Enlarged clogged pores are my main skin problem. Therefore maintaining a clean face is very important for me. Finding the right cleanser is very important but so is the right method and right tools. Today I am going to share two of my favorite cleansing tools.
Konjac sponges were all the rage for a while. It is an all-natural sustainable product, compose of plant fibers. It promises light exfoliation that cleanse pores, remove blackheads, dirt and oil. It comes in different “flavors” ranging to help reduce excess sebum, detox skin, soften and nourish the skin. It is also marketed to be suitable for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. In Japan, it is often used to bathe babies.
How to use: First you soak the sponge in warm water for about 10 minutes. I personally am lazy so I use warmer to hot water to speed it up. After it softens I put my cleanser of choice onto the sponge and create lather. *I only use foam-able cleanser with this sponge. Then I would rub the sponge in circular motion all over my face. Then rinse. After each usage remember to rinse the sponge thoroughly with gently squeezing motions. Then squeeze all the water out and air dry.
Review: I personally love the fact that is an all-natural product that is biodegradable. One of the problem I have with most facial tools is how often I need to replace them and adding them to the landfill. So this is a huge winner for me.
After the sponge is soaked, it becomes this interesting jelly like texture. The best way to describe it is that if jello and a sponge made a baby, this is how it would be like. It feels so amazing to rub on my face. It is super gentle, so I can see why it is great for sensitive skin. Although it is gentle, it somehow cleanse the face pretty well. To test it, I wore some heavy duty waterproof foundation. To my surprise it removed it so much better than if I used my hands. This is a great every day cleansing tool. The exfloation is extremely mild. I am sure over time it can help with removing some blackheads but it is not a heavy duty type of cleansing tool.
I am not sure about whether the other “flavours” have noticeable differences. I have tried the charcoal and the white clay Konjac sponges from Missha. Unfortunately my charcoal just crumbled after a few uses. The white clay one held up fine. I do not know if the charcoal made a difference, so I just rebuy the original one to prevent crumbling.
I have two major downfall for this product. One is sanitation. It is claimed to be anti-bacterial but it is still a sponge and I feel like you can never clean it thoroughly. Plus if the place you air dry your sponge is humid, I can see it as a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. There are sites that claim you can sanititze it by boiling it in water or microwaving it. I have not tested either because I am worried it would ruin the texture and efficacy of the sponge. The second dislike is how often I need to replace it. It can last from a few weeks to 3 months depending usage and care. It is not an expensive, ranging from $5-$15. It is just troublesome to keep track and rebuy.
Like any product that gets popular, many companies also start carrying the same product. So there are many different Konjac sponges, I do not know if there are any differences between them. I personally would stick with either Japanese (origin) or Korean brands. I purchase them thru Missha because they are reasonably priced and I trust their quality.
Where to buy: Missha
Memebox’s I’m Dual Pore Brush
This is a manual facial brush with soft bristles on one side and a silicone brush on the other. The soft bristles side consists of 550,000 microfiber bristles that deeply clean pores without irritating the skin. The silicone brush side removes stubborn blackheads and white heads. It also marketed to be able to reduce puffiness, improve circulation and resilience.
How to use: You can use this brush for both oil and foam cleansers. For oil cleanser, first apply oil cleanser with your hand. Then using the pink silicone side apply light pressure to massage your skin for a few minutes. This action doubles as a massage to improve circulation and reduce puffiness while loosening your blackheads. Wet face with water, emulisfy then wash off. Apply foam cleanser directly on the white bristle brush side (or on your face, your preference) and in circular motions around your face to create lather. Continue for a minute then rinse with cool water.
Review: Recently this one is my go-to brush. I absolutely love the pink silicone side for its massaging properties. It feels SOOOO amazing! Besides having a cleaner face, this is the reason why I love double cleansing. Plus it helps loosen stubborn blackheads. I love the microfiber bristles of the other side for deep cleaning. It’s quite amazing how well that cleans my face. The silicone sides helps loosen the dirt and the white bristle sides cleans it out. They claim that the bristles are so small it goes into each pore to remove the grime. I do not know if that is true, but my skin feels pretty clean using this. I personally like the convience of having both types of brush together. This brush also works well in removing messy masks that never want to come off (i.e. clay masks). It has reduce the amount of time and frustration of removing clay masks dramatically. It does not look like I am having a fight with my sink with clay anymore. haha I don’t know if anyone else has the problem of having clay water everywhere because it’s so hard to remove.
That being said, I wish the handle was more comfortable to hold. The brush widens at the end (to help it stand) but it makes it uncomfortable to hold. Sanitation is not a huge problem. I wash, let it dry and soak it in my germicide. If the weather is too damp, my brush doesn’t dry all the way, so I have to wipe off excess with a towel.
Where to buy: Memebox*
Toswoong Pore Brush (regular/Hello Kitty)
I also own the Toswoong Pore Brush (normal and Hello Kitty). Both are good brushes, having a more dense amount of white bristle than the Memebox’s I’m Dual Pore Brush. The density feels nicer on my skin. However because it is so dense, it takes forever for it to dry. So if you have difficulty drying things in your bathroom, it may not be a good brush for you to use. Both are easy to hold, and are convient to store. The regular brush has a rope for you to hang. The Hello Kitty one is great for traveling since it is in a case. And I absolutely love the Hello Kitty one; I mean It Is Hello Kitty! Soo cute!
BONUS: I usually massage my face when I am doing my oil cleansing with Memebox I’m Dual Pore Brush. I massage the oil in circular motions and paying special attention to stimulate areas around my eye socket, nasal cavity, in front of the ears and jaw. As some of you may know, I am an acupuncturist who practice Cosmetic Acupuncture, Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture to be exact. I use it mostly to help increase circulation, improve muscle tone, improve elasticity and reduce wrinkles. Of course you cannot needle yourself (you have to be a licensed Acupuncturist), but you can apply acupressure. (Let me know if you would be interested to know more about this, I can do another post!)
I have used Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion Plus Advanced Cleansing System in the past. I am just mentioning it because I want to say why I switched to using the Konjac and Microfiber brushes. These two brushes are much more gentle and yet clean much deeper than my Olay brush. I do not know how Clairsonic fares since I never used it long term. But for sensitive skin, you may want to avoid electronic facial brushes.
[This post include affiliated links. All items were purchased by me.]