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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Why We Love the Konjac Sponge and You Should, Too

Hint: it's the perfect way to cleanse your skin gently, sustainably, and cruelty-free.


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It's time to give AHA overload and course physical exfoliants a rest. The konjac sponge is about to be your delicate winter skin's new best friend––and your spring, summer, and fall skin's, too, for that matter. We already know exfoliation is of the utmost importance in the right amounts, especially this time of the year above the hemisphere. But with a myriad of different ways to scrub, peel, and slough away excess cells, it can be difficult to know exactly what to use for your specific skin needs.

The konjac sponge is incredibly gentle (and we'll tell you why in a moment), so it does not strip oily skin causing it to overproduce. It's also highly effective at removing the visible consequences of dry skin. That's right: We've taken the guesswork out of choosing the perfect exfoliant (in-between facials, of course). This is a skincare essential for every skin type.

Related: Why Seaweed Should Be a Staple in Your Skincare Routine

What Is the Konjac Sponge?

An expert at sloughing away impurities and the spoils of dry, winter skin, the konjac sponge has been used for centuries, especially for sensitive skin. Unlike other common natural sponges, the humble konjac is vegetable-based. It's a root...with its own roots most commonly in Japan, China, and Indonesia. The konjac plant itself grows in very high altitudes, so its extremities have been used in mountainous societies for ages. Having almost no calories, the konjac root has been prized as a dietary staple in these communities. As the root has grown in popularity, specifically for its use as a sponge, this little tool has taken the lead in the skincare routines of individuals all over the world.

Related: A Skin Care Addict’s Crawl Through Paris

What It Does

The konjac sponge does not require pouring or mixing whatsoever and can be used anywhere there is fresh water. This means a consistently mess-free exfoliation. The konjac root also has a special property that allows it to absorb water, enough to turn it from something resembling a volcanic rock into a soft sponge, but also suspend water slightly above its surface. This means that as you are massaging your cleanser into your skin with the tool, there is a small barrier of water between the sponge and your skin, making your morning and evening cleanses as gentle as they are effective.

Where to Get It

Konjac sponges are now available for nearly every skin type and texture. Some are infused with charcoal, which lends to the sponge's draw of impurities from the skin. There are even sponges made with green tea, for mild soothing and calming effects, and clays of all types, which are especially good for taming oilier skin and calming acne. If you have sensitive skin, pure konjac sponges are also available and completely free of parabens, chemicals, and irritants altogether.


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