Monday, March 3, 2014

Japanese Konjac Sponges

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Work has been crazy for me the last couple of weeks.  I was super busy planning the biggest event of the year: a banquet for 170 guests celebrating our fourth year as AIG's top office in the country.  So, among my typical duties of analyzing new business, resolving customer service inquiries, designing advertisements, managing daily operations, and supervising my new admin, I was entrusted to organize a $12K event in less than two weeks!

There were a million things on my mind, so naturally, I was more stressed than usual.  I was also worried that my skin would breakout the day of the dinner.  In attempts to keep sane and reduce stress, I made sure I took time to do things I enjoyed like taking baths to relax and going out for a scenic drive around the city.  I also love a good downpour, so the recent rainy season helped calm me too .n_n.

More importantly, I had to take care of my skin.  I have always been religious about exfoliating my face to keep it smooth and radiant; perhaps more than I should.  In the past, I have used Shiseido's Power of Silk Exfoliating Puff (discontinued), Shiseido's Bio-Performance Super Exfoliating Discs, Dr. Brandt's Microdermabrasion, and St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub, but all those were recommended to be used only one to two times per week.  I prefer a little exfoliation with my daily cleansing, but as they say, "too much of a good thing is bad for you".

The beginning of this year, I read about Japanese konjac sponges on Refinery29 and was immediately curious to experience it for myself.  I went to Japantown in search of authentic Japanese konjac sponges, but was disappointed in the selection.  That is when I did an online search and found The Japanese Konjac Sponge company.  Graciously, they sent me several to try - a great big THANK YOU to Ivan!

"Puffs" for face (clockwise from left):
bamboo charcoal, cherry blossom, and pure white,
plus a "sponge" for body: (front center): cherry blossom

Loved that these came tightly sealed - cleanliness is key!

First off, a konjac sponge is a natural cleansing puff made of fibers from the konjac plant that can help to remove blackheads, dirt, and oil by exfoliating the skin.  Here is a card that came with my package to briefly explain the characteristics of konjac sponges:

Since receiving my konjac sponges three weeks ago, I have been using the Cherry Blossom Puff on my face every day and night with my regular Shiseido Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam.  According to The Japanese Konjac Sponge, the Cherry Blossom Puff/Sponge is infused with cherry leaf essence to smooth and help lighten the skin, and is good for all skin types.  (This is the only company I know of that infuses their sponges with essences, giving you added benefits!)  When I do take a bath, I use the larger-sized Cherry Blossom Sponge for my body, along with Earth Chemical's Bath Roman Bihada in White Lily, which leaves my skin super smooth even without moisturizing afterwards!  This is the gentlest way of cleansing next to using bare hands, which does not always thoroughly cleanse the skin.  With konjac sponges, I can use it daily to thoroughly clean the skin without damage or irritation.

At $11.50 per puff (small for face), or $11.75 per sponge (large for body), they come dry and hard, and must be soaked in water for several minutes to soften prior to use.  DO NOT use it dry or it will be too abrasive and can damage the skin!  Once it softens up and is ready to use, it really feels like a sponge with a slight rubbery cellulose feel.

Cherry Blossom Konjac Puff soaking in water

Cherry Blossom Puff after soaking for several minutes

It is recommended to switch out your konjac sponges every four to six weeks if used daily.  Since it is now March, I have just started using the Bamboo Charcoal Puff for sensitive, oily, or acne-prone skin.  With minerals from bamboo charcoal, this konjac puff can help to remove blackheads, dirt, and oil. Bamboo charcoal has been used in Asia since the Ming Dynasty (1486 AD), and has excellent absorption properties.  One of the most common uses for bamboo charcoal is to purity water and eliminate organic impurities and odors.  I find the texture of the Bamboo Charcoal Puff to be coarser than the Cherry Blossom Puff, which I prefer because it feels like it is exfoliating my skin more.  Still, definitely not harsh against bare skin.

I briefly tried the White Konjac Puff for all skin types as well, which is the original one.  This is their top seller, and it feels the same as the Bamboo Charcoal Puff in texture.  However, please note that even though these konjac puffs/sponges may be infused with essences or minerals, there is no scent to them.

So, if you would like to experience konjac cleansing sponges for yourself, which is the next beauty craze from Asia (Sephora already carries two from Boscia for $18 each, which I think is overpriced), or should you simply want cleaner, clearer, smoother, more radiant skin, then head over to and choose which konjac puff/sponge is best for your skin!  Besides Cherry Blossom Puff / Sponge and Bamboo Charcoal Puff, other great choices to try are:
For all skin types; green tea essence reduces inflammation; helps prevents age/sun spots
For all skin types; wild mint essence refreshes skin; helps to improve skin texture
For dry skin; hydrates, moisturizes, and softens skin; ideal for Fall and Winter seasons
For all skin types; gentle enough for babies and children; can be used for face and body

In case you are still a little concerned about Japanese-imported goods after the 2011 earthquake, do not fret - they even have a radiation analysis report available to ease your nerves:

This is the only company I would trust for authentic Japanese konjac sponges.  The plants are grown sustainably, and the puffs/sponges are 100% natural, contains no toxic or harmful cheemicals, and are both animal/cruelty-free and GMO-free.  Did I mention they are made in Japan, as opposed to China or Korea that other konjacs are from?  Best part is they ship FREE, no minimum, within the United States and are based in San Mateo, CA (local for me so I get them super fast)!  In summary...

 Authentically Japanese
 100% natural with no artificial chemicals or scent
 Infused with essences for added skin benefits
 Offers gentle daily exfoliation for cleaner, smoother skin
 FREE SHIPPING - no minimum (in the U.S.)!!!

 String tends to come undone so when you get it, tighten the knot first
 Sponges take long time to dry so be sure to hang in well-ventilated area

Cheers to good, healthy skin!

How to Cleanse Your Face Using the Japanese Konjac Sponge


  1. The radiation report is pretty awesome. Those tests aren't cheap! Good on them

    1. Right! It's all about consumers' peace of mind! (n_~)