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 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 moisturizing," 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 moisturizing 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.