Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: Ecotools | Konjac Facial Cleansing Sponge


Washing your face is now a very serious business. But if you're really the low key (and low budget) type of skincare enthusiast and you've tried the face towels, sponges and manual face brushes on the market, the next order of business is obviously washing your face with a vegetable.


THE BASICS
Brand: Ecotools
Product: Pure Complexion (Sensitive Skin) Konjac Facial Sponge*
Variation: Regular Sensitive (shown), Charcoal Deep Cleansing
Size: 8cm x 6 cm
Price: $11.99 CAD via FarleyCo (online), $6 USD via iHerb (online)
Availability: Drugstores nationwide, Farleyco, iHerb
Would I (re)purchase: Undecided but possibly yes.
Website: www.ecotools.com

Konjac or konjac root as it's usually known in the culinary world looks like a root vegetable, something akin to the shape of a taro and is high in fibre but low in calories making it a popular alternative to pasta and rice and is especially liked in many Asian countries.

In the beauty world however, its been made into facial sponges recommended for gently but thoroughly cleansing your skin. I recently put the Ecotools version to the test and their Pure Complexion Facial Sponge has temporarily replaced my regular sponges, face towels and even my high end gadgets.


Designed to be used on even the most sensitive of complexions, it comes out of the box as a tear drop shaped, palm sized, hard sponge. Upon first inspection, it certainly doesn't look very skin friendly but quick few seconds under running water quickly turns this into a soft, jelly/cellulose textured sponge with no trace of its former self.



The accompanying instructions were simple (and rather vague), just add a mild facial cleanser and you're ready to go but in practice this did require some experimentation. I found that it was best for foaming type cleansers (milk types quickly absorbed into the sponge) and that it was most effective to create a lather in your palm and apply it to your face first before using the sponge instead of attempting to do it all with the sponge alone.



From a functional perspective, it's a well designed product. The size and shape made it easy to hold and the dual ended sides made it effective to navigate facial contours such as between the eyes and around the sides of the nose. When wet, the konjac sponge had enough textural difference for a light exfoliation without the grit of other physical scrubs and can be a great choice for young skin or those with sensitive skin. Though this wouldn't replace my regular exfoliating treatments, no redness or irritation means that you can use it everyday to accompany your cleansing routine.

Post washing, simply rinse, squeeze out excess water and lay it flat to dry. It's recommended that you replace the sponge every 1-3months depending on how often you use it and how quickly it wears down.


THE FINAL VERDICT
As far as manual facial cleansing gadgets go, the Ecotools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge (and likely most konjac based sponges) is an interesting and certainly innovative product that you can add to your daily regime that's just a step up from simply using your hands. The gentle texture makes it safe for all skin types and it does provide some mild smoothing effects every time you wash your face. However for my own skin, I just didn't find it to be any more effective than the cellulose sponges and face towels which are already part of my routine and it certainly will not be replacing my Clarisonic. For the minimalists out there or those who are just staring out with a basic routine I think you'll certainly have a good time with this but for the skincare connoiseurs out there, you'll probably be over it in a week or two. Personally, I can see myself keeping one around as a quick and easy travel companion when I'm not ready to risk loosing my gadgets.


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