No, we are not talking about a sponge made with the famous distillate but about a sponge made with the root of the homonymous plant. Konjac, scientific name Amorphophallus konjac, is in fact a porous tuber of Asian origin, well known for its uses in the kitchen, since it is the basic ingredient for producing special spaghetti and jellies with a thickening action. But that's not all. In fact, sponges dedicated to facial cleansing are also produced with konjac and can be found in herbalist's shops, specialized shops and online. Today we are talking about the benefits that can derive from using a konjac sponge, we will see how to choose the sponge that best suits our needs and how it is applied to the face.
Konjac sponge, properties
The konjac sponge was originally created in Japan for cleansing children's skin. So it is a delicate product that can be used without problems on the skin of the face. The konjac sponge has an exfoliating action on the skin, helping to eliminate dead cells from the epidermis, thus stimulating skin regeneration, helping to reduce wrinkles, expression lines and skin spots and leaving the skin softer, smoother and brighter ( Grajqevci-Kotori et al, Med Arch, 2015). But exfoliation doesn't just help with mature skin, acne-prone skin can also benefit from it. In fact, a skin of this type produces up to five times more dead cells of the epidermis, which could increase the formation of pimples and blackheads by blocking the hair follicles (Packianathan et al, Functional Plant Science and Biotechnology, 2010). In case of dehydrated skin, a delicate exfoliation helps to make the hydrating agents penetrate better and give the skin tone, elasticity and freshness (Packianathan et al, Functional Plant Science and Biotechnology, 2010). In addition to this, konjac contains a sugar called glucomannan. Well, it is to this substance that important protective properties for the skin are attributed, especially in the presence of acne and blackheads. In fact, glucomannan has been shown to act by inhibiting the proliferation of the Propionibacterium acnes bacterium, the main cause of the development of acne (Bateni et al, American Journal of Dermatology and Venereology, 2013).
Konjac sponge, how to choose it
Today, there are different types of konjac sponge on the market. All konjac sponges contain konjac but can also be enriched with other ingredients, which are particularly beneficial for our skin and which give the sponge a different colour. For example, the black sponge contains vegetable charcoal, which is indicated as a dermopurifying, absorbent and whitening ingredient useful in case of oily and acne-prone skin, even if there are no scientific studies in this regard (Villareal et al, The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2015). The pink sponge contains pink clay, ideal for delicate skin, the red one contains red clay, useful in case of mature or dry skin, the green one may contain green clay, excellent for combination or oily skin, or green tea, which also revives the dullest skin, opaque and mature (Wisuitiprot et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2022 - Beringhs et al, AAPS PharmSciTech, 2013).
Konjac sponge, how to use it
Soak the konjac sponge in warm water for ten or fifteen minutes. After this time, massage the face with the sponge in circular movements, avoiding the eye area. The treatment lasts a couple of minutes. Then, rinse the sponge well, squeeze it and hang it up, so it can dry well. The sponge should be changed after 1 or 2 months.