There aren’t many people who get excited about new sponges, I expect, but I have to admit I am one of them. WHY would anyone thrill to the prospect of a sponge, you may well ask?
Well these are ‘Konjac’ facial sponges made from a type of vegetable fibre and they promise to do all manner of wonders to your skin cleansing routine. So, having read about them online for a while, I was excited to find that Superdrug had commissioned their own exclusive Konjac Sponges to sell in stores (and you can order them online, too), and so high-tailed it down to my local one as soon as they hit the shelves.
Superdrug Konjac Sponge: £1.99
The sponges come separately boxed, but were part of a 3 For 2 offer at the time I purchased them, and so I stocked up as they were selling fast, no doubt due to the rave reviews in magazines and beauty blogs alike.
They look really odd – de-hydrated when you first open the box, they’re completely solid and resemble half a miniature snowball with a loop of string attached to them. They need to be soaked in warm water to re-hydrate them ready for use, which just takes a couple of minutes.
So far so dull, right? But the reason people have been getting all lathered up (sorry) about them is the fact they have a very low alkalinity that’s supposed to help maintain the natural PH levels of skin and can even be used without a facial cleanser or soap of any kind, still effectively cleansing the skin but without stripping it of natural oils, and theoretically saving you a fortune in beauty products.
The sponges are double-sided, one being slightly more textured than the other, so you can use it to gently exfoliate the skin while washing. I chose to try mine without any additional cleanser at first, to give it a thorough test, and having re-plumped it with warm water, I gave it a go.
The first thing I noted was that it was a strange shape to hold successfully – I think I’d have preferred a wedge shape or just a larger overall size, because it felt quite really awkward. It did feel pleasant on the skin and is incredibly gentle to use, so not your usual exfoliation scratchiness. However, with just water I didn’t feel it cleansed my skin sufficiently, so tried it again with my normal foaming cleanser (Balance Me). It frothed up really well and I found I had to use far less than I usually do, but again I felt the shape/size was just awkward to use. You can’t really go around the eye area properly, and so my eye makeup just ended up sort of smeared a bit rather than removed.
Having tried the Konjac Sponge for several days, I really like how gentle it is, and will contribute to use it in the mornings (when I don’t have to remove makeup) but stick to my muslin cloth for the evening cleansing routine, as I’ve not been keen on the panda-eyes ‘I Drank Too Much Gin And Spent All Night Crying’ look since the mid ’90’s, so don’t particularly want to reinstate it now.
In conclusion, these are a nice idea and would definitely make your cleanser go further, but I don’t buy into the whole ‘never buy another cleanser again!’ type of hyperbole. Perhaps if you never wear makeup this might be true, but even with a cleanser I didn’t feel it worked as well as a muslin cloth. Cheap, useful, a bit odd; it’s not going to change my life. 😉