Konjac sponges with title "Konjac Sponge Causing Breakouts?"

Konjac Sponge Causing Breakouts? 3 Reasons Why (and What to do About it)

If you’ve recently incorporated a konjac sponge into your skincare routine, you might want to ensure that it hasn’t been causing your breakouts lately. While these cleansing aids may be a staple for many, not using them properly can, unfortunately, cause acne to form. There could be a number of reasons why these sponges could possibly break you out, but the good news is that there are definitely ways to fix it.

What Are Konjac Sponges?

Konjac sponges causing breakouts

Konjac sponges are small sponges made from a root vegetable in Asia, known as the konjac root. It was originally made for babies to cleanse the skin gently.

It has a variety of colours that suggest what the sponge is infused with. Darker sponges may include charcoal while other colours signify different infusions.

These sponges can be a great way to cleanse the skin, foam up your favourite cleanser, and get all dirt, oil, and makeup out of your skin.

These can be used morning or night, and can be paired with any cleanser. The great thing about konjac sponges is that they are widely available and affordable.

Are They Good For Sensitive Skin?

While konjac sponges are very soft for the skin, you have to make sure that you are properly using this sponge to avoid skin irritation.

At first, the sponges are typically very hard and need to be submerged in warm water for a short period of time in order to soften it.

If this is not done, using the hard sponge on the surface of your skin can cause a lot of irritation and damage.

Once submerged in water, the sponge becomes very soft and is less likely to irritate your skin.

It is important to note, however, that some people suffering from very sensitive skin may find any sort of physical exfoliation extremely irritating. This can cause the skin to become very red.

The abrasiveness that is used with these sponges coupled with the frequency of use may lead to over exfoliation of skin.

It is very possible to put too much pressure on the skin with these sponges, causing breakages in the skin, redness and inflammation.

Using the sponge morning and night may also be too much for your skin to handle.

While these issues may be a concern to those with sensitive skin, using a konjac sponge is inevitably a better idea than most skincare tools on the market today. They are much gentler than physical scrubs and facial cleansing tools.

Are These Sponges Sanitary? 

Although these sponges are meant to be antibacterial, bacterial growth can still occur due to improper storage conditions and length of use.

If you store your sponge in the bathroom, where it is incredibly moist, this creates ideal conditions for bacteria to grow.

You must store your sponge in a cool, dry area after each use to ensure that bacterial growth is not supported.

In addition, you must use your sponge for only a short length of time (no longer than a month) to ensure that bacterial build up does not occur.

In addition, there may be other limitations. For example, if you wear a lot of makeup, this may get stuck inside of the sponge and grow mold if not cleaned properly each time. 

Do Konjac Sponges Cause Breakouts?

If you are experiencing breakouts while using a konjac sponge, it is possible that a few different factors may be contributing to it.

  1. Konjac sponges are naturally basic on the pH scale. The surface of the skin is made up of an acid layer, known as the acid mantle. It has a naturally acidic pH that helps the skin avoid microbial contamination, eliminate pollutants and keep the skin clean and dry to prevent infections from occurring. Using any external products that increase the pH of the skin may cause a temporary disruption of the acid mantle, making the skin prone to breakouts and redness. This is why it is incredibly important not to use basic cleansers, which can do more damage to the skin than good. It is also important not to use a konjac sponge on its own. Instead, pair it with a low pH cleanser for best results.

 

  1. Using any type of physical exfoliator can be irritating to the skin. The friction caused by rubbing the sponge against the skin can cause acne to form. This type of acne is known as acne mechanica. This is caused by the physical irritation of abrasive scrubs, sponges, and/or towels and other fabric. For sensitive skin types, putting too much pressure on the skin can scratch the surface of the skin, cause inflammation, and promote a weakened skin barrier. The skin barrier is made up of lipids and proteins that protect the skin from the external environment. A weakened barrier can lead to acne, redness, and irritation. It is best to use only chemical exfoliants, such as glycolic acid or lactic acid to remove dead skin cells and hydrate the skin. 

 

  1. As mentioned briefly, a konjac sponge may hold onto bacteria if it is not washed properly or if it is stored in a moist environment that breeds bacteria. The bacteria can be transferred to the skin when using the sponge and this can lead to breakouts and other types of skin infections. It may also cause contact dermatitis. This occurs when the skin becomes irritated from an external product, fabric, or object and is characterized by red, itchy, and dry skin. 

How Do You Disinfect a Konjac Sponge?

In order to prevent acne from occurring, you will need to properly disinfect the konjac sponge each time it is used.

Once the sponge has been used, ensure to completely rinse it out under warm water.

Then, use another pump of your facial cleanser or a gentle, antibacterial cleanser to cleanse the inside of the sponge.

Once all product is completely washed out of the sponge, remove your sponge from the bathroom entirely. Bathrooms are often moist and the steam from showers can create an ideal environment for bacterial growth.

Store in a cool, dry place when not in use. 

Reference

Konjac Sponge: What It Is, Benefits, How to Use (healthline.com)

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