Konjac sponge and glucomannan
Konjac sponge and glucomannan
Many of you know what a konjac sponge is. However, there may be many who are not familiar with glucomannan. It is the very same, natural material. The Konjac plant has a long history as a gentle skin cleanser. Its popularity just seems to be growing and is happening for a reason. Gentle konjac products are suitable for caring cosmetics. In this article, I will introduce you to the konjac plant and products made out of it.
Cognac plant (Amorphophallus konjac)
The Konjac plant is a very popular perennial plant in China, Japan and Korea. It has many names like devil’s tongue, voodoo lily, elephant yams, snake palm or konyak potato. The plant has an edible stalk that resembles a potato. Konjac is originally coming from China, Yunnan Province.
The root tuber of the Konjac plant is used to make jelly-like desserts popular in Asia. In Japan, the health effects of the konjac plant were noticed hundreds of years ago. The dried rhizome of the Konjac plant contains about 40% glucomannan fibre. Glucomannan is a polysaccharide that has been found to have beneficial effects on intestinal well-being.
In Southeast Asia, the konjac plant is used to make Shirataki noodles along with sweet fruity jellies. Konjac gel is used to make a great many Asian dishes. The gel has no taste but in Asia people like its texture.
There is a risk of suffocation when eating Konjac gel
Everyone should be cautious when eating Konjac gel. It has sometimes caused suffocation in America. Therefore, konjac fruit jellies are not for sale at all in the EU area.
Glucomannan and weight loss
Ground konjac fibre was sold to accelerate weight loss. Glucomannan passes through the intestine without digesting and at the same time swells. Konjac gives a feeling of satiety without calories.
Use of Konjac plant in cosmetics
Konjac plant has been used in cosmetics for a very long time. In Japan, konjac was used 120 years ago to cleanse the skin of new-borns. This tells a lot about the gentleness of the konjac sponge.
Glucomannan powder is made from the dried root tubers of the Konjac plant. Glucomannan powder is popular as a cosmetic thickener. It is a genuine natural product that the skin tolerates really well.
The brilliancy of the Konjac sponge lies in its structure. The Konjac sponge leaves a thin layer of water between the skin and the sponge. Thus, the skin is never in direct contact with the fibres of the konjac sponge. This way, even the most sensitive skin does not suffer from cleansing.
The thin aqueous layer of Konjac sponge is slightly alkaline. It alone cleanses the surface of the skin quite effectively.
You can use konjac sponge with or without detergent. If you use a cleanser, you can also remove makeup with a konjac sponge.
Konjac sponge has the ability to peel the skin very gently. When cleansing your skin daily with a konjac sponge, you may not need any separate exfoliation at all.
Konjac sponge is said to deep-cleanse the skin and cure acne. Unfortunately, this is not true. It’s just a very gentle sponge. The Konjac sponge has no miraculous effects.
Konjac sponges are available in several different colours
The colour of the Konjac sponge comes from the active substance added to it. Unfortunately, these active ingredients have little or no effect at all on skin care. The activated carbon in some konjac sponge is tightly bound to the fibres of the konjac sponge. Activated carbon does not come into free contact with the skin. The clays, in turn, make the sponge slightly alkaline and thus prevent the growth of bacteria in the sponge.
Here are some examples of different konjac sponges
- Dark grey konjac sponge contains activated carbon
- Green konjac sponge contains green clay or green tea
- White konjac sponge contains kaolin
- Red konjac sponge contains red clay
How to use a konjac sponge?
Konjac sponge is easy to use. Once you have got the konjac sponge, first sink it in water for about 20 minutes. This will soften the sponge properly. At its simplest, you can rub lightly, in a circular motion, all over your face with a wet konjac sponge. You may not need any cleanser at all, especially if you don’t have any makeup.
If desired, use cleanser in combination with konjac sponge. You can choose the cleaning agent of your choice. However, I do not recommend cleaning oil or oil cleaning cakes for this purpose. Cleansing milks, foams and soaps, on the other hand, go very well.
You can use konjac sponge all over your body perfectly. Some people also use konjac sponge to wash their hair.
Take care of your konjac sponges well
Konjac sponges are inherently antibacterial. They repel bacteria both in terms of their structure and chemically. However, this does not mean that they will not be spoiled. Konjac sponges should always be cleaned thoroughly after use and hung to dry. Even after careful care, the konjac sponge should be replaced about every 1-2 months with a new one.
Konjac sponge is a natural product
You can throw the used konjac sponge to compost as it is a 100% natural product. It is a completely biodegradable fibre. It decomposes in compost like any fruit peel or other plant fibre.
Glucomannan powder as a thickener
The glucomannan powder is a really easy to use as well as very effective and easy to use -thickener. Glucomannan powder is a very mild substance that is also suitable for baby products.
Only a small amount of powder is enough to thicken the cream. For 60 ml of cream, I usually use knife-tipped glucomannan powder. To face masks, powder can be added more approximately. I’ve added a content of one glucomannan powder capsule to a face mask. Glucomannan powder makes the face mask gel-like and helps it stay well on the face.
Because glucomannan is an indigestible fibre, it deposits on the skin. Therefore, you should not add it too much into your products.
Use glucomannan powder to make face masks or to thicken creams.
The glucomannan powder is mixed with a cold liquid or water infusion. Sprinkle the powder into the liquid a little at a time while mixing. The powder will thicken on its own in a few minutes after absorbing the liquid.
Where can I get glucomannan powder?
I haven’t found glucomannan powder in online stores selling homemade cosmetics. That is why I have bought pure glucomannan powder as a sports nutrient. It is quite inexpensive and survives long time. Check out that you are sure to get 100% pure glucomannan.
Do you have experience with konjac sponges?