The Konjac Sponge: A Very Gentle Exfoliator

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People with sensitive, acne-prone skin need exfoliators, too. If you happen to be among them (or just someone who enjoys a good cleanse), may I introduce you to the vegetable fibers that comprise Etude House’s Natural Jelly Cleansing Puff? Just run this squishy, spongy puff under warm water for a few seconds, squeeze your cleanser onto it, and massage in circles to work up a generous lather. It’ll leave your skin baby-butt-smooth.

The vegetable-fiber puff is made of 100 percent konjac root, naturally grown and cultivated on Jeju Province, Korea. So, instead of just working as a vehicle for your soap, it gets rid of dirt, dead skin cells, blackheads, and makeup residue that doesn’t easily come off when using a gel or cream cleanser alone. The sponge itself is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, and it’s naturally alkaline, so it effectively balances pH levels on the skin. The fibers help dislodge residue from pores, and in turn, your skin will be so clean, you won’t even want to put on makeup (but if you do, rest assured that the application will be pretty close to flawless).

The only qualm I have towards any type of cleansing puff is that, unless you’re really cleaning it properly after each use, it will most likely hold onto the bacteria and excess crud from your skin. This particular puff is only about $3 when bought in Seoul (and even less when you do a quick Amazon search), so I like to stock up on them and use each one about five times (max) on my face before using them a few more times for my body in the shower. It’s great for anyone with hidden body acne, too. I’ve found them most useful in the bath. Just fill your tub with warm water and bath salts or bubbles after a long day, soak the puff in the bathwater, squeeze over your body, repeat, and relax.

—Stella Kim

Photographed by Tom Newton. Read more of Stella's series here.