The Weirdest, Best Skincare Tool I’ve Ever Tried

I’ve fallen in love with the kind of thing you see on infomercials.

It’s one of those products you suddenly think you need even though you don’t totally get what it is. Its promise has a hiding-in-plain-sight simplicity that makes you wonder why you didn’t invent it yourself. It’s weird looking.

This particular thing is a cleansing tool by a company called Konjac Sponge, and it is, as the name suggests, a sponge made of fibers from the konjac plant, which of course I had to google, and which people apparently eat to suppress their appetites (please do not do this). It’s a skincare cult hit in parts of Asia and the U.K., costs 9 bucks and comes rock hard in a plastic bag promising to gently exfoliate (with or without a cleanser), hydrate and pH balance your skin.

Hard to believe when you feel the thing; it’s rough and light as a pumice stone, with bumpy ridges that feel as though they could take off the top layer of your skin if you weren’t careful. That’s only until you wet it, though.

I ran mine under warm water and felt the sponge transform into a pouf in my hands. It had a nice spring to it, was nice and soft and almost slippery. I decided to try it first without a cleanser. It was a barely-there makeup day, so I removed my mascara and gently wiped the Konjac on my forehead first. It felt like I’d wadded up some cottony paper towels—really gentle and sort of like I wasn’t doing anything at all. Encouraged, I kept going, and when I was done with my whole face and decolletage (avoiding my eye area, obviously), my skin felt so…clean. And happy. No irritation whatsoever, and bit of a glow, too.

I’ve tried it since with my Kahina Giving Beauty Cleanser and my Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser (I wouldn’t recommend using it with the latter if you have sensitive skin—too much scrub when they’re paired), and I’m hooked. I won’t even leave it at home when I travel! In the morning I use it sans cleanser. At night I use it with. The trick is to hang it by its string after every use, not to ring it out, and let it dry completely, allowing it to return to it’s original rocky state, before using it again.

I have only used the basic one but there are others infused with clay and charcoal. I intend to try those next; Hazel at NuboNau, who sent me the sponge, swears by them.

Have you tried a Konjac Sponge? Something like it? Tell, tell.

Comments
34 Responses to “The Weirdest, Best Skincare Tool I’ve Ever Tried”
  1. fern says:

    I’ve tried it, but it didn’t seem to do anything. Maybe it’s not scrubby enough for me. Maybe I need to use it more consistently?

    On another note: how do you travel with it or bring it to the gym? Wouldn’t it get moldy? I hesitated to bring it to the gym and let it sit, wet, in my gym bag all day…

  2. Lolly says:

    My Kojac Experience (greatest band name ever – y/y?) was very similar to yours. I alo got the plain one (mainly because they were out of the one for dry skin) and I love it. I don’t use it regularly enough because I am far too schizophrenic with my skincare (specially cleansing) to even remember it on a daily basis, but it’s awesome. When paired with my One Love Organics cleanser it createst the cushiest foam and does a great job of cleaning throughly and gently. It’s also very good to use with balm cleansers. I periodically get tired of having to use flannels (or simply run out of clean ones) and the sponge does a great job of removing the balm, while still leaving a bit of moisture on the skin. All in all, a winner! I think I am going to try the clay one next.

  3. Rebecca Bailey says:

    I just started using these! I couldn’t resist buying one of each kind from Stark (http://www.starkskincare.com – Canadians take note!) along with my usual products. So far I’ve tried the pink clay one and love it, the plain and the red clay are awaiting. These are supposed to suit my drier, mature and more sensitive skin. The Konjac site does a great job explaining what the different types are for. My son is using the charcoal and I have the green clay for him next. I hear they can last at least a couple months with proper care. I find the sponge exfoliating without being harsh at all. I like it on its own, or to take off the last bits of a coconut oil cleanse. Haven’t tried it with a cleanser yet, but I’m thinking for my skin type that might be more than I need.

  4. KammyH says:

    I love my konjac sponge! I’ve tried them all and my favorite is definitely the charcoal version. I love that it leaves my skin feeling really clean without feeling parched and dry the way so many cleansers do.

  5. Rebecca W says:

    Gah! You got me, I just ordered some. :P

  6. therese says:

    I have used a different company called Konjacu and loved it. I got it at a green convention and need to order more. I loved the charcoal one the best. They come in sets of three. Thanks for reminding me how much I miss this little sponge. I have mature skin and it did not irritate.

  7. Sydney says:

    I bought the Bamboo Charcoal face sponge and the French Pink Clay body sponge from Spirit Beauty Lounge awhile back. I just used them “as is” without any soap or cleanser and they both work very well in terms of actually cleansing. But in terms of convenience it wasn’t real practical for me. I don’t have any hooks in my bathroom to hang them up on so they ended up sitting on a counter or a shelf most of the time and when I would be late to school (think every day) then my pink clay sponge would sit in a soaking wet glob on the side of my shower tub. Because of this they literally disintegrated very quickly. Even though I won’t repurchase again, if someone forced me to choose something to wash my skin with with besides water and my OLO skin shammy, I would most definitely pick these sponges (:

  8. Sam says:

    I use something that is long flat and looks like a brick. I use it on my hands, arm and feet. It works amazing it removes all the dirt and cleanses making my brown skin look lighter :)

  9. JJ says:

    I thought we were talking about a different kind of sponge.

    I don’t use that to clean my face.

    I do sometimes use one of those compressed sponges from Trader Joes on my face to remove the Vapour Organic mime makeup you guys recommended. It works very well.

  10. RachelC says:

    I actually just ordered two of these yesterday (the pink clay and the baby one). I’m so glad I checked here today and found this post! :) I’ve got very dry, (at present) irritated skin from the latest Eastern Ontario cold winter. I need something gentle but I also need to exfoliate (gently) or nothing I put on my skin will do any good. Looking forward to trying it after oil cleansing.

  11. Joanne says:

    gah…just bought 4 of them on starkskincare.com.
    Your blog review just made my credit card company very happy. lol

  12. Kate says:

    Ooh – I love my Konjac sponge. I use the pink one and it’s pretty awesome. As others have mentioned, you do need to hang it to dry or it can disintegrate/get moldy but I’ve traveled successfully with it for up to a week. I only use mine without cleanser (as a morning exfoliant a few times a week) and it works really well for that purpose.

  13. Beth says:

    I’ve looked at these online after another reader mentioned them in her morning routine and I have been very curious. Thanks for the review.

  14. Steff says:

    I’m glad you did a post on this because I’ve seen the Konjac sponge many times on the site I usually purchase off of here in the U.K. I’ve always wondered what they were like!
    Do you think this could be used with the oil cleansing method? I’ve recently started that and have been sticking it out for the last two weeks while my skin adjusts to the “detox” period.

  15. Margaret says:

    Wow… I never even knew these existed!! I’m going to have to try it out…. And $9 isnt too bad. :D Thanks for posting this up! :D

  16. jessica says:

    I love these cute little squishies so much that we started selling them on our site a few months back, as they basically compliment our entire line. (www.starkskincare.com …. as Rebecca mentioned! *blows a kiss!*)
    They work so, so, so well for balm-cleansing, so if you’re a fan of that method, don’t hesitate to pick one of these little guys up! They really make your skin feel super fresh, and they balance the skin’s pH, which totally makes a difference to your skin’s overall health. Or so I have found!
    I think my favourite is the pink, but right now I’m really into the green one. My husband is a purist and will only use the white one. Our soon-to-be-born-son even has the baby one! We’re a Konjac family!!
    I can’t wait to get their body sponge. Mmmm.

  17. nancy lili says:

    Ooh, I am very interested in this. How does it compare to the Clarisonic? I’ve been using that for a few months and I’ve hardly noticed any results, but if this works, then maybe it’s worth it to switch over. Heck, I’ll probably try it anyway since it’s cheaper than a new brush head for the Clarisonic.

    I’m intrigued! I want to be in on this!

  18. Annette says:

    I tried the plain sponge. I thought it scrubbed well. I use the oil cleansing method so I felt like I had to soap it up before I hung it to dry. I used it this winter and found it didn’t dry completely before the next night. Would I recommend it? I don’t know. I stopped using it so I guess I wasn’t blown away. I think I’ll give it another shot to see what my trouble was.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    My experience started out great, and then…….

    I bought the original sponge. I have sensitive skin, and after using the Konjac I didn’t actually feel like I’d just had 1,000 Botox injections after washing my face. AND it was clean! I followed the care instructions, let it dry out everyday, no wringing. It wasn’t long before my sponge was turning grey and mildew-y. Yuck! Not cool enough for me :o/ Especially at $9 + shipping for a single sponge. Was I missing a step in the upkeep? I have to admit I’m doing alright with just warm water and a cloth on no make-up days, and 100% Pure foaming facial wash and coconut oil for make-up days. Sorry for the not so great review! I think it might have been my first!

  20. Mimi says:

    Gah, I love these! When I first bought mine I almost emailed you guys to tell you how much I loved it, but then….well like you don’t have enough emails to read already. I have *super* sensitive skin yet I am able to use these with no irritation whatsoever. It’s like getting that squeaky clean freshly exfoliated feeling without actually stripping my face of all it’s precious oils. Personally, I like the charcoal ones the best as it really helps with my congested pores. (yuck)

  21. Joce says:

    I have had one of these in the charcoal version for some time. I really don’t think it’s that amazing. :( I was really excited about it when I first discovered it, and when I first started using it. I enjoy the fun, weird experience of making it squishy under warm water… but I find it not only doesn’t clean my face without soap added, but it makes it feel oily and squishy… like the sponge. With soap, it just makes a slippery mess and then my sponge takes forever to rinse out gently. Bummer, cuz it’s so fun! Maybe I’ll give it another go, but hasn’t seemed to do much for me.

  22. Hi Siobhan,
    I have used and love the Konjac sponge. I totally agree with @Lolly that the Konjac sponge and OLO foaming cleanser makes a great foam and you can use just the tiniest amount of cleanser for your whole face. I also like the sponge to use with cold water in the morning to clean and depuff my eye area. I run it under super cold water and press it to my eyes to wake up. I don’t like it though for an oil or balm cleansing-it felt like the oil clogged up the sponge-but with plain water and/or a bit of foaming cleanser, it is pretty delightful! And thank you, @Sydney for loving our shammys!

  23. Stephanie says:

    I bought a couple in the fall last year. I had the red one and the pink one. Loved them both but definitely needed cleanser with them. I have to wear a lot of makeup for work. They are a great alternative to wash cloths. I would definitely repurchase them if my hubby hadn’t gotten me a Clarisonic Mia2 instead!

  24. JeanineDC says:

    Hmmmm…. now you tempted me to try yet something else. You are evil! :P

    I have been using Pai’s muslin cloth and absolutely love it. I would have to see if this works better.

    Jeanine
    stylishlyorganic.com

  25. JeanineDC says:

    Hmmmm…. you tempted me again. You guys are evil! :P

    I have been using Pai’s muslin cloth with a creamy cleanser and love it. Would have to see if this works any better.

    Jeanine
    stylishlyorganic.com

  26. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @JeanineDC, I use the Pai cloth too, and I love it, though I find the Konjac sponge much more gentle. I plan to keep using both products depending on what I need. I use the Pai mostly on my nose, but only occasionally on the rest of my sensitive face. I can use the Konjac all over, and I’m experimenting with how I often I can use it and have the positive effects without making my skin angry!

  27. Sabah says:

    I use the pink one (French clay?), and I love the feel of it against my skin but other than that, can’t say it does much for my skin. I prefer something a little less soft for exfoliating

  28. Lynn says:

    I totally love the pink one! I use it in the evening everyday, if I’m wearing any mascara I remove it w/ a dab of coconut oil first but otherwise this sponge does everything I need. I have very sensitive slightly dry skin and I love the feel of cleansing w/ the konjac and after a month or so of use have noticed smaller pores on my nose. I cleanse in the morning w/ our \Good Clean Face\ botanical cleansing powder for s bit more exfoliation and the wake-me up aromatherapy but when I travel I only pack the Konjac sponge, super easy! On a funny note I had it hanging in my bathroom and my grandmother thought I left a contraceptive sponge out for all to see, LOL

  29. Hello there!

    Just to say…I am an addict to these little sponges! I Just LOVE ‘em!

    So, my tip – hang them on your tap over your bathroom sink – they are dry by the time it’s bedtime ( I hang mine over the spout of the tap…and it dries out great.) I have had my current, black charcoal one for about three months now, no mould and still going great at two times use a day. I have to share, Soapwalla’s new charcoal soap with these sponges….just WOW! I get breakouts on my chest ( and chin) and this is certainly the most ‘dynamic duo’ to cleanse and treat!

    Fab feedback from the NMDL team and community – thanks guys!

    Hazel

  30. Anne says:

    I love it ! I bought mine here: http://konjac-sponge.com/shop/konjac-sponge/ – free Shiping Worlwide :-) I am a Konjac Sponge addict!

  31. Meredith says:

    Ok, I was just too curious about this after reading this post so I ordered a green clay konjac sponge from Spirit Beauty Lounge and tried it out last night.
    I instantly fell in love with how it felt in my hands–so squishy! I made sure to remove my makeup first because I didn’t want any makeup to work its way into the sponge. Then I applied a Juice Beauty cleanser to my face and rubbed it around with the sponge. Afterward I noticed my face looked super clean. It also didn’t look irritated like it does when I use a wash cloth.
    I used the sponge again this morning and my skin feels perfectly balanced. I normally never wash my face in the morning, but it can get a little oily. This is a perfect way to clean my face in the a.m. without stripping it.
    I’m so glad you introduced me to this!

  32. Kiki says:

    I’ve been using this little tool for 6 months now, and it’s great.

    I do reccommend to push out water after usage, but between flat hands, don’t wring it our. This way the sponge dries faster and lasts longer. Mine last about 3 months!

    Oh and we just had a baby and we LOVE the baby sponge. It’s shape totally makes sense, you can even use it to clean in between the babies little fingers, behind his knees, and other hard to reach places … and it’s super soft. We also use it to hold water and squeeze it out above his head. He just loves that!

    I am in Germany where they have their own website now: http://konjac-sponge.de with quite some retailers, but I ordered mine on http://amazingy.com – a fantastic little online shop for all sorts of organic beauty products in Europe.

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