Cover illustration by Jenny Mae Wong
We’re always looking for ways to be healthier, live longer and look younger. And of course, everyone knows that what’s better for the Earth is better for us in the long run. We’ve made a lot of progress in recent decades on so many fronts: medicine, environmental science like renewable energy, and also on diet and exercise. One conclusion that many have come to, which crosses categories, is that natural is better.
Enter the humble, natural, plant-based, vegan, sustainable konjac sponge.
A konjac sponge is made from the konjac root, which is native to Yunnan, China, and cultivated for centuries in Asia. Most people think of the noodles that have zero calories when they hear “konjac”. It’s a healthy replacement due to its high amount of soluble fiber. Konjac has also been used to make jello-like treats due to it’s texture, but was banned in some Western countries as it was blamed as a potential choking hazard.
The more popular recent application of this versatile plant is for facial sponges. One might ask, with all of the different sponges already available, why were konjac sponges even made? They were originally invented by Japanese farmers to cleanse babies’ skin because they are much gentler, plus they’re natural. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of konjac sponges, and how to use them correctly.
Benefits of Konjac Sponges
- They can be Composted. As they are natural, they are 100% biodegradable and can be composted along with your fruits and vegetables.
- They are Extremely Gentle. Most physical exfoliators do more harm than good as you may rub them harder than you’re supposed to. This is not a problem when you use a konjac sponge.
- They Make your Skin Glow! The sponge gently exfoliates the skin, therefore, removing dead skin cells. This will make your skin smooth and glowy!
- Suitable for All Skin Types! Good for delicate, acne-prone, sensitive skin, oily or dry skin.
- Amazing Makeup Removers. Konjac sponges used with face wash are great for getting off those last bits of makeup - we recommend using your favorite makeup wipes and water-based remover. You can even clean those hard to get spots easier.
How do you use Konjac Sponges?
- When you first get your sponge, it will be rock hard which it should be, as they are completely dried before packaging. You have to soak it in warm water until it expands and softens. Soak for around 5 mins the first time, then around a minute each time after.
- Give it a squeeze to remove excess water but don’t squeeze too hard, as being too rough can damage the sponge.
- Use the sponge with or without the cleanser of your choice. Konjac sponges can be used by itself as it is naturally quite alkaline, this gives it gentle soap like cleansing ability. For the best, cleanest clean, however, we recommend using a gentle natural cleanser.
- Use them in circular motions to remove make-up, sunscreen, and all that dirt. They can also reach all those awkward spots on your face.
- After using, rinse it thoroughly and remove excess water.
- Hang up to dry in a well-ventilated room which will make it hard again.
Konjac Sponges have a unique texture compared to other sponges, they have a bit of a gel-like feel .
They can be used on your face and body. It can be used twice a day on your face. Think of it as the gentlest physical scrub. Since they are natural, it will start to fall apart depending on how much they are used. If you use it twice daily, you may have to replace it after 3 weeks. If you only use it a few times a week, you may be able to stretch it out to 5 weeks.
So, how do you incorporate it into your skincare routine?
Simple Morning Skin Care Routine
- Konjac Sponge with or without cleanser
- Moisturizer with SPF or Moisturizer then Sunscreen (make sure it’s at least SPF 30).
- Lip Balm
- First cleanse - Remove makeup with your face wipes and makeup remover, then use hands with cleanser for a pre-cleanse.
- Use the konjac sponge for your second cleanse stage and exfoliating stage. Yes, it’s a two in one! I recommend using it with your favorite face wash.
- Serum or Sheet Mask
- Eye Cream
- Replenishing Oil
- Lip balm
If you wore sunscreen and/or make-up, you should be doing a double cleanse as this will make sure that all of that will be gone. Also, remember to wear sunscreen daily if you’re going to be out or near a window.
If you are just starting or want the minimum number of products, I suggest having the konjac sponge, a cleanser, a moisturizer, a toner, sunscreen, and lip balm. That’s it!