How to Use a Konjac Sponge (and Why It’s Worth Trying)

How to Use a Konjac Sponge -and Why It's Worth Trying

Ever heard of a konjac sponge? It’s true … the same konjac root that makes miracle noodles also makes a fabulous facial treatment! Thank goodness you don’t need to rub pasta on your face to get the nourishing benefits of konjac.

The increasingly popular konjac sponge can help naturally cleanse, exfoliate, and nourish skin. Here’s why it has enjoyed its recent rise in popularity:

What Is a Konjac Sponge?

So maybe you’ve seen the little colored round sponges but weren’t quite sure what to make of them. Konjac sponges are made from the dried and ground root of the konjac, or elephant yam, that’s native to Asia.

Asian cultures have used konjac root for over 2,000 years, and konjac sponges have been a popular item there for about 100 years.

The process is simple enough. Konjac powder is mixed with calcium hydroxide, heated, frozen and then dried. The calcium yields an alkaline end product that helps to balance an overly acidic skin pH. Sometimes powdered charcoal or green or red clay is added to benefit different skin types and further draw out skin impurities.

Why a Konjac Sponge Works

I’m a big fan of body brushing for its ability to increase circulation, exfoliate and cleanse pores. A konjac sponge is like body brushing for your face. It’s also helpful for dry patches, acne, blackheads and eczema.

Konjac naturally nourishes with vitamins A, B, C, D and E, proteins, lipids, fatty acids, copper, zinc, iron, and magnesium. This wonder veggie even has antioxidants and has historically been used to suppress tumors. Unlike other exfoliators that harm the environment, konjac is completely natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable (no harmful plastic microbeads needed!)

Better yet, the konjac sponge has enough innate cleansing properties on its own that some people have success using it with just water. Research shows that konjac even inhibits the bacteria that produce acne.

Which Color to Choose

You may notice that there are different colored sponges, but it’s not just for show.

Be sure to check with the manufacturer to see if their colored konjac sponges contain any artificial colors or other undesirable ingredients. When in doubt, even just the simple white konjac sponges work well to improve skin health.

What a Konjac Sponge Feels Like

Konjac sponges feel finer than washcloths, and they’re softer than loofahs and many other face exfoliators. A water barrier forms over the surface of the sponge which makes it feel very slick (almost slimy), but in a good way.

The texture is a little similar to the typical white makeup sponges.

How to Use a Konjac Sponge

  1. When you first get a konjac sponge you’ll notice it’s small and rather hard. Soak the sponge in warm water for 15 minutes before the first use. Once you’ve used it, it will only need soaking for a minute or two before it softens and expands to about one and a half times its size.
  2. Gently squeeze the excess water out by pressing the konjac sponge between your palms. Don’t be rough with it. Apply a small amount of cleanser (if desired), or just use the sponge plain.
  3. Rub the konjac sponge on the face in upward, circular motions. Concentrate on dry or blackhead-prone areas. It’s a mild exfoliator, so it may feel like you need to scrub hard to get it to work, but that isn’t necessary. These sponges will remove dirt, sunscreen, and even makeup. (You may need to use a little bit of coconut oil to remove heavy eye makeup though.)
  4. Rinse the konjac sponge well with cool water and gently squeeze the excess water out by pressing the sponge between your palms. Don’t twist, wring, or pull on it.
  5. Hang it to dry, or put it on a rack so there’s airflow. Alternately, you can keep the sponge in a sealed container in your fridge. Make sure to store it away from light and humidity. Right next to your steamy shower isn’t the best option.

Taking Care of a Konjac Sponge

Every 2 weeks, place your konjac sponge in very hot (but not boiling) water for about 5 minutes to disinfect it.

After 4-6 weeks, pitch the sponge and get a new one. It’s time to replace the sponge when it no longer expands properly and starts to disintegrate.

What is your favorite way to cleanse your skin? Have you every tried a konjac sponge and if so, what did you think? Please share in the comments!

Reasons to try washing your face with a konjac sponge-natural cleanser made from a root

Sources:

F. H. Al-Gazzewi and R. F. Tester, “Effect of konjac glucomannan hydrolysates and probiotics on the growth of the skin bacterium Propionibacterium acnes in vitro,” International Journal of Cosmetic Science 32, issue 2 (October 2009).
Melinda Chua. et al., “Traditional uses and potential health benefits of Amorphophallus konjac K. Koch ex N.E.Br.,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 128, issue 2 (March 2010).
http://www.refinery29.com/2014/01/59896/konjac-sponge

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Reader Comments

  1. I will try this. I need something like this to wash off my masks, facial or during cleansing my skin. Thank you for sharing Katie!! I can’t wait 🙂

    • I live in a small city, I don’t know where I could buy something like this LOL. I’m sure it’s been posted on this website before but a homemade sugar scrub works really well also. Mind you, I have pretty tough skin and I don’t mind the strong scratchiness of sugar.

  2. Hi Katie, thank you so much for your amazing website. Your inquisitive mind is benefiting us all in so many ways. I just wanted to let you know about Norwex…if you don’t already know…they have chemical free cleaning products and more. They have body clothes that I have been using for over 5 years it removes all makeup and oils, dead skin with just water. It is very gentle and one cloth lasts for 1 to 2 or more years if you take care of it. When wrung well…it will take dead skin off your body in little rolls without scrubbing to the point of pain. My family has never needed to use soap on our face or body yet and they even contain silver that is embedded into the fibers (no leaching out) to keep it sanitary between uses. Have a blessed 2017!!

  3. I actually bought one of these a while ago and didn’t really seem like it was doing anything, maybe I’m doing something wrong. 😮

    • Same here. I didn’t soak mine for 15 min. like she mentioned. Maybe that’s what I did wrong?? It just felt like a makeup sponge.

  4. I just bought one of these 2 weeks ago. I use it with my black African soap and my face feels better and my pores are smaller after. This will def be a staple in my skin care routine from here on out.

    • Can I ask which color you got?

      • I got the dark grey one.

  5. Hi Katie, Would this sponge work well with the Oil Cleansing Method? Thanks!

  6. My daughter first gifted me a konjac sponge for my face last year. I think she got it as a “two-fer” from Julep. Since then, I noticed konjac sponges put out by Andalou popping up at Sprouts. They were on sale and the one from my daughter was well past its prime. I have found that the “infused” sponges work well without any soaps for a few days, but then I feel like I have to put a squirt of castile tea tree soap on it. I have very sensitive skin and feel like these give me such a gentle exfoliation that I don’t mind using them every day. Much better than my washcloth, for sure! My aging skin is very soft, clear, and bright.
    Thank you for the tips on cleaning and storage. I was squeezing it out and hanging it in the shower.

    -T.

  7. I bought the pink konjac sponge from One Love Organics. I really like the texture on my face and I feel very smooth after using it. I’m using it morning and night.

  8. This is so cool! I’ve never heard of this before. I was just chatting with a friend how all of a sudden we are starting to get acne when we didn’t even get it in our teen years.

  9. These work well and are a great natural choice, unlike microfiber cloths that drop microbeds into our waterways.

  10. I bought one of these for my son a few weeks ago! He had recurring spots on his neck, tried alsorts and found one at Holland and Barratt, it has worked really well! He loves it.. great post!

  11. I got my first konjac sponge from a free subscription box through Julep. Although I didn’t stick with Julep, I definitely stuck with my konjac sponge! My first one was infused with green tea and I was instantly in love! It exfoliated my skin so well that I ended up ditching my Clarisonic! My boyfriend got me my second sponge from a Korean skin care line (he’s so smart!) and it was infused with charcoal. I have acne-prone skin so this sponge is definitely my favorite so far!

  12. These sponges are the most gentle thing to scrub with-great for soft or sensitive skin.

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