Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Japanese Konjac Sponge Review

Review of The Japanese Konjac Sponge in Cherry Blossom Puff

While continuing on my journey to find a longterm Konjac Sponge that I can use everyday, I came across the Japanese Konjac Sponge on Amazon. This brand calls themselves the "original Japanese Konjac Sponge" with 100% natural konjac fiber that is handmade in japan.

japanese konjac sponge

On their own website japanesekonjacsponge you can find a variety of different colors and sizes that cater to different skin needs. There are 6 different types of konjac sponge  - Bamboo Charcoal, Cherry Blossom, Green Tea, Pure White, Wild Mint, and Citrus Fruit-and they come in two shapes- a face puff and body sponge.

I have only tried the charcoal sponge from Ecotools and Revive Beauty's Konjac sponge in the past so I decided to choose the Cherry Blossom face puff for a change - mostly because I love everything pink.

The Cherry Blossom "flavor" sponge has cherry leaf essence from the Yoshino Cherry Tree added to it and is supposed to help repair roughness, make skin smoother, brighter and lighter.

According to their website, the cherry blossom sponge would
Gently exfoliates skin and helps to remove dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and blackheads. Thoroughly cleanses skin pores. Helps the skin looking softer and brighter. Hydrates skin & balances pH. 
It comes packaged in a cardboard box and wrapped in plastic.

For those who haven't tried a konjac sponge before, don't be surprised at its rock-hard texture. This is normal. You need to soak it in cold/warm water to fully hydrate it. The first time that you soak it in water, it takes a bit longer to get hydrated and after that it gets soft fairly quickly. For this brand, it took longer than the ecotools and revive beauty to get hydrated. When I was soaking it for the first time, it took about 5 minutes to soften but after the first time it softens in 1-2 minutes. If you use warm water, it also softens faster.

Below is the picture of the sponge when used the first time. It's round but not a perfect circle as one side is about 2&1/2in while the other is about 3 inches across. One side is flat while the other side is a rounded convex shape. You can see that there are lots of groves and bumps on this sponge, making it feel more natural and less like the molded sponge you see in the ecotools version. It is a bit thinner than the ecotools version.

You can see the size comparison at my konjac sponge collection review here

After soaking it in water, it would expand about 1/2-1 inch.

How I incorporated the konjac sponge into my facial wash routine:

Before jumping into the shower, I would fill a bowl with water and drop my sponge in. It usually just floats on top of the water so you need to push it down into the water for a couple of times to submerge the sponge in the water and hydrate it better. By the time I finish washing my hair, it is usually softened. If not, I would softly squeeze the sponge while it is under water for a couple times.

I like to use the sponge with my facial wash but you could also use it by itself without a facial cleanser or after a facial cleanser.

I wash my face like normal with a facial wash first and before I rinse off my face, I like to use the sponge as an exfoliating step to deeply cleanse my face and then rinse everything off afterwards. I then squeeze and rinse out the sponge, then hang it up on a hook to dry.

I doubt the added cherry leaf essence can do all their claims of repairing the skin and making it smoother and brighter. It's just a marketing tactic and the most it can do is exfoliating the skin and removing the dead skin cells.

When I was purchasing this of amazon, I had the image in mind that bamboo charcoal was a much harder substance than a cherry leaf blossom, so I automatically thought that this sponge would be a lot softer than the charcoal versions I have used in the past. When using it the first time, I was surprised by how abrasive it was. It was more abrasive than the ecotools one and slightly less abrasive than the revive beauty one.

japanese konjac sponge puff in cherry blossom

You are supposed to used the flat side to wash your face, but I found that the rounded convex side was much softer so I ended up using that side.

In terms of exfoliation wise, I find it slightly too abrasive for my taste. It's not uncomfortable and it's soft enough for daily exfoliation, but I think I was so used to the soft bouncy version of ecotools that I am not getting used to this "original" konjac sponges.

What I was surprised about this sponge was that it did feel like some essence would stay on my face after using it. This could all just be in my head because of their marketing ploy about the cherry blossom essence but after using this, I felt that there was a layer of moisture left on my face- like my face was not cleaned thoroughly enough and something was left on my face. It's the same exact feeling where your face feels a tiny bit tacky after you put on toner. You can't feel it on your hands, but I could sense there was something on my face.

Unlike the ecotools and revive beauty sponge, I was excited to find that this one had a string which I could use to hang up and dry the sponge. It feels more sanitary than drying in a bowl. However, what I did not expect is that  if you don't hold onto the string while washing your face, it gets on your face a lot. Therefore, when you are using it, you have to grab on to the string tightly and pull it away while holding onto the sponge so that when you are moving the sponge across your face, the string isn't on your face. That little string doesn't seem like it would pose such an annoying problem, but when you are using it, I felt like I was rubbing was such a nuisance.

The worst part about this sponge was its short lifespan. The instructions say to replace the sponge every 4-6 weeks. It lasted 4 weeks before break apart. I was planning to use it until it broke down which was about 3 month for the ecotool one and I thought this one would last about the same time. During the first week after using it, the knot on the string came loose and the string fell off so I wasn't able to hang it up and left it to dry in a bowl. Because it dried up in a bowl, one side of sponge would dry up faster and shrivel up while the side that is still wet would stay in the expanded state. The difference in the sizes ended up ripping the sponge and within a month, my sponge broke in half and wasn't usable.

I am truly disappointed in it's longevity but it is exactly how long the company had predicted it to last.

Out of the three sponges that I have tried so far- Ecotools, Revive Beauty, and the Japanese Konjac Sponge- I like the ecotools one the most.
At $11, it is the second most expensive sponge out of all the sponges I have bought (including Dr. Sponge and Dew Puff which I haven't review yet)(the most expensive one being boscia). It's almost twice the price of an ecotools konjac sponge and the ecotools one lasted longer.

I will definitely not be repurchasing this.

I purchased this with my own money and the opinion was all my own.

Have you tried a konjac sponge yet? What's your favorite one?

thanks for reading,


P.S. Don't forget to sanitize your sponge at least once a week (put the sponge in water and nuke it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes)

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