Grove Collaborative
Image of 3 konjac sponges on glass dish

We tried it: Are konjac sponges worth it?

Last updated: April 21, 2021

A konjac sponge is a natural exfoliator that’s kind to your skin and the environment. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Grove writer, Leslie Jeffries, tried it, and here’s the lowdown.

Heard of the konjac sponge? If not, you will soon enough, because this soft little scrubber is happily making its way through the natural beauty world. Ever happy to try out new beauty products and report on my experience, I gave Grove's Green Tea Konjac Sponge a starring role in my beauty routine.

The konjac sponge I used is made of 100% natural konjac fiber plus green tea, which helps to clarify oily and combination skin. Anytime I see 100% natural ingredients on a beauty product label, I get pretty excited, so already, the konjac sponge is getting lots of gold stars in my book. Plus, the American Journal of Dermatology and Venereology has even concluded in a 2013 report that konjac is "effective as a treatment of mild to moderate acne" when used on the skin. Here’s how it all turned out.

What is Grove Collaborative?

From natural household to personal care, everything at Grove is healthier for you and the planet — and works! We recommend monthly shipments and product refills that you can edit or move at any time. No monthly fees or commitments required.

What is a konjac sponge?

Image of green konjac sponge on wooden plate next to bar soap and white flowers

While it sounds vaguely like a comic book villain, konjac (or glucomannan) is actually the name of an Asian root vegetable. Konjac is similar to potatoes and is packed with super-soluble dietary fiber, which is why it’s the main ingredient in zero-calorie shirataki noodles popular in Asian cuisine. According to healthline, konjac is "best known for thickening and adding texture to foods, as well as its role in weight loss products." The fiber that makes konjac work inside of your body also makes it a great exfoliator for the outside.

Because the konjac root is super porous, it’s easy to form it into mini sponges that look like little balls of cake and are almost as soft against your skin — not that I’ve slathered cake on my skin, but if I did, I bet it would feel like a konjac sponge.

The claim: Konjac sponges are extra-gentle and remove dirt and makeup without cleanser

“They” say konjac sponges are so gentle you can scrub a newborn baby squeaky clean without irritating that brand-new skin. They’re purportedly mild enough to use every day — or twice a day — even on super-sensitive skin. And, despite their whisper-soft touch, konjac sponges are said to remove all traces of water-based makeup — without a cleanser.

The experience: How to use a konjac sponge

Image of hand holding green konjac sponge under running water in sink

My regular skincare routine has long included some sort of washcloth or sponge to exfoliate and really remove makeup and dirt. Rubbing cleanser into my skin with my fingertips and throwing water on it doesn't do the trick for me, and lots of dirt gets left on my towel.

How do you use a konjac sponge?

When you first get your sponge, you may need to soak it in warm water for 10 –to 15 minutes to expand it to its full size. Once it’s damp and soft (so, so soft!), it’s ready to use.

  1. Gently wash your face with the sponge (with or without a natural cleanser,) using upward, circular motions.
  2. Rinse your face.
  3. Rinse the sponge until the water runs clear, and hang the sponge to dry until next time.
  4. Continue with your usual post-cleansing skincare routine.

Shop konjac sponges

Good for your skin and for the environment! Our Grove Co. Konjac Sponge is a natural cleanser and exfoliator, gentle enough for every day use. Use this sponge with cleanser or on its own. It comes in charcoal for sensitive, oily, or acne prone skin and green tea for oily or combination skin. They also come in a 3-pack.

The verdict: The konjac sponge works

The konjac sponge is no con job! It gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin, just as it claims to do. I've used it both alone and with a cleanser added to it, and I prefer to add a little cleanser for some foaming action.

Here are some benefits of the konjac sponge:

  • The texture. The konjac sponge isn’t rough like regular sponges or loofahs, but it does have a subtle, natural outer layer that feels fibrous but ultra-soft. It's perfectly suited to the more delicate skin on your face.
  • The konjac clean. After using it for a while, I noticed that overall, my skin felt quite clean — but also softer and less harshly exfoliated than it does when I use a washcloth or certain exfoliating scrubs.
  • The gentle touch. The konjac sponge somehow cleans deeply but leaves my pores intact. Even with daily use, there’s no redness, irritation, or pulling of my skin — all of which is becoming more important as I age!
  • The biodegradability. Best of all, because the konjac sponge is completely biodegradable, it can be tossed right into your compost, causing not a shred of harm to the earth.

The konjac sponge is a nice addition to my skincare routine, and it’s one that’s cost-effective and skin-friendly.

Quick facts about the konjac sponge

Image of green konjac sponge hanging by string to dry

How do you care for a konjac sponge?

After using it, rinse and squeeze the konjac sponge until the water runs clear. Hang it up to dry in a place with good airflow. The naturally porous konjac fiber air-dries beautifully.

How often should you replace a konjac sponge?

Replace your konjac sponge every four to six weeks. I'd recommend getting the 3-pack — you’ll be all set for six months of soft, natural cleansing and exfoliating.

How do you disinfect a konjac sponge?

Every couple of weeks, bring a pot of water to a boil, drop in your konjac sponge, turn off the heat, and let it sit in the hot water for three to four minutes.

Which konjac sponge is best?

The konjac sponge that’s right for you depends on your skin type. The basic konjac is great for any skin. Konjac sponges infused with charcoal help control excess oils and acne. A pink clay konjac sponge nourishes aging skin, and one infused with red clay oil helps hydrate dry skin.

About the author: Leslie Jeffries is a writer in Omaha sloughing off the rough patches. She’s been writing for Grove since 2020.

Read more from Grove