I’m a big fan of physical exfoliation – while I love chemical exfoliation, my skin is really receptive to a good polishing every once in a while. My long-time favourites have been peeling gels and cleansing brushes, but after listening to the good folk at Skincare Addiction rave about konjac sponges, I had to try them for myself.
Konjac is the root of a plant that’s used in Asian cuisine. It looks a bit like a potato. It appears in noodles and jelly cups, as well as low-carb pasta substitutes (it’s high in glucomannan, a dietary fibre but low in starch, so it’s a great diet food).
Konjac sponges are hard, almost pumice-like sponges which swell up to the texture of a thick sponge when soaked in water. You rub the sponge over your face to gently buff off dead skin cells. They can be used by itself or with cleanser – I prefer to use it over clean skin so I can rinse the sponge out more easily. I’ve tried two different brands of konjac sponges so far: Ecotools and Kuu.
Ecotools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge
Ecotools offers two konjac sponges – a black sponge that’s been impregnated with charcoal that’s marketed for Deep Cleansing, and a white sponge for Sensitive Skin (RRP $14.95). They are sold dry, and are shaped like a teardrop.
Kuu Konjac Sponge With French Red Clay
The Kuu Konjac sponge with French Red Clay (RRP $9.95) comes wet in an airtight packet. It has a string attached to allow for quicker drying. It’s advertised to last for 2-3 months of daily use.
The version I have contains French Red Clay and is aimed at dry, sensitive and mature skin. There are other versions available, with green clay (oily/combo), bamboo charcoal (acne) or no additives. The marketing makes zero scientific sense, but the sponge itself is pretty good.
The Ecotools sponges feel a little less substantial than the Kuu sponge, and take a fair bit longer to dry as well, probably due to the lack of a hanging string. The Kuu sponge is also a bit cheaper compared to the Ecotools Australian retail price, but the Ecotools sponges are much easier to find in stores than the Kuu ones. Additionally, I’m not sure how I feel about Kuu’s marketing – nonsensical phrases like “No Chemicals” and “Naturally pH balanced alkaline” make me hesitant to buy.
I like the konjac sponges for their gentleness, but they don’t seem to do as much for small flakes of dead skin as a peeling gel. I also like the fact they’re reuseable tools rather than wash-off products, which makes them a bit more eco-friendly than a peeling gel, but the fact they take a long time to dry makes me wonder about how much bacteria and mould they might harbour. I can definitely see why people rave about them, but personally, peeling gels still get my vote!
These products were provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.