Konjac Sponges in Skincare
Seems like once mysterious konjac sponges have been taking over the skincare realm lately, yet there are still many people unaware of their uses and benefits. Read on to find out what they are, how to use them, and why you might want to!
I erroneously started out thinking that konjac sponges are made from some sort of seaweed. Wrong! They are made from konjac potatoes (also known as Konnyaku) that grow at very high altitudes in Asia. Konnyaku is 97% water and is naturally alkaline which can help balance the skin. Originally, the sponge was created to treat the most delicate skin - babies (source).
Konjac sponges offer gentle yet effective cleansing and exfoliation. When dry, they are shriveled up and hard, but add some water and they plump to life within minutes. I use mine in the mornings, with or without cleanser, to gently massage the face and improve circulation. It feels amazing. Some sponges have added elements like turmeric, clay or charcoal to further purify or brighten the skin.
Benefits of konjac sponges:
Chemical free (if bought from a reputable source)
Sustainable plant product
Cruelty free and vegan
Added benefits depending on the type of sponge - purifying, brightening, etc.
Use and storage:
Using the sponges is easy - just wet until plump, gently squeeze out excess water, and massage the face. The first time, it might take up to 15 minutes for the sponge to get fully plumped if you bought it dry (some ship moistened). I prefer to use a foaming wash to get the skin clean first and only then massage it with a wet sponge, but you can also use the sponges and cleanser together. Rinse the product after use in clean water and gently squeeze excess moisture without twisting or pressing too hard.
Store the sponges away from moisture to avoid having a bacteria farm. Many come with little hooks that you can suction to your bathroom mirror and hang the sponge to dry. Soaking the sponge in hot (not boiling) water for 3-5 minutes once a week is a good idea if you are acne prone or have very sensitive skin and need to kill the extra bacteria. I don’t have to do that. With proper care, one sponge should last 4-6 weeks. Use your best judgement on when to replace yours.
A little purchasing advice:
The sponges are available in multitudes of varieties on eBay and Amazon. I prefer getting brand name ones (Etude house makes a good one eBay Amazon but there are others). At the very least, I avoid anything that ships from or is made in China and looks too good to be true price-wise. I haven’t noticed any significant differences in using plain vs charcoal vs turmeric sponges so I just get whatever is priced well and is aesthetically pleasing. This time I ended up with hearts as you can see.
If you haven’t tried these fun “potato sponges” before, I highly recommend that you give them a go. What are your favorite skincare tools? Share in the comments!