Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff: The Konnyaku you put on your face not in your mouth

by Paris B on · 78 comments

in Cheap and Good?,Cleanser,Gadgets,Natural,Product Reviews,Scrubs

I’m sure you have noticed this, but the beauty world (and by extension, beauty blog world) operate in trending waves. One day you have a wave of people telling you how wonderful the Clarisonic has been for their skin and everyone runs out to buy one, nevermind the hefty price, and mostly love it. You hardly hear about anyone not liking it. I however, am ambivalent about it, but honestly, after the first 5 months, its just pretty much a white elephant now. Its the most expensive mistake I’ve ever made for a face washing gadget.

The latest trendy wave to hit is the konjac sponge. I call it a trend, but I do think this might actually hang around longer primarily because it does a fair enough job and is pretty affordable so more people can get into it.

konjac sponge4 Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff: The Konnyaku you put on your face not in your mouth

So what is this “Konjac sponge” people talk about? Its a face washer. That’s just breaking it down to its most basic. This is a sponge that you use to wash your face, as you would a sponge, flannel or muslin cloth. The material is what’s the selling point. Konjac is, according to the almighty Wikipedia, also known as konnyaku. If you eat Japanese or Korean food, you may come across konnyaku in some dishes – a translucent gelatinous substance that is a source of fibre. It is most popularly eaten in the delicious form of konnyaku jelly (yummy!!)

These konjac sponges for washing your face aren’t edible however. They could be made from the similar source, but it looks much like a sponge. There are many many brands available in the market in different price ranges. You can easily pick them up from Sasa stores (I picked up a really cheap one in Hong Kong for something like HKD22 ~ RM10) or you can buy them online like I did with the one I tried.

The brand I tried is the Konjac Sponge Company. I picked it up from Zuneta.com, tossing it into my shopping basket almost as an afterthought because I wanted to see what the hype was about. Because its shipped out of the UK, I did not have to pay VAT so the plain Konjac Sponge Company sponge came up to £5. I also picked up a baby one for my nephew.  So, how is this trend faring for me then?

What I noticed is that all konjac sponges come slightly damp in a sealed plastic bag. The reason is because the sponge is mostly water, so they ship it hydrated. Its quite interesting, I thought. Why couldn’t they just ship it dry like a regular sponge? Wouldn’t it be easier? Its puzzling but I noticed all brands ship theirs hydrated.

konjac sponge Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff: The Konnyaku you put on your face not in your mouth

There are a few different variants of the sponge – to cater for different types of skin. I’m not sure how that works, so for my first, I picked up the normal white one.

It comes in a domed shape, flat on one side and domed on the other. When you take it out of the pack, I will recommend you rinse it in water a few times before using. I’m not sure what water is used to pack it, which is why I suggest washing it first and this is true, no matter what brand you buy.

konjac sponge3 Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff: The Konnyaku you put on your face not in your mouth

This is how it looks fully hydrated. Its pretty large, and fits in my hand comfortably. Its interesting that there are no instructions on the bag as to which side to use on your skin, so I actually started out by using the domed side against my skin. I don’t think its wrong per se, but you will definitely find it easier to use the flat side. Its also easier to grip the domed side.

The sponge feels firm, yet pliable and bouncy to be able to get into all the nooks and crannies of your face. I only use it in the evening and only after first doing my cleansing oil routine so I would say that this is my 2nd step of cleansing. I do not use this to remove makeup because I don’t think it is supposed to do that. So, remove your makeup first, then clean your face.

According to the instructions, you can use this konjac sponge on its own to clean your face, without need for any product, just plain water.  The sponge gently exfoliates your skin so its like doing an exfoliation daily, except that its very very gentle. I experienced none of the breakouts that I did with using the Clarisonic daily.

Even using it on its own, I find that my skin does feel very clean and smooth. Its very lovely! However, I do prefer to use it together with a face wash. So, I lather up and apply the face wash to my skin, then run the konjac sponge puff over my skin and then wash everything off. Lovely!

Cleaning it is easy. Just squeeze it out in the shower a few times till the water runs clear and hang it up to dry by the attached bit of string. You do need to ensure that its allowed to hang freely to dry, because it could otherwise breed mould. I have been using mine for over a month now, and its still in pretty good condition because my bathroom is quite airy and there’s enough heat to partially dry the sponge between uses.

If you don’t use the sponge, you will notice it drying out and it will shrink to about 1/3 of its size when completely dry. I performed an experiment and it takes about 4 days for it to fully dry out to a hard bit of cellulose material. Not to worry though. Just soak in some warm water, gently squeeze it and watch it rehydrate before your eyes. I use it on most evenings because its hanging there in my shower so its easy to manipulate. I believe its gentle enough to be used daily, and should be good for most skins.

konjac sponge2 Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff: The Konnyaku you put on your face not in your mouth

The benefit of these konjac sponges, based on what I read online, is that they are natural, alkaline to balance the acidity of skin and the material massages skin which helps clean it, so you technically have no need for a face wash. As I have said, I prefer to use a face wash anyway.

So remember I said I got one for my baby nephew? The Konjac Sponge Co. does a sponge specially for babies. Its a bit larger, and the domed bit is a bit flatter. My Mom used it during bath time and there was no need for a baby wash but she did report that after about a month of twice daily use, the sponge had broken up. I’m not sure how much care she took with it, but I did pick up replacements and am waiting to receive them so the little one can continue enjoying his sponge baths icon smile Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff: The Konnyaku you put on your face not in your mouth

In a nutshell

Konjac sponges come in many forms and under different brands. Mine came from the Konjac Sponge Company and I purchased it online. You can also get konjac sponges at Sasa stores locally. The sponge from the Konjac Sponge Company is firm to the touch, yet pliable and is gentle on the skin even while providing exfoliation. My skin feels lovely and smooth and clean after using this, and I use it almost daily without any problems. Care has to be taken to ensure that you only use the sponge while it is fully hydrated, and to ensure that you hang it up to dry after every use. Otherwise, care is easy, it works nicely on my skin to keep it clean and clear and isn’t terribly pricey.

Pros: Gentle on skin, Can be used daily, Skin feels clean and smooth after use, Affordable

Cons: Can degenerate quickly if not taken care of, or can get mouldy if not allowed to hang freely to air dry between uses

Who will like this: Anyone who wants an alternative to pricey gadgets, Anyone who wants to try gentle daily manual exfoliation of skin

What’s great about this is mostly the price. I haven’t opened up the cheap one I got from Hong Kong, so I cannot say if konjac sponges of different companies feel different. However, I can say that I am pretty happy with the quality of the one from the Konjac Sponge Company. Its been over 2 months and it still looks and feels firm. They do say that it can last between 1-3 months depending on use, so I am guessing mine will probably hit the 3 month mark before it needs replacing icon smile Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff: The Konnyaku you put on your face not in your mouth

Have you tried any konjac sponge to wash your face? Do you think it gimmicky or do you find that it actually helps your skin?

I initially thought of it as just another gimmick, but I have been pleasantly surprised to find that my skin seems clearer after having used this sponge on most evenings (Friends Tine and Xin using different brands agree on this). If I have some flaky bits of skin as I did a few weeks ago, it helps remove the flakiness so I can treat it with a hydrating skincare product. It doesn’t deal with blackheads the way the Clarisonic does, but I think I prefer this. Its like having a face scrub daily, just very gently icon smile Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff: The Konnyaku you put on your face not in your mouth Goodbye, Clarisonic. You’ve been replaced by a product that I could replace for years for the price of one gadget /facepalm

Paris B

Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff comes in different variants for different skintypes Prices range from: £5-7 depending on product Availability: Zuneta.com (where I bought mine) or KonjacSpongeCompany.com both of which offer international shipping

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[ 78 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Kay November 22, 2012 at 8:41 am

I use both clarisonic and this konjac sponge. I’ve receive the sponge as a gift from laneige promoter when I purchased their items. I use the konjac sponge in the morning and clarisonic at night and I love both equally! Although clarisonic is pricey, the effectiveness boils down to the type of brush head I use, and I prefer sensitive brushes to delicate or deep pore cleansing types. This konjac sponge is just perfect to use with a foaming cleanser to cleanse in the morning. I used to have some dry flakiness on the skin and it got more prominent when I applied makeup. This sponge certainly helps to reduce/remove them and prep my skin nicely for makeup.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:44 pm

It’s good to know the Clarisonic works for you :) I tried hard to like it but it got too much because it would clog my pores. Weird, I know. At least with the sponge, I can use it daily and not suffer :) I like how it helps remove flaky skin too. It’s very effective for that.

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Kay November 25, 2012 at 12:01 am

I started out with bad skin with Clarisonic, maybe which is why I didn’t see my skin condition getting worse before getting better. I had multiple huge sore pimples and many many scars. Glad that I stuck throughout the first 3 months and now just past two years. Even my older sister just gotten her own :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 25, 2012 at 12:44 am

Ah Kay, my theory is that the Clarisonic works best for people who are using it to solve a problem. I hear of so many good results from people who have used it to clear their skin of acne! It’s great to know it worked for you!

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LeGeeque November 22, 2012 at 8:42 am

I have this too! Tine picked it up for me from I’m not sure where. I agree with you, it’s gentle and it’s very very easy to use. However, because I’m paranoid about over exfolliating, I use this every other day. Like you, I use a tiny bit of cleanser as well. One tip I picked up from Tine – rub this gently over your lips to exfolliate the lips too :)
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Hmmm I like that tip to use this to exfoliate lips! Thanks for sharing that, gonna put it in practice.

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rinnah
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

I picked up the baby version of the sponge from the Konjac Sponge Company website direct and found that it started breaking apart on me from the third or so use onwards. I do believe the baby version is rather more delicate in texture compared to the ordinary sponge version? I got frustrated with it once it started breaking apart and haven’t gone back to it since.
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Hmm… So the baby version is more delicate? That’s a pity :( I do have 2 on its way so let’s see if they last longer this time. Did you try the normal version or is hat too abrasive?

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Sunny
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 9:04 am

I have been pretty curious about this, because it seems like suddenly everybody is talking about it! I’m glad to hear it works well for you. It’s not too pricey so I might pick one up at some point to try! I know there are different colors, so picking one out should be fun!
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Haha! I know right? Suddenly everyone is talking about the sponge. Tomorrow, they’ll be talking about something else :P the different colours are for different skintypes so be sure to pick one suitable for your skin :)

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Cik Suzlin November 22, 2012 at 9:07 am

I’ve been using this konjac sponge since last April when I saw it on this youtube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-Rjzd2fBGA

Yes, it does help :)

P/S: You can buy it from Sasa, RM12.90.

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May November 22, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I got mine from Sasa and loving it. This is my daily morning cleansing staple :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Awesome! Glad you like it too :)

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dom
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 9:10 am

I love my sponge! Bee helped me purchase it. My skincare is now stripped down to just the basic 3 steps, and I use the sponge as a 3rd step cleanser (MU remover, cleanser, and then sponge). I think it’s helping to keep my skin smooth and clearer. Most expensive bathroom sponge but it works, so why not?
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Good to know it helps you! I do believe it helps my skin stay smoother and cleaner and it’s not as abrasive as something like the Clarisonic.

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xin
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 9:16 am

How sad that i have totally abandoned clarisonic! talk about commitment phobia eh? i found this sponge much easier to use, it’s within reach, and doesn’t need battery. but mine came in a thoroughly dehydrated condition though
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Ah ok the ones I see are all hydrated so I thought it came that way. I too find it so much easier to pick up the sponge, than to use a gadget hat will run out of battery. That’s the last time I used it – when it ran out of battery and I forgot to charge lol!

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Lily
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 9:48 am

I still use my Clarisonic since my purchase last year. I haven’t tried any sponge yet though. I’m usually lazy with cleansing tools, so I surprise myself I’m still on Clarisonic :-)
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm

If it works, it works! ;) I wish it did for me, then I won’t feel the pinch every time I look at it :P

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shusheshe
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 9:58 am

I bought one of these in Kyoto last year, but haven’t gotten around to using it yet. I think I will soon, seeing that you had a good experience with them.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Ooh do try it. I hope it works for you :)

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Nikki November 22, 2012 at 10:05 am

I have used Konjac Sponge throughout my first trimester and is still using it now as I’ve gone through a phase of not wanting to smell any facial wash! So far, I’m loving it! I’ve talked to a lot of my dermatologist friend and they told me the best way to wash your face is by using a sponge (yes, even the regular ones), so this Konjac sponge is like an added bonus since it came from some good source of ingredients! hehehehe Yes, I think for someone who’s on a budget, this is better than spending on Clarisonic or other machines! :D

Back to basics baby! yes, back to basics!

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Ooh Nikki, good to know you like using this sponge too, and that it helped you keep your skin clean throughout your pregnancy. I’m sure it helps add to your glow :D

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Soo Yin
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 10:12 am

Your blog always makes me wanna buy stuff!! =P Guess I’ll have something to put on the shopping list when I go to HK in December…=)

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LeGeeque November 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Can help me buy shoes in HK ah? :P

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sooyin November 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Cannnn! Gimme details and where I can find it, no prob! =)

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Hahaha! Well at least this one is cheap :) reports are you can get them locally for about RM12 so, no need to wait for HK ;) hope it works for you

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Firn November 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I saw these being sold at a Watson’s concourse fair and was really tempted to get it but my derm advised me against over exfoliating since I have very thin skin on my cheeks so I decided against it.

I would like something more gentle than the regular sponge I have which can feel quite abrasive, just for cleaning my nose and chin.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Personally I find these sponges more gentle than the regular sponges but that said I haven’t used many sponges in my time. I’m actually surprised I could commit to using these as regularly as I do :)

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Sze Ling November 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Bought one from SaSa right after you told me about it. ;) Haven’t really made up my mind on how I feel about it. But I definitely prefer this than the Clarisonic.

Like you, Clarisonic is the most expensive beauty mistake I’ve made. Made my skin very sensitive and break me out too. Luckily, the husband seems to like it and have been using it as his weekly exfoliator. Haha.
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Lucky for you it hasn’t gone to waste! I too found the Clarisonic made my skin feel marie sensitive than I liked. I’m glad I paid attention and stopped using it when I felt the skin on my cheeks feeling sensitive. It’s a weird feeling.

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elvina November 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

i’ve been using the black charcoal konjac sponge for a while now and i really love it a lot because it is so soft and easy to use. i really do feel my skin smoother and much cleaner after using it and it does remove quite a bit of the blackheads on my nose. and it is very gentle so it’s perfect for my very sensitive skin.

hmm, but one think is that i do hang it up to dry but i dont think it dries completely in between uses. i will rinse the sponge with warm water before usage everytime so i’m not sure if it will still breed mould. i’m actually quite worried about the mould part now that you mention it.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:13 pm

hi Elvina. Glad you like this sponge too! My sponge doesn’t dry out fully because I use it daily so like you, I rinse it out before I use it on my face. So far mine looks ok. I read about other people experiencing mould on their sponge, but I don’t know how they store theirs or how often they use it.

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Efrain
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I was thinking about buying one, however in Mexico I’ve only seen one brand and I think is a little steep for a sponge, but everybody talk good about them, so I think I should give them a try.
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Yup, it is generally quite steeply priced for a sponge, but I think it’s good. Do try it if you have the chance to. I believe the website I referred to ships internationally too.

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Lingzy November 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I got mine both white and black konjac sponge from Sasa. When I first started using it, seemed to give obvious result. After a while, no further improvements or my skin just got attuned to it. Like you said, it’s affordable.. ;-) Worth trying it out..

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Maybe your skin is now at its optimum :) I use it more as a maintenance and I prefer it to a face scrub now :)

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kuri
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I’ve seen these around; I may try it out once I use up my exfoliating wash.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm

With the latest hype, I think it’s being sold everywhere now lol! If you do try it I hope you like it :)

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Hsu Jen November 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I saw The Face Shop recently started selling a new sponge that’s sold in a sealed packet but is slightly damp, so I’m assuming it could be a konjac sponge too (I thought the sponge was spoilt or something haha)? The price was quite reasonable if I recall, so that might be a good place to try this out. Waiting for pay day! :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Haha you know, that would have been my first thought too if I didn’t know about the komjac sponge – that something was wrong with the product. It would seem these are very easy to find locally. That’s great!

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beetrice
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I bought the original one after talking to some of the other girls, and liked it so much, I decided to try out the charcoal, red AND green clay ones (damn online shopping!).

The only minor gripe I had was that one of the sponges (the original one) grew a small mould patch after a month or so – the initial thought was my bathroom didn’t have enough ventilation, but I haven’t had similar problems with any of the other sponges. Perplexing!
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Haha and importantly, do they work differently since they are for different skintypes? I’m waiting for the red one for sensitive and dehydrated skin. Sorry to hear your songe got mouldy. Mine seems ok *touch wood*

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Shija November 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I got this last month. And i use it with my cleanser.. Its gentle and soft for the face area.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Great to know it works for you too, Shija! :)

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Marla November 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm

It’s a cool idea but I don’t think anything works as well as my Clarisonic. I love that device.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:29 pm

It’s good to know the Clarisonic works well for you, Marla. I could never get it to work very well on my skin unless used sparingly.

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Jyoan November 22, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I swear by this. I count myself as one of the early users, and I am still on it about half year after it started appearing in Singapore. This is because I watch Taiwan Nu Ren Wo Zui Da, and I saw this sponge appearing in the programme like last year. Have been wanting to buy it but couldn’t find it anywhere way way back then. So of course, when I saw it in Sasa and Watsons, I pounced on it and got 3-4 sponges at one go. I just bought one more.

—-
Thanks for the quick clarisonic review. I am so proud of myself that I resisted it, and am still resisting. Mostly because I have sensitive skin, and I am so terrified that it’d ruin my skin. My skin gets so itchy even with those stitches under clothes, clothes tag, etc, that I can’t trust any foreign objects.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Glad to now it works so well for you Jyoan :) I have never watched Nu Ren Wo Zui Da but I’ve heard a lot about it, and I know it’s very influential ;) someday I hope to watch it too. The Clarisonic most certainly isn’t for sensitive skin, even if there is a sensitive skin brush (at least that’s what I personally think)

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Stephanie/Yukaeshi
Twitter:
November 22, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I love this, and I have reviewed this quite some time ago! It’s one of my top most-searched entry apparently :P

It does work very well exfoliating, clearing up and smoothing the skin! Which reminds me… I need replacements stat!
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Ooh that’s great to know Stephanie! Great to know it works well for you. I just picked up one of the colored ones to see how it different it is from the regular white one.

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Emy Shin November 23, 2012 at 12:08 am

I’ve never tried the Clarisonic because it is both out of my budget range and seems too harsh for my skin. But this sponge sounds fabulous. I’ll definitely have to try it out. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Hope the sponge will work for you then, Emy :) From reading various reviews it would seem that the Clarisonic works well for those who have problem skin to start with so maybe it’s ot all bad, but I found it made my ok skin worse :P

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Alison November 23, 2012 at 12:22 am

I’m kind of sad the Clarisonic didn’t work well for you! Mine cleared up my acne – as in completely, gone! If I stop using it for a month and just cleanse normally I start breaking out all over again, (I get really painful cystic acne all over my cheeks) but so long as I use it every day, breakouts are rare. I guess one thing won’t necessarily work for everyone, but mine was definitely worth the investment.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Hi Alison, its great to know that the Clarisonic works for y. I have a feeling the Clarisonic is good for those who may have problem skin to start, as you said, with acne. So it helps clear up the skin. But I think for those who have fair enough skin, it may ot be the best solution. Or maybe that’s just how I think ;)

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