2014 was definitely the year that niche Asian beauty products made the global crossover. From exotic serums to all-in-one face masks and ten-step layering routines, everyone was trying Far Eastern techniques. One item that certainly made waves in the skincare sphere was the konjac sponge.
Made from the root of the konjac plant, these comically floppy sponges help to dislodge makeup, dirt and debris from your your pores giving a more effective clean. The soft fibres absorb more water than a regular sponge making it softer than a loofah, but it has a finer texture than a washcloth, so it’s gentle enough to use on the most sensitive of skin. The net-like structure massages the skin and gently exfoliates, whilst stimulating micro-circulation and encouraging cell turnover. Suddenly your damp washcloth looks slightly sadder eh?
The bouncy texture means that it makes a richer lather using a smaller amount of cleanser than you would use with just your fingers or a washcloth, making it an economical choice if you like to spend a bit more on your face wash. There are different colours, enriched with a variety of ingredients to address particular skin issues, meaning you can choose to use them even without an additional gel cleanser. The white, natural sponge is suitable for all skin types whereas the black is enriched with charcoal for blemish-prone skin. The red is enhanced with French Red Clay which is said to have anti-ageing properties and helps brighten dull complexions.
As it’s designed to gently unclog pores and slough away dead, flaky cells, it’s a great option for acne sufferers and those with sun-damaged complexions. As someone who’s obsessive about face cleansing yet finds sonic cleansing brushes a little too harsh on their skin, I found this sponge to be the perfect balance. Gentle enough to use everyday yet still as effective in removing grime as a more aggressive cleansing tool. Having said that, your skin would still need a more thorough exfoliation session with granules or AHA peel at least once a week.
So how do you go about using the konjac sponge? When you first unwrap your sponge you’ll notice that it’s rock hard, so be sure to soak it in warm water for around five minutes to avoid injuring your skin. Squeeze a small amount of cleanser directly on to the sponge and massage your face in a circular motion to create a lather. Concentrate on your problem areas. Once you’ve finished, rinse the sponge with warm water and press out the excess between flat palms, then leave it to air dry. Don’t wring it out otherwise you’ll damage the fibres and shorten the lifespan of your sponge. It should last between one and three months, depending on how frequently you use it.
Have you tried the konjac sponge? How did you feel?