Don’t get me wrong – I love using spin brushes and exfoliating serums to cleanse my skin, but I’ve lately grown tired of how rough these treatments can sometimes be. I’ve heard people rave about the good qualities of Konjac sponges for the past few years now, but have never actually used one myself. To give my skin a mini-vacation from my spin brush (and my sometimes overzealous cleansing routine), I decided to use a Konjac sponge for a few days to see if it was worth the hype – read my thoughts below!
Do You Really Need a Konjac Sponge?
So, let me be straight with you: you technically don’t need to use a Konjac sponge, but if we’re going to continue with this line of ultra-minimalist thinking, then you probably don’t need a spin brush, exfoliating puff, and most other skincare products either. But, if you’re looking to make a meaningful difference in terms of your skin’s health and appearance instead of merely maintaining a so-so but acceptable standard, then you ought to be using a Konjac sponge, my dear readers. If you have oily skin or sensitive skin, then the Konjac sponge will likely be much kinder to your skin than most other cleansing and exfoliating tools to boot.
Konjac sponges are made of konjac root, a rubbery fiber that is ultra-absorbent. Konjac sponges are most often used as a dual cleansing and exfoliating tool, and can even be used in lieu of makeup removers (Dr. Francesca Fusco notes that they can remove makeup more thoroughly than just the hands). In fact, because of its high rate of absorbency and bouncy texture (sort of like a makeup sponge, but more dense and silky), Konjac sponges can create a rich lather without using as much cleanser as other cleansing tools, according to Dr. Jessica Wu. A quick-drying substance, konjac sponges are far less likely to become water-logged, moldy, or quickly bacteria-laden than similar plant-based substances. But what makes the Konjac sponge so special is that they are a godsend for those of us with oily or acne-prone skin, owing to its special texture which can unclog pores more efficiently than the rough fibers of washcloth or loofah can. In fact, Konjac sponges are so gentle on skin that they are suitable for everyday use on virtually every skin type (Dr. Francesca Fusco for Allure, Dr. Jessica Wu for Refinery29, Stylecaster). If you absolutely love what the Konjac sponge has done for your skin, consider using a topical formulation of it as well. Konjac root powder is used in several cosmetic formulations, and is believed to be able to partially alleviate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles due to its high level of absorbency (Cosmetics and Toiletries).
While I absolutely love Konjac sponges, there is one drawback – Konjac sponges are made of natural fibers and don’t last for very long, so you’ll have to buy a new one every month or so. Being that they are made of natural fibers, konjac sponges are more easily susceptible to (sometimes) bacterial growth and general wear-and-tear, so you can generally use the sponge for only 4-6 weeks before it needs to be replaced. Otherwise, the Konjac sponge is a great addition to your skincare routine, especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin!
My Favorite Konjac Sponge: The Vanity Planet Konjac Natural Face Sponge
I fell in love with Vanity Planet after trying their Spin for Perfect Skin (read my review here!), and decided to give their Konjac Natural Face Sponge a try. This sponge is made from 100% Konjac root, is biodegradable, naturally pH-balanced, hypoallergenic, and free of dyes and fragrances that could potentially irritate the skin. To use the sponge, I simply have to soak it in warm water for a few minutes (the sponge is rough and small when dry), and then apply it to damp skin along with a gentle skin cleanser. Vanity Planet touts that this sponge is ideal especially for those with psoriasis, eczema, sensitive skin, and even for newborns, and I definitely agree with them. Even though I have a pretty normal skin type, this Konjac Natural Face Sponge left my skin feeling ultra-smooth and clean. The sponge truly does create a rich lather, and feels sort of like I’m gliding a powderpuff across my skin (the old-timey, really fluffy kind). Even though the sponge is very gentle, I do feel like it extracted some deep-set impurities from my skin – I absolutely loved it!
So do you need a Konjac sponge? Technically no, but if you want to continue in this vein of thinking, then you don’t need a spin brush, foot pumice, exfoliating buff, and most other skincare products as well. Konjac sponges are a great cleansing and exfoliating alternative for those who have sensitive, oily, and acne-prone skin, as well as for those who are looking for a more gentle yet deep-reaching cleansing treatment. My personal favorite is the Vanity Planet Konjac Natural Face Sponge, which is made of 100% Konjac root, is pH-balanced (so it won’t disrupt your skin’s pH levels), and is free of dyes and fragrances. Have you ever used a Konjac sponge before? How has it measured up to your other cleansing treatments? Let me know in the Comments section!