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!
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8 thoughts on “Konjac Sponge Review: Ecotools and Kuu”
These have been intriguing me indeed! I’m a bit sceptical about the bacteria side of things too, but I guess if you’re changing them as recommended, it isn’t a huge deal. I think I’ll still definitely try one of these out for myself!
Tasha // shiwashiful.
They’re definitely worth a try, if only to see what the hype is about! 😛
I tried the EcoTools sponge for sensitive skin and found it wasn’t any better than using a wash cloth which I prefer because they can be hung to dry quickly and laundered regularly. Personally not a fan of this konjac sponge trend. Why are people so sponge mad right now?
I actually haven’t tried a washcloth in years – from memory this feels a bit more thorough but I can totally see the hygienic advantage! I do think part of the sponge fad is the “Asian mystique”/novelty angle.
I recently bought the sensitive skin sponge from EcoTools and I really like it. It’s better than just my fingers, though it doesn’t replace a real scrub. It doesn’t dry out if I leave it in the shower, but if it’s set on my skin further away from the steaming water it dries out better. The first thing I thought when I took it out of the box was that I wished they had given it a cord to hang it from, though!
Glad I’m not the only one who wants a string – I’m actually thinking of putting a string through them now!
Sounds reasonable and not too difficult! Also, just realized I said I’d let it dry on my skin, which makes no sense … meant “sink”!
The sensitive sponge from Ecotools is great as a facial exfoliator. Have bought it and would definitely recommend it.