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If you’re looking for a product that’ll gently cleanse your skin without the use of brushes, scrubs, or other harsh tools, you may want to consider a konjac facial sponge.
This simple skin care essential is made from konjac, which is a porous root vegetable that’s native to Asia.
This article will take a closer look at what a konjac sponge is, along with its benefits, how to use it, and the varieties for different skin types.
Konjac, which is also referred to as glucomannan, may be best known for thickening and adding texture to foods, as well as its role in weight loss products.
But this root is also used to make facial sponges that are gentle enough for daily use.
“A konjac facial sponge is a way to physically exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells for glowing, more radiant skin,” said Dr. Rita Linkner of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City.
While research on its effectiveness for skin care is limited, a 2013 study found that konjac could be used as a topical therapeutic product for acne to help improve skin health.
If you’re wondering why so many people are using a facial sponge made from a root plant, we turned to the experts to get their take on this natural beauty product.
According to Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, founder of Mudgil Dermatology in New York City, konjac facial sponges are best known for cleansing and gently exfoliating.
Because the plant is extremely gentle, using a sponge with konjac is often recommended for unclogging pores, especially with oily and acne-prone skin. In addition to cleansing and exfoliating, Mudgil says a konjac facial sponge is also great for removing makeup.
Since konjac facial sponges allow you to gently exfoliate your skin without excess irritation, they’re generally considered safe for most skin types. However, Linkner does suggest avoiding them if you have very sensitive skin.
“A konjac sponge can be very exfoliative to someone with sensitive skin,” said Linkner.
Instead, for very sensitive skin, Linkner recommends using a medical-grade chemical exfoliant. This includes alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are now formulated to gently exfoliate the skin and are generally well tolerated by all skin types.
All sponges advertised as konjac facial sponges contain konjac. What makes them different is their color and added ingredients.
“The konjac facial sponge itself is the same. It’s the variations in color — which come from the different active ingredients — that signify various indications,” said Mudgil.
For example, a green konjac sponge typically has green tea, pink has pink clay, and gray or black has charcoal ingredients added to it.
When it comes to choosing the best sponge to use, the first thing to consider is your skin type.
- The basic konjac sponge, with no added ingredients, may be the best option if you want something gentle and nonabrasive.
- A konjac sponge with charcoal is good for acne. “For oily skin types, I like ingredients such as charcoal to detoxify and control excess sebum, especially since charcoal has antibacterial properties to help with acne,” said Linkner.
- If you want more youthful-looking skin, a konjac sponge with pink clay may be the best choice.
- For extra hydration and more radiant skin, a konjac facial sponge with red clay oil may be worth a try. Red clay may help increase blood flow to the skin.
- After you get a sponge, soak it in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help expand it to full size.
- Once it is full size, begin cleaning your face by moving the sponge in a circular motion, kind of like a massage for your face.
- Start in the center of your face and work your way out and up, avoiding the eye area.
- You can use a konjac sponge with or without a facial soap or cleanser.
Yes, you can use a konjac facial sponge every day, says Mudgil.
Depending on how often you use it, it’s best to replace your konjac sponge about every 4 weeks.
If you use it more often, consider replacing it after 3 weeks, and if you only use it a few times a week, you may be able to stretch it to 5 weeks.
One of the appeals of a konjac facial sponge is how easy it is to clean. That said, there are some simple steps to follow to keep your sponge in tip-top shape.
“It’s important to squeeze all the excess water out of your konjac sponge after every use, so it does not harbor any bacteria,” said Linkner. After the excess water is out, hang it up to dry.
Make sure you dry it in a well-ventilated area. And don’t be surprised when it starts to break down. Linkner says this will happen since konjac is a fibrous root.
Once a week, drop the sponge in bowl of boiling water for a couple of minutes to sanitize it.
- MY Konjac Sponge softens when you soak it in water. Plus, it comes with activated bamboo charcoal, which may help draw out oil and cleanse pores to reduce acne and blackheads.
- The Neutripure Konjac Sponge Set comes with five sponges that are infused with different mineral additives to help remove dirt, oil, blackheads, and dead cells. The colors correspond to the type of sponge. For example, the black konjac sponge has bamboo and charcoal extract powder. The yellow sponge has turmeric root powder. The green has green tea extract, and the purple has purple sweet potato.
- pureSOL Konjac Facial Sponge with charcoal and bamboo may help with blackheads and breakouts by cleansing and absorbing excess sebum from your skin. Plus, this konjac facial sponge comes with an easy-to-hang suction hook that allows you to put the sponge in a well-ventilated space, allowing it to dry faster.
- Beauty by Earth Konjac Facial Sponge comes with two sponge options to help target different skin types. The white sponge is gentle and intended for all skin types, whereas the black sponge is best for oily skin that may be prone to acne or blackheads.
The konjac facial sponge — made from an Asian root plant — is affordable, gentle, and simple to use. It’s suitable for cleansing and exfoliating most skin types, although it may be too exfoliative for sensitive skin.
A konjac sponge is available without any ingredients, or you can buy one with added extras like green tea, charcoal, or pink clay that may be beneficial to specific skin types.
If you have any questions or concerns about your skin and how it may react to a konjac facial sponge, talk with your doctor or dermatologist before using one.