved elderflower toner and cucumber moisturizer. I’m not sure when I stopped using these products but I suspect they became too expensive when I went away to University. When I moved away from home, I had to make room in my limited budget for more important things – like beer…err, I mean, books. Ya, that’s it, books.

I wanted to revisit the Japanese Washing Grains because I remember how much I once loved them. Apparently, they were simply ground rice and adzuki beans and the effect was similar to the microdermabrasion products that have been popular in recent years.

The Body Shop does carry a product similar to my old favorite. It comes in a 4 ounce jar, and retails for $22.00, plus tax. That just seems like a lot to me for a half cup of beans and rice. After a visit to the bulk barn, I discovered a scoopful of adzuki beans can be purchased for only $1.50.

I’m sure you can see where this is going.

Using an old coffee grinder, I keep around for projects like this; I ground up a few handfuls of dry beans and rice and put it in a jar.

This container holds just over 8 ounces of grains. My University degree was neither in math nor business, but it certainly doesn’t take a financial expert to figure this one out.

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  1. Sweet lord this is brilliant! Totally getting my folks’ grinder and doing this! Cannot get enough of scrubs!
    That one I made with salt, lemon & safflower oil is nice but sooooo greasy. This sounds great to just mix with your reg body wash! Thanks for the idea!

  2. This one is great. I can’t believe I didn’t think of trying this sooner. I love sugar and salt scrubs but they are a bit messy.

  3. I used to use this product many years ago. In a moment of nostalgia, Ijust bought the ‘new version’ of this product. It is harsh and contains salt? I’ll be getting some beans asap.

  4. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that actually the Japanese Washing Grains were nothing more than ground adzuki beans. I still have the original container – with a bit of the powder left – and the ingredient listing says nothing more than ground adzuki beans. You can also just use them alone mixed with a bit of water. It was meant as an exfoliant for those with oily skin which is another reason for the simplicity of the product – no oil or other clogging or irritating ingredients. And yeah, if you’re wondering why my knowledge borders on geek level, it is because I was an employee for several years. I have actually just bought a bag of these beans to make this for three friends – also former employees – who loved this product. It will be their Christmas present. 🙂

  5. Thanks. I think the new version has rice, so that’s why I assumed it was in there.

  6. I loved the Japanese Washing Grains back in the 90’s when I was in college. I now make my own for 3 yrs ,becuase The Body Shop discontinued the product. I mix mine with Mung Beans and Rice Powder, because I have hyperpigmented skin:) All my friends love it!

  7. I, too, recalled the washing grains from the 90s, but silly me–I went and bought the jar after being told The Body Shop didn’t carry the exact same product. I’ll be returning it tomorrow. Thanks for posting this!

  8. Thanx for this great idea! Now I’m inspired.
    I was in my early twenties in the 90’s when Japanese washing grains was around, I loved it too and have missed it. Though my skin is rather dry and fragile it’s wonderful for my face, especially since I’ve been using compact powder for many years and so gotta’ keep my skin clean. But I would only use it 1-3 times a month.

    As I’m on the subject of face care and beauty tips I just want to share two more valuable facts:

    1) Cold porridge made of oat and water is a fabulous face-masque.
    2) The only product we need to clean away make-up with, is pure almond oil with a splash of water on a cottonpad.
    I’m 47 but people tell me I look 35. Also I’m a vegetarian since I was 17. As I’m getting some ‘laugh wrinkles’ around my eyes lately, I don’t mind, I’m glad that it’s obvious that I’ve lived my life while I’m open with my feelings – that’s so human and natural.

    Best Wishes, Annika, Stockholm, Sweden

  9. I live in the Middle East and so we have a lot of old family recipes passed down from grand ma s .Here s a few,
    1. Instead of buying vitamin c powder in a bottle why not rub half an orange or lemon or any citrus fruit on a clean face. Leave for 20 minutes and rinse
    2. 1 tbspn full cream yoghurt , add 1 tsp organic turmeric and apply to a clean face. Apply with a brush as turmeric stains nails. Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off
    3. 1 Tspn n baking soda add 2 tbspn full cream yoghurt rub on hands in a circle motion.Leave on for 20 minutes.
    Have lots more for later

  10. Question: When you make this powder, what are the ratio of beans to rice? Do you use a ration of 1:1? Thanks!

  11. I used about a cup of beans and a half cup of rice, although lately, I’ve been using just straight beans.

  12. This is amazing! Now, if you can just figure out the original formula for the Body Shop’s Milk Bath…. 🙂

  13. I tried to buy something like this from Etsy, but after almost a month of waiting I decided to ask for a refund of my $9. Then i went to the store, bought a pound of adzuki beans for $1.50, came home and ground them in my grain mill. Voila!

  14. Thanks for publishing this recipe!!! I too have longed for said Japanese washing grains!! I’m also glad to have read the tips and recipes from a couple of other commenters here! I’ve added adzuki beans to my list and have plans for the whole milk yogurt I recently made in my instant pot! ?

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