Ok, that title didn’t really work. Was trying to be catchy. #fail.
hmmm……*poke*poke*squish*squish*….oh hai! Erm, I am definitely not playing with my skincare I swear! *cough*
Being a skincare addict, of COURSE I’ve heard aaaaalll about the Boscia Konjac sponge. Last time I was at a Sephora in JCPenny, I spotted the Boscia Sponge tester, picked it up excitedly, saw black dots (mold) on the bottom, and put it down immediately. I’m not a clean freak, and my sinkful of dirty dishes can attest to that, but bacteria, bad smell and mold? Nuh uh. It did turn me off for a while, but ultimately I cannot resist my curiosity. The Boscia sponge does seem overpriced to me, so with doing it for the blog in the name of better skin as excuse, I got it along with 2 others that I’ve seen people recommending.
I first tried them without cleanser, then with cleanser. I also took note of the drying time since that seems to be a problem for some people/sponges. And the drying time is why I picked different shapes for the sponges, because Konjac is Konjac, so I think the drying time has more to do with the shape than the type of Konjac.
Volcanic Scoria type from My Konjac Sponge: when I first open the package, it’s moist inside. According to amazon, “Sponge comes in a completely sealed packaging in soft condition”. It also had an unpleasant chemical/rubber smell when I sniffed it, but after 3 thorough rinse the scent is gone. So I guess the scent did not come from the “volcanic scoria”, which I googled to see why it’s good for skin and….nothing. The most I can find is that volcanic stuff are rich in minerals that can be good for skin, but it’s a sponge so I don’t think it makes that much difference if you chose Volcanic Scoria or Charcoal or the plain one.
Lavender type from Dr. Sponge: while lavender is calming and relaxing, some people are allergic to lavender. With that said, this doesn’t smell like lavender, or anything really, it just looks purple. It’s the only one that comes in the completely shrunken state and have a thick string instead of a thread for hanging. It is sturdy, but also really big, probably better for body than face.
Original/white type from Boscia: it comes with a sample packet of Boscia Purifying cleanser, which I rather like for winter. It comes in a half puff ball shape but don’t be fooled, it will be shrunken and wrinkly when it dries after use. It doesn’t have any scent/special effect so nothing to say here. Time for the fun stuff!
When used: Before using, make sure to give it a couple of good rinse. They looks/feel like Styrofoam and scratchy when dry, but they start to soften and expand as soon as you soak it in water. They look like sponge/angel food cake and feels very bouncy, but the smooth surface and the gel-like texture ensure that you won’t overexfoliate and is ok even over the eye area or acne (I rubbed liberally/freely over those areas). I first tried it without cleanser. When I squeezed out the water afterward, it looks slightly cloudy (this is in the morning, so there’s only skincare and whatever my pillow picked up). It’s the same for all 3, so I can confirm that it does indeed take things off/exfoliate the skin. Both the blob and drop shape have a front and backside, the backside have a slightly rougher texture, not by much, but you can tell if you look for it. If you shy away from all manual exfoliation because they are too harsh, I would recommend trying this. Still, I find it’s better to use a couple times a week since it gives me slightly dry/sensitive skin when used daily in the winter (it feel so fun! so I end up getting a little scrub-happy).
When I use it with the cleanser, I’m not quite as impressed. It doesn’t matter if you apply the cleanser to the sponge or your face first, the foam seems to get absorbed by the sponge so you won’t get as much foamy action on the face vs using hands or brush. That does not mean your skin won’t be as clean of course. My skin feel smooth and clean after using it (with and without cleanser).
Care: They all came with a string to hung from. I gave it a couple strong/firm squeeze then hung it to dry. The pad/drop shape dried in ~half day, blob/puff shape in ~one full day and the rectangle in ~two days. Even when I give it a firm squeeze between the towel, it seems to make no difference. To prevent bacteria from breeding, it’s recommended to hang it in a dry place and make sure it’s completely dry before next use. You can also boil it every couple of weeks to sanitize. Squeeze out the water is preferred instead of wringing it, since that may destroy the fiber and shorten the life span. You should stop using when bits of it comes off or it starts to get scratchy even when fully hydrated. And there’s more info here if you want more details.
The purple have a slightly firmer bounce than pink and white and feels just a hint rougher. It’s definitely gentle enough for facial use, but a bit too big. While it says “face&body”, do you really want to use the same sponge for your face and arm pit? I did end up using the purple for body only after testing, it’s too gentle to exfoliate most areas altho it’s good for softer/sensitive areas like underarm and near private areas. Or for babies.
If you want your sponge to dry faster, I would recommend the drop/pad shaped ones. There isn’t really a difference between different companies or flavor/scent since it’s just a sponge. I recommend a lighter color one so you will know if it’s moldy (unlike charcoal/ash/black ones). It does seem to provide a gentler but more thorough exfoliation than cloth, but if you like your cleanser foamy then a brush might be better (I have the Shiseido massage one). I like the drop shape better than blob shape, not only because it dries faster, but also it covers more area and conforms to my face better, even if it feels less bouncy/fun. You do have to replace it every 3-4 month it seems and it cost $10-$18. It’s not a miracle tool, but it does make cleansing your face more fun, and you don’t need to exfoliate as much if you use this. Since you have to cleanse everyday anyways, why not have fun with it?