Over the past few years, konjac sponges have become a massive hit in the skincare industry. Even if you've never heard of them, you’ve probably seen them while you’ve been scrolling on social media or out and about in your local beauty retailer. But what is a konjac sponge? Well, konjac sponges are a cushiony, droplet-shaped sponge, made from natural konjac root (a porous vegetable which grows in Asia). In Japanese culture, konjac sponges have been used for over a hundred years. First used for washing young babies, konjac sponges are famous for being incredibly gentle on the skin and are also renowned for an impressive number of other skincare benefits. But what are these other benefits, how do you use a konjac sponge, and most importantly, are konjac sponges sustainable? Allow us to fill you in.
Benefits for the skin
If you want to see rapid improvements in your skin, but don’t have the big bucks for fancy treatments, fear not. The humble konjac sponge can help you.
1. Great for gentle daily exfoliation
Konjac sponges offer the skin gentle but effective exfoliation. Unlike most face scrubs out there, they are gentle enough to be used on an everyday basis and are generally fine to be used on sensitive and rosacea-prone skin types (although always do a patch test first). Using a konjac sponge daily, or even just regularly, will help to keep your skin nice and smooth, and completely flake-free.
2. Get that healthy glow
If you allow dead skin cells to build up, over time your complexion will end up looking dull and sometimes even slightly grey-coloured. Because konjac sponges are exfoliating, frequent use will help to reveal a fresh and glowy complexion.
3. A helpful tool for removing makeup
Konjac sponges are great at removing all your makeup, sunscreen, and any dirt at the end of a long day. When used with a cleansing soap bar and warm water, konjac sponges will remove everything much better than if you cleansed your face with just your hands. Because konjac sponges are so gentle on the skin, you should even be fine to use one across your eyes to lift away any eye makeup.
4. Great for oily skin
If you struggle with keeping your skin shine-free throughout the day, then a konjac sponge may just be your skincare hero. Because konjac sponges are deeply cleansing and offer gentle exfoliation to the skin, they’re ideal for anyone who suffers from excess oiliness.
5. Can help with acne
It’s important to note that severe acne can usually only be cured by a doctor, dermatologist, or other skincare professional. However, because konjac sponges give the skin a really deep cleanse, regular use of one will help to reduce any pesky breakouts that are caused by hygiene slip-ups.
6. Can be used on both the face and body
If you enjoy using a konjac sponge on your face, then the great news is that you can also use one on your body! If you're prone to dry or dull skin on your body or suffer from body acne, then introducing a konjac sponge to your daily shower routine may well be your savior. However, note that for hygiene reasons, you should use a separate sponge for your face and body.
How to use a konjac sponge
So now you know what a konjac sponge is, and what the benefits of using one are. “But how do you use a konjac sponge?” Great question, luckily we’ve got the answers.
1. Use it regularly
Konjac sponges can do really great things for your skin, but they’re not a one-time-use miracle product (secret: no product is). For konjac sponges to work their magic, you need to use them often and consistently. For most skin types, you should be able to use them daily. However, if you have super sensitive skin, you might want to limit your use to just once or twice a week so that you can still reap the benefits without having to deal with any potential irritation.
2. Use with a splash of water and your favourite cleansing soap bar
Before you use your konjac sponge, allow it to soak in lukewarm water until it has expanded and is super soft and lovely. Then give it a quick but firm squeeze, lather on your favourite cleansing soap bar, and wash away any dirt, excess oil, makeup, or sunscreen. If you have been wearing makeup and sunscreen throughout the day, then a second cleanse is usually recommended by dermatologists to make sure your skin is thoroughly clean.
3. Work in circular motions
Working around your face in circular motions is a great way to ensure you clean away all makeup and daily grime. Take extra care with your nose area, hairline, and jawline. These are all areas that often get neglected in our cleansing routines.
4. After cleansing, give your sponge a good squeeze and leave it on the side to dry
It’s really important that you don’t leave your sponge in a sink full of water. Your konjac sponge will last you for much longer if you allow it to properly dry out after each and every use.
5. Replace your sponge after eight to twelve weeks
Because konjac sponges are made from a natural material, they’ll begin to biodegrade over time. If you take good care of your konjac sponge, it will last you much longer. However, even with good care, you’ll still need to replace it every twelve weeks to ensure it’s hygienic for your skin and is still delivering all of those great benefits. A manky old sponge will do your skin no favours!
How to clean your konjac sponge
Washing your face with a dirty sponge could potentially do your skin more harm than good. But, the good news is that they’re easy peasy to keep clean. On top of making sure you squeeze your sponge dry after every use, simply give it a little bath of its own each week. Take a bowl of hot water, add a touch of soap, and allow your sponge to soak for a minute or two before squeezing it dry again (just mind you don’t burn your fingers!)
Which colour konjac sponge is best?
Konjac sponges don’t come in one universal colour. A grey/black konjac sponge will be infused with charcoal, a red konjac sponge will be infused with red clay, a pale green sponge will be infused with aloe vera. And these are just a few examples. The possibilities are endless. Whilst that’s exciting, it’s also potentially a little confusing. You might be left thinking: “which colour konjac sponge is going to be best for me?”
Well, the colour that will work best for you will largely depend on your skin type. However, charcoal and aloe vera infused konjac sponges tend to have great benefits for all skin types. Charcoal is deeply cleansing for the skin, it helps to minimise the appearance of pores, and it can help with excess oiliness and reduce the appearance of acne. Aloe vera is incredibly soothing for the skin, it adds hydration to the skin, and it can also help to reduce the appearance of acne. Sounds pretty great if you ask us!
Are konjac sponges sustainable?
Yes! Konjac sponges are 100% natural, 100% biodegradable (meaning you can compost them after use), and, at KiteNest, ours also come 100% plastic-free.
It should come as no surprise that sponges made from plastic are terrible for the environment. As you use them, tiny plastic fibres break off and are washed down the drain. Eventually, these fibres make their way into our streams, rivers, and oceans, contributing to microplastic pollution. And guess what? Natural sea sponges aren’t much better. Sea sponges are the leftover remains of a once-living creature (think Spongebob Squarepants). Whilst sea sponges don’t contribute towards plastic pollution, they’re definitely not sustainable. This is because the harvesting of sea sponges is generally linked to the destruction of coral reefs. As such, konjac sponges are a great sustainable swap to make.
Whether your skin suffers from dullness, dryness, oiliness, or zits and blemishes, the humble konjac sponge has got you covered. Not only will swapping to a konjac sponge benefit your skin, but it will also benefit the planet. Konjac sponges aren’t a beauty trend you’ll want to miss out on.