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What is a Konjac sponge?

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

If you are reading this blog then you are either in our shop looking at the Konjac sponges in our "Bath & Body" section or you have Googled "What is a Konjac sponge?" and come across our post!


If it's the latter then let me explain... The Hive by VH Interiors is a General Store & Beverage Bar located on the edge of Altrincham, a Market town located in Greater Manchester. Our shop has interactive NFC tags on certain products to help explain and highlight their benefits. You can buy your Konjac sponge here!


If it was the former then rest assured you are not alone in wondering what a Konjac sponge is, as common search engine questions include:


So let us help you learn more by answering these questions for you!


How do you pronounce Konjac?


Our research shows there is a 50/50 chance you are pronounce Konjac incorrectly. When we say research, we basically mean Gareth knew how to pronounce it and Steven didn't! So Steven... it is pronounced Kon-Jack not Cognac!




What is a Konjac sponge?


Konjac sponges are 100% natural and biodegradable, they are made from the tuber of the Konjac plant, which has been cultivated in Asia for centuries.


When used regularly, a Konjac Sponge helps to purify skin by gently unclogging pores, encouraging cellular turnover with its gentle exfoliation powers, and preventing the appearance of blackheads and breakouts as they gently remove excess sebum, dirt, and bacteria.



What are the benefits of using a Konjac sponge?


The fibres of Konjac sponges are naturally porous and become super soft when immersed in water, making them gentle enough to use on all skin types, even sensitive skin making them ideal for daily exfoliation. Konjac sponges can be used to buff away dead skin cells, dislodge dirt and even remove your make-up, leaving your face feeling soft and super clean.


Konjac sponges are delicate enough to use for both facial and full-body cleansing. But if you like to use a Konjac sponges for all of your scrubbing and exfoliating needs, consider buying one for your face and one for the rest of your body.



How do you use a Konjac sponge?


Before using for the first time or for the first time in a while soak the sponge in warm water for 15-20 minutes, for future daily use you will only then need to soak the sponge in warm water for 5 minutes or so.

A preliminary soak is necessary to soften the hard, dry fibres prior to cleansing. As the sponge soaks, it will begin to grow in size. Once it stops expanding (up to 1½ times its original size), it will be ready to use.


Remove the sponge from the water and press it firmly between the palms of your hands.

It should be moist, but not sopping wet. Wringing, twisting, or stretching it could damage the natural plant fibres, so remember to just press.


Dampen your skin with warm water.

The warmth of the water will help open up your pores, making the sponge more effective at clearing away dirt, debris, and oil. For this reason, it can be especially convenient to use your Konjac sponge during or just after a hot shower.



How do you care for / clean a Konjac sponge?


Rinse your Konjac sponge thoroughly after each use

Konjac sponges are antibacterial, but you still need to clean them! So hold the sponge under a stream of warm running water and squeeze it repeatedly to flush out dirt, oil, and traces of cleanser. Continue rinsing and squeezing until the water runs clear.


Press out any remaining moisture by hand.

Remembering not to be too rough with your Konjac sponges (Wringing, twisting, or stretching it could damage the natural plant fibres) press out as must water by hand. Leaving your sponge saturated with water or skincare products will make it a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.


Avoid washing your Konjac sponge with boiling water.

High temperatures could lead to shrinking or damage.


Hang your Konjac sponge in a well-ventilated area to dry between uses.

When stored properly, any lingering moisture should evaporate overnight. Your sponge will then re-harden and be ready for the next soak. Because of the high amount of humidity in the air, the bathroom where you take your daily shower may not be the best place to keep your Konjac sponges, we store ours in the bedroom.



How long does a Konjac sponge last?


We recommend replacing your Konjac sponge every 4-6 weeks

After a while, your sponge will lose its original texture and begin to disintegrate. When this happens, it’s time to pick up a new one, either every 4-6 weeks or as soon as they begin to deteriorate. This will ensure your skin stays clear, healthy, and radiant.


Your Konjac sponges may enjoy a longer lifespan if you don’t use it every single day.


How is a Konjac sponge made?


Well to put it very simply, approx 1000m high in a mountainous area around the Sichuan Basin, the raw material (which resembles a potato) is extracted from the konjac plants tuber and refined by a special process and turned into a powder!


This powder is then added to calcium hydroxide and cold water (forming a thick liquid) and pumped into moulds.


The mixture is then effectively steamed in a heat solidification process until is solid and then cooled, at this point the Konjac is actually edible and is a popular Chinese delicacy known as Konjac tofu!


However, to form a sponge it is then repeatedly frozen and thawed in a special freezer until it is uniformly frozen to the core, this process separates the konjac fibre from the water making a porous sponge!


Which colour sponge should I use?


Any!

Whilst the classic konjac sponges are black and infused with charcoal, the additional ingredients such as charcoal or clay, don't touch your face long enough for them to have any effect on your skin. So don’t get too hung up on the differences, we only stock a variety for identification reasons. For example we use black ones on our face and pink ones on our body.



How should I dispose of a Konjac sponge?


The Hive by VH Interiors were named "Sustainability Champion" runner up in the 2022 Altrincham and Sale chamber of commerce awards (See photo below).

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that we suggest the following...


When it's time to replace your sponge, we recommend adding it to the bottom of a plant pot before planting or simply throwing it in a compost bin. It is a natural product, it will breakdown quickly in a home composting environment, so you don't need to send it in a HGV to the landfill or to the incinerator.



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