An esthetician on: Konjac sponges

by: Veronica Gorgeois

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hello again everyone today we're going to talk about the cognac sponge which is a cleansing tool that has become very popular especially here on YouTube it's been around for a while especially in the Asian community but it has just reached popularity here in the United States and in the mainstream beauty world in general so people have been asking me for my opinion and I bought one recently at a trade show here in New York and I just thought I would let you know what I think so just to give you some background this is a natural fiber sponge it's made from the root of the cognac plant I believe and it's when you get it it's very hard like kind of like a dried out loofah is hard so what they say to do with this is to soak it in water for several minutes before you use it I find that to be a little bit melodramatic I don't think it's really necessary to soak it for minutes I think 10 to 15 seconds generally will do it maybe just mine because it's it's kind of small I mean this is I mean I think this is probably average size though um but I don't think it's really necessary to so good for that long just soak it until it feels completely soft and that should be just fine and I will show you a little glass of water right here so while this is soaking let me just tell you what I think about it so um the claims that the cognac sponges have and this is not a very fancy one this is just kind of a cheapy one that I got that's you know it claims to have aloe infused in it which I'll get into in a second but connieyc sponges in general claimed to be very effective at cleansing they claim to be mildly exfoliating they claim to sometimes have ingredients in them that are supposed to help with the skin like charcoal or aloe in this case or I think I saw one that said it had collagen so that claimed the ingredient infusion claim I do take exception in that one because it's a sponge people it's it's a sponge so you can put stuff into a sponge but the whole point is that you're getting it wet wringing it out with water repeatedly and using cleanser with it so you know I've gotta kind of use some common sense there if you put charcoal powder into a sponge sure gonna have charcoal powder in it for a little while but as soon as you start using it on a regular basis that's just not gonna do it's not gonna do anything so just keep in mind that the claims the claims on the ingredients that these have in them I think are a little bit ridiculous but the actual sponge itself is quite nice so once the sponges are full of water they become extremely squishy and soft and they have a very fine kind of porous texture it's not fine it's not fine in size but it's fine like it's not gritty at all so it's not like a loofah that has kind of scratchy texture to it these are very very soft and very very squidgy they have a really fun texture actually the first time I felt one of these because I didn't really know what they were until fairly recently the first time I felt when I was surprised because it's so squishy so that's really nice actually and these are extremely gentle and they do make very nice and very effective cleansing tools the way that they recommend using them is to put a foaming cleanser directly into them if you use a foaming cleanser I don't personally so what I do is massage my cream cleanser over my face and then I will just use the the flat part to go over the skin like so it does take off makeup residue very nicely you can use it to remove makeup but I think anytime you're using a sponge you don't want to get too much stuff trapped inside of it so this is not however something that I would say is really exfoliating I think on the hierarchy of cleansing tools this is going to be between using your fingers and using a washcloth so it's very very gentle it's very very mild and so for people who want to use something extremely gentle for sensitive skin rosacea eczema on a daily basis to help improve the effectiveness of your cleanser which is what I recommended that you do in my five tips for dry skin video this would be a really good option because it is totally not irritating it you can use it with a very mild cleanser it doesn't have to be a foaming cleanser and I do find that it makes the cleanser more effective just like any other cleansing tool however I don't think that the texture of these is really abrasive enough to do any exfoliating it might get off a few little dry patches here and which is nice but if you want to use a cleansing tool that will slough off more of the the loose surface cells I would recommend that you use a cleansing brush or washcloth I think actually washcloths are probably the most effective of the cleansing tool family at getting off flaky bits of surface skin I've talked about the clear sonic being a cleansing tool not an exfoliating tool so I actually do think that washcloth ironically do a better job of exfoliating than the clear Sonic's do anyway so these are I think they're really great they tend to be pretty cheap I don't think it's necessary to buy an expensive one like Boscia has one that's supposed to be infused with all sorts of magical things and I just I don't think it's really necessary to spend that kind of money on on sponge they are meant to be used temporarily they advise getting a new one every month you can do that if you take good care of them make sure that they dry out completely after every use then I think you could probably get two months of use out of them since they are a natural fiber they are going to break down pretty quickly and they are very porous so they are going to be more of a hospitable environment to bacteria and mold and mildew so what I do is I keep mine hanging all the time when it's not in use so that it has the best opportunity to dry out completely between uses that way it won't get smelly and gross you can also use just a regular soap to clean any residue out I recommend using an unscented soap for that so you don't want to have any leftover fragrance but overall I think they're they're pretty great so if you are looking for a very mild option to use as a cleansing tool to make your cleanser more effective I think these are a great way to go as for where to get them they're all over the place now but again you don't need to spend a lot of money try looking in like an Asian grocery store an Asian supermarket Asian Beauty Supply stores or Amazon I think would be a good place to find them because they're they're pretty ubiquitous now so I hope that was helpful for you guys let me know if you have any any comments if you used a cognac sponge before do let me know and the comments tell everyone how you like to use it and what you like to use it for if you found the video helpful please do give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends and check out my facebook page where I answer a lot of questions and have posted a lot of notes answering questions on a variety of topics and if you have any more little cleansing devices or anything you'd like me to try out please do let me know and

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Video Notes: This is an inexpensive sponge on Amazon that looks similar to the one I have:

Verdict: - Gentle? Yes! More effective than using nothing, gentler than using a washcloth or a brush. - Improves effectiveness of cleanser? Yes! So if you're new to cleansing tools, you can try a milder cleanser than you're used to. Helps remove makeup nicely, too, just make sure you keep it clean and rinsed well. - Exfoliates? Not really. Too soft and squishy. - Needs to be soaked for minutes? Nope. I get mine wet and put it to the side of my sink for like 10-30 seconds while I finish brushing my teeth, and it's fine. - Contains super awesome skin-changing ingredients? Completely unrealistic. Don't pay for a gimmick here! - Overall I like them! Easy to use cleansing tool that should be well tolerated by all skin types. Can be used with any type of cleanser in my opinion, though cleansing oils/balms may work better with a washcloth or brush. Clean the sponge by getting it wet and working a small amount of unscented soap into it, and rinsing thoroughly. Always remember that cleansing tools, whether brushes, washcloths or sponges, need to dry out completely between uses, or they will get mildewed very quickly. I recommend hanging the sponge from a hook somewhere out of the way. And here's some info on the alleged alkaline pH of the sponges:

(spoiler alert, it's marketing bs.) But wait--did I really say that the Clarisonic is not exfoliating?! Yes, believe it or not, the Clarisonic and other cleansing brushes are *not* deeply exfoliating, and they are perfectly safe to use as tolerated on a daily basis (meaning use them as often as you like as long as your skin is not showing signs of irritation--I say this about most everything). Face brushes are cleansing tools--and really great ones--but not exfoliating tools, so if you're looking for something to get flaky surface bits off, I suggest either using a face brush gently with a very mild scrub (try rice powder mixed with your cleanser), or using a washcloth--again, gently. This is called "mechanical exfoliation", and will help make the surface of the skin feel smoother. For more effective exfoliation to deal with things like wrinkles and discoloration, you'll want chemical exfoliants. Note about charcoal: it's fine as an ingredient. People keep asking--it's fine. It's not the cure for all of your problems, it's just another ingredient that can work with other ingredients. I just think that the idea of "infusing" a sponge with ingredients is illogical. I do not give personalized recommendations in video comments or answer private messages. It is just not feasible for me to do so. I will try my best to answer questions in future videos, in facebook notes or (whenever I get around to it) in blog posts, but I regret that it is not possible to answer thousands of questions individually. Please check my back catalog of videos and facebook notes--there is a lot of information in each! On me: Face: PC Sheer Matte Tint #1, PC RESIST powder Eyes: Tarina Tarantino Jewel Palette in Magical Cheeks: MICA tinted lip balm (no name listed--awesome on the cheeks, terrible on the lips) with Elf Pink Diamond baked highlighter Lips: WnW Ferguson Crest Cabernet sheered out with some clear gloss. ---------------- Hi, I'm Veronica! This is my 10th anniversary of becoming an esthetician, and I'm happy to share the wisdom that I've gathered over the years with all of you. My resume includes practicing in a famous LA plastic surgery center's medical spa, a five-star hotel and two of the most famous waxing institutions in Beverly Hills. My skin care philosophy may be a bit different than a lot of what you hear about on the internet, but it's based on many years of professional and personal experience and study. If anything that I say is helpful to you, I would sincerely appreciate if you take a moment to share my videos! Thank you, xo
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