I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
One of the more recent Asian beauty imports, Konjac sponges come in different sizes, shapes, and types, but the basic idea is that they are made from the fibers of the Konnyaku tuber and are said to have antibacterial properties.
Also known as Elephant Yam, the Konnyaku plant has been used for food, medicine, and beauty as early as the the fifth century. It also has a reputation as a "miracle" diet food.
Types Of Konjac Sponges & Brands To Check Out
Konjac sponges are either pure, colorless Konjac, or they're infused, like the above Charcoal Konjac Sponges from The Face Shop. I've been using the one on the left for about six weeks, and although Konjac sponges have a life span of about three months, I'll be retiring this one to body use and using the newer one on my face going forward (because I'm a germaphobe).
Boscia sent me a bamboo charcoal puff that's around three times the price of my Face Shop sponge, but it was a bigger and had a softer, more luxe feel. Plus, it left my skin feeling even more squeaky clean than the Face Shop sponge.
From One Love Organics, I tried the Rose Clay Heart Sponge, which is ideal for sensitive or dry skin. The heart-shaped sponge is almost like a wedge and a puff combined. Very much accustomed to the squeaky clean feeling of the bamboo sponge, I was shocked to feel a bit more hydrated after using a sponge with pink clay. Both One Love Organics and Boscia make plain, pink clay, and charcoal sponges, and they are all thick and durable.
Lastly, I also made a Chinatown beauty run to my two local meccas, oo35mm and The Face Shop. I bought two green tea Konjac sponges from oo35mm, one for $8.99 by Muraqi and another for $6.99 by be Creation. Neither of them had any scent, but they were extra moisturizing. From The Face Shop I picked up a plain puff and charcoal wedge repurchase, since it was so great the first time.
Quality and durability varies from brand to brand: The more expensive sponges are much thicker and more squishy than the cheaper ones.
How To Use A Konjac Sponge
Using a Konjac sponge is a breeze. It has a gel-like texture that is super gentle when wet, and it exfoliates gently whether you use it solo or with a face wash. Like any sponge, it shrinks and reduces to half its size when dry.
After an oil pre-cleanse to remove makeup, I rinse with a small amount of soap and warm water to get the excess oil off my face. Then I put a dollop of cleanser directly on the wet sponge and give myself a light scrub. The texture of the squishy sponge feels really nice and gets a good lather going. After washing, I rinse out the sponge and hang it to dry, squeezing out any excess moisture.
I will definitely be using BOTH a charcoal sponge and a rose clay sponge to get my Konjac kicks. Both are great in different ways and very effective at cleansing gently.
- Have you ever used a Konjac sponge?
- What other Asian beauty finds have you stumbled upon recently?
Photos by Darnell Scott