The Konjac Sponge: A Love-Letter Review

Dear Adventurers, may I introduce: my new beauty favourite! Sponges made from konjac root. Kon-what you ask. Konjac!

What looks and feels like a piece of very lightweight pumice stone at first sight, turns into the softest sponge when soaked in water. But it’s just the beginning of konjac magic…


Konjac is a root quite common in traditional Japanese cuisine: the flour and jelly made from it, white or black naturally, are used for noodles, jelly desserts (thus substituting gelatine), or for vegan seafood substitute. It’s rich in fiber and very viscous.


One day here I was, looking to enhance my cleansing routine.

Well, several beauty companies suggest that you cleanse your face properly, and they aren’t wrong with that. But just as with shampoo, I don’t want to use aggressive soaps or scrubs, I want my face cleansed – not destroyed. Nor do I want a complicated rain dance around the basin! So having tried several washing/cleansing routines out there, I’ve come up with my own solution.

Step 1: Prior to washing, I apply just two drops of a pure oil: argan, or brokkoli seed, or macadamia, depends on mood and season. The oil acts as a pre-cleanser but also protects the skin from the hard water which always has a bad effect.
Step 2: I foam up a few drops of a very mild liquid soap –  I’ve discovered an especially mild and good one with essential lavender oil recently. I wash my face with this foam and a bit of water (the temperature depends, but that’s another story).
Step 3: I finish off with a whiff of mineral water spray and whatever day care I need to apply. 

This routine is quick and invigorating and works well. But I needed a mild, yet effective peeling of sorts that I could use whenever I felt my skin could use some gentle scrubbing. I wasn’t happy with face brushes – synthetic or natural, they were way too harsh for me 😦 I’ve also tried different, even most exotic peeling gloves/ face cloth products – and none of them stayed.

So as soon as I discovered the Konjac sponges at one of my favourite natural beauty online shops I figured “why not?” and ordered two different sizes to try them.


When they arrived, I tested them immediately, and went bonkers with delight.

And please let me remind you: this is a review, not a paid article. BEAUTYCALYPTIC raving is always real raving. I’m on nobody’s payroll, and I’m only publishing reviews of products I truly can recommend (or lists of INCIs I prefer to avoid for that matter).

That said…

The manufacturer offers pure Konjac sponges too, which are white, but I picked red and black! Goth Nouveau FTW! 😉

Below you see my sponges in their dry state. The sponge on the left is the body sponge, enriched with red clay; the sponge on the right is a face sponge, enriched with bamboo charcoal. The face sponge comes pierced with a thread – so you can let it hang and dry perfectly hygienically.

I must admit, using them is a bit of a geeky pleasure: real Japanese beauty secrets 🙂
And here’s what they look like wet: they are bigger and perfectly soft.

When wet, the sponges are soft, gum-like, scent-free – pure stress killers. You can’t stop squeeeeeezing them! It’s also quite easy to take care of them – the sponges come with instructions and care tips.

The good thing is you can use them with or without product, and if you use product, you naturally need just a fraction.

The peeling effect is very, very gentle; the skin doesn’t feel stripped, irritated, it actually feels massaged, and looks glowy. Which is logical – the massage improves the blood flow = more oxygen to the cells, more detox for the system!

On a side note: 

I’ve given one sponge to a soon-to-be mum and to a woman with weak, mature skin. Both love their sponges!

The sponges are fully biodegradable, too; and the UK-based manufacturer promises they have no artificial additives (like colourings or preservatives) added – it’s only konjac or konjac with clay or coal respectively.

UPDATE May 2013: Check out “More Perks of the Konjac Spongehere!


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

10 Responses

  1. the interweb is amazing – we just went to visit someone in england who is not sure whether to keep writing, then up laurel canyon to see someone else’s pictures across to berlin to enjoy the fruits of miss jules after her sojourn in spain and then you are here testing juicy-soft-sponges.


    happy saturday.

      1. especially when we leave people in one place and hold them in our heads and then go back to visit – it is akin to projection or a splendid Holodeck.

  2. julia

    oh, dear! i NEED this. currently i am cleansing with a peeling/cleansing cloth which works ok and i definitely saw an improvement (pore-wise), but this sounds and looks like BLISS!

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