Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog!
“KONJAC SPONGE”, another Asian discovery and import that took the skincare industry by storm few years ago. We all know Korean and Japanese cosmetic brands are wayyy too over the top with their innovative formulas and strangest of ingredients, the reason I have been curating and posting a lot more on their skincare products lately, here , here and here to name a few.
You must be wondering, why do we have to use a sponge on the face? We have heard of dish sponges, makeup sponges like beauty blender but what is a Konjac Sponge anyway? And, why should I even consider trying it out?
Before this wonder product flips your world upside down, let me tell you what Konjac Sponge is and why is it so popular?
Konjac Root, an Asian vegetable that resembles a potato but without all the starch and high calories has been around in Korean, Japanese and Chinese household for many many years. Known as Amorphophallus Konjac, it’s botanical name, this ancient root has been dried and powdered to use for various health conditions for hundreds of years. Apparently, Konjac root was imported by Japan from China where it was first cultivated and used as a medicinal root. In the earlier days, Konjac Sponges were used on infants for bathing instead of other products to prevent any form of irritation on their delicate skin.
”KONJAC SPONGES ARE SQUISHY, ALMOST SLIMY TEXTURED SPONGES WITH LARGE HOLES…”
Konjac root is rich in many Vitamins and Minerals and most importantly Fiber, which makes it a very popular dietary supplement for weight loss. Ever heard of Konjac noodles? These delicious and healthy South Asian staples are from Konjac root, which is powdered and its flour is used as a base. I wouldn’t be discussing much about its health benefits in this post because let’s be real, we are all about the skincare trunk and the benefits of this funky guy, maybe a girl, well, your call.
Konjac Sponges aka Japanese Sponges are squishy, almost slimy textured sponges with large holes. When dry, they look like a lightweight porous rock and once hydrated, turn into these extremely soft tools, softer than a baby’s butt, just kidding, may be not! They have the ability to hold a lot of moisture(water) and swell up double their size.
Why are they my choice of Deep Cleansing Tools?
– They do not have the grainy texture like that of physical scrubs that can lead to micro tears in the skin.
– Unlike Cleansing Brushes that can get carried away and do a “lot of deep cleansing” even they are used with the lightest of hand, Konjac Sponges are in fact very gentle comparatively. The oscillating function of automatic cleansing brushes or even mechanical ones with bristles is often too much for people whose skin can breakout from even the slightest of friction. There are often cases of excessive acne breakout after using them. Do not mistake them with initial purging and continue torturing your skin. Document the difference after a month’s use. Some Dermatologists also suggest using them with caution if you are using any form of chemical exfoliants in your skincare routine. Yes, they give the skin a more refined look and glow but are not for everyone.
-Supplemental cleansing tools like washcloths, microfiber cloths require more maintenance and you need to either own seven of them to use a new one everyday, or wash them well after each use.
–Konjac sponge cleans a lot more better than using just hands with the least chances of irritation. You can notice the difference since the very first use. Whether you wear makeup, water resistant sunblock or have an extensive skincare routine, these will suck it all like magnets, although I am always in fcoyr of separate makeup remover.
How is Konjac Sponge made and what are the different varieties?
Konjac or Konnyaku root or Glucomannan is dried and powdered which is then combined with Calcium Hydroxide, poured into moulds, allowed to sit and simmer, then cooled in water, freeze-dried and thawed and packed into transparent packs or boxes. It is quite a lengthy process and the manufacturers recheck the final product for shape, density, etc before packing them. They are also often found steeped in some solution while still in their actual packaging, like the one from Missha which I own, currently.
The Konjac Sponge Company were the first, or at least in my knowledge, to introduce these bouncy, soft, gentle cleansing agents to the mainstream industry. It has since won multiple awards and is still considered as “The Original” Konjac Sponge Company.
Many high end and small brands have come up with their own versions and I suggest you pick and go ahead with whichever ones you prefer.
They come in different shapes and different colours, which are not just for visual attraction but indicated for different skin types and requirements.
Pink or Red– Infused with French Pink or Moroccan Rhassoul Clay for dry, sensitive and or mature skin for a gentle deep cleansing action.
Green– Infused with French Green Clay for oily skin.
Black– As you may have already guessed, yes, Charcoal has been added for acne prone skin types.
White– Infused with Kaolin Clay or just plain Konjac Sponge.
The original Konjac Sponge comes in a round domed shape but now we have pear-shaped and also rectangular ones with a wavy pattern for the body.
How to use them?
-If your Konjac sponge came steeped in a liquid then you just need to give it a gentle wash with your cleanser before the first use. The brand doesn’t specify it, but I suggest it.
-If it comes hard then soak it in warm to hot, not boiling water for 10-15 minutes. During this time, you will notice it’s ability of absorption and how much it can swell up.
-Once rehydrated, squeeze out the excess water by gently pressing the sponge between your palms. DO NOT wring them in a hassle, you will only damage it by causing tears which will eventually make it lose its form and shape.
-You can use them on their own as they have natural cleansing properties. However, you may wish to add any cleanser of your choice to damp sponge and continue moving in circular motions.
Points to remember:
– Do not use cleansers containing high percentage of actives such as 8-10% Glycolic acids with Konjac Sponge
– Using once a day, preferably at a night is best. I personally love using them thrice a week in summers and twice in winters.
– Let the natural texture of the Konjac Sponge work it’s magic on the skin. Do not press them on the skin and rub too hard.
-Wait until the Sponges are completely soft and squishy before touching on your skin.
– Initially, you may find that your cleanser isn’t foaming much, give it few seconds and you will notice good amount of lather, so do not pour a lot and eventually strip your skin.
– Do not use on large active acne or broken skin.
Which Cleansers to use with Konjac Sponge?
Murad Essential C Cleanser
I could not help myself but give an honourable mention to this amazing cleanser. A very well known Dermatologist and Pharmacist developed skincare line by Dr.Murad himself, Murad products are targeted and many of them are constant favourites among bloggers, beauty editors, skincare connoisseurs and many more. Using it with my Konjac Sponge gives my skin an extremely soft and smooth look and finish. Since Konjac Sponge is deep cleansing, this mild foaming gel face wash prevents my skin from becoming dry and irritated. It has become my favourite and lasts very long. Read more to know why I rave so much about it
– After cleansing your skin, run the sponge under warm water and squeeze out all the extra product.
-Dry them on a rack where it gets a 360 degrees circulation. Do not hang them on your shower tap which people usually do with plastic loofahs.
– I hang mine on the dresser handle once it has tried to avoid leaving it in a moist environment and leading to bacterial growth.
-Although it was known to have antibacterial properties and is self-cleaning, you must remember they are completely natural made from a plant root, so replace them once every month during monsoons and every 2-3 rest of the year.
-These are 100% Biodegradable, so you can dump them in the soil instead of throwing in your trash.
Some options for different Konjac Sponges;
Here’s my post on everything related to Japanese cleansing sponges.
So, what are your thoughts on Konjac Sponge? Did this post clarify all your doubts on this cute cleansing tool?
Thank you so much for reading.