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not.a.sponge – Our Konjac Sponge Review

Ever heard of Konjac? Me neither, so I was surprised to learn that this fibrous vegetable is a staple of Asian diet, health and skincare. Grown on the exotic Korean island of Jeju, Konjac has been on the menu in some cultures for over 1,000 years. I was so intrigued after reading about this superfood that I took a field trip to H-Mart, the massive Asian supermarket near my office, to investigate.

I could hardly believe my eyes as I spotted Konjac galore in the form of noodles, powder, even a dietary supplement in pill form. I couldn’t find fresh Konjac in the produce section, but a quick online search revealed a root vegetable with a lumpy shape that reminded me of a sprouted potato.

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Why this sudden interest in exotic food? Let me introduce you to not.a.sponge, “euphoric skin food” in the shape of a sponge-like puff made from – you guessed it – Konjac.

The not.a.sponge comes out of its package hard as a rock, than softens with water. It feels like a sponge. It looks like a sponge. We heart this received four styles of not.a.sponge, and I tested the two Volcanic Power Puffs, one for face and one for body. These puffs contain volcanic clay, and are designed to calm skin and help it naturally regenerate.

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Volcanic Power Puff – Face ($11)

My first look at the face puff alarmed me a little. I stared at the oversized brown gumdrop, not sure what to make of it. It came out of the package feeling crispy and hard. As directed, I washed my face with my usual cleanser, then wet the sponge. It quickly became very soft, and I gently massaged it around my face and neck. The process did feel soothing.

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Volcanic Power Puff – Body ($15.50)

Then onto the body puff, which is shaped like a small brick with ridges on one side. Dry, it felt hard like the face puff, but a little water turned it very soft and fluffy. I swooped it all over my body as directed… very relaxing!

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We also received two additional puffs that you’ll read about in the comments from fellow review team members:

Bamboo Charcoal – Face ($11) – This is the deep cleaning version with “super activated carbon ‘carbo activatus’ which offers a powerful and highly absorptive cleansing experience.”

In The Raw – Face ($10) – The original, pure Konjac sponge this is their “most simple and original konjac face remedy.” It’s ph balanced, chemical free and safe for all skin types – even babies.

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The company calls their puffs the “Soufflé of Sponges,” which is perfect. They also call the sponges “exotic and powerful,” and I admit I was skeptical about the power part. The puffs are so soft, they don’t feel like they are actively exfoliating or even cleaning the skin. But afterwards, my skin feels extra-soft and smooth. I guess volcanic power is surprisingly gentle! Maybe we don’t need to be scrubbing our skin like mad to exfoliate it.

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Although you can use cleanser with the sponges, the company recommends using them alone to keep the process natural. I wouldn’t say I was able to massage my skin with either puff because they’re so soft and squishy; it’s more like a gentle swabbing.

Pros:

    More gentle than a loofa or traditional sponge
    Suitable for the most sensitive skin – even babies can us these puffs
    Made of Konjac, which is full of vitamins, Zinc, Protein, Folic Acid and Iron, and grown in is volcanic soil
    Volcanic compound soothes skin irritation – even conditions like eczema and psoriasis
    They are pH balanced and 100% vegan
    Environmentally friendly. Biodegradable. After you use not.a.sponge for 3 months, you can compost it!

Cons:

    Don’t expect to feel the exfoliation – these puffs are very gentle

we heartsters – Have you washed your face or body with a konjac sponge?

photos: we heart this

Author

  • turboterp

    Melissa loves road trips, bargain shopping, drive-in movies, lip gloss and rock 'n' roll. She lives in Baltimore with her precious pup Bellarina. skin tone: NC20 skin type: dry to normal favorite beauty product: skincare

10 Comments

  1. I’ve seen these floating around the beauty world lately. While I haven’t used a towel, sponge, clarisonic or anything of the sort to my face in the longest time, I like the idea of them! :)

  2. I really need to get back into sponges, these sound really cool and not too expensive.

  3. OOOHHHH!!! I am super intrigued by this. I definitely want to try it. Your skin is your biggest organ and it is all natural!

  4. I tried a konjac sponge for the first time this year. While I can’t say it improved my acne, its soft and slightly rubbery texture certainly didn’t exacerbate the skin more, like a lot of other surfaces can. I also love the eco-friendly aspect. Definitely worth trying out!

  5. I love natural sponges and would be interested in checking this out too! Thanks for the great review.. I also use Konjac Glucomannan Powder in some of our dishes we make as a thickener. It’s just another way to get fiber and fill up without calories!

    1. That’s so cool–shirataki noodles are made from glucomannan powder, right?

  6. I tested the “In the Raw” face puff and greatly enjoyed it–I’ve tried a konjac sponge from a different brand previously, but I liked the not.a.sponge brand better. It provides really gentle exfoliation, and just helps to make your face feel super clean, without drying. I like to use it in my nightly routine: oil cleanse, detoxifying wash, and then a final pass with the face puff.

    1. Yes, the ingredients of the shirataki noodles are Glucomannan, which is soluble fiber extracted from the root of a Japanese plant called a Konnyaku Imo. I use the Miracle Noodles and like them because they have no calories! LOL! You can make lots of different dishes with them.. The only drawback is they need to be well rinsed.. they can be stinky! After that they are good for whatever you prefer to make with them!

  7. I was so curious after reading this that I headed out to my local HK shopping center. No sponge (or even a coarse vegetable) was found. Guess I’ll be checking out the website to order one of these!

  8. This looks fine for mild exfoliation of my face, but I guess, based on your review, it won’t exfoliate my body. But what if you use it with a body scrub? I think it will work better.

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