What Is a Konjac Sponge?
Konjac sponges are made from the dried/ ground root of the konjac, or elephant yam. Asian cultures have used konjac root for thousands of years.
The calcium yields of this sponge is an alkaline end product that helps to balance an overly acidic skin pH. Sometimes powdered charcoal or green or red clay is added to benefit different skin types and further draw out skin impurities.
These sponges are perfect to withstand a dry scrubbing ritual.
Body brushing/dry scrubbing has the ability to increase circulation, exfoliate and cleanse pores. It’s also helpful for dry patches, acne, blackheads and eczema.
Konjac naturally nourishes with vitamins A, B, C, D and E, proteins, lipids, fatty acids, copper, zinc, iron, and magnesium. This wonder-sponge even has antioxidants and has historically been used to suppress tumors. Unlike other exfoliators that harm the environment, konjac is completely natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable (no harmful plastic microbeads needed!)
Better yet, the konjac sponge has enough innate cleansing properties on its own that some people have success using it with just water. Research shows that konjac even inhibits the bacteria that produce acne.
So to the dry brushing/body scrubbing part...
Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like… brushing the skin in a particular pattern with a dry brush, usually before showering.
In dry brushing, the skin is typically brushed toward the heart, starting at the feet and hands and brushing toward the chest.
Benefits of Body Brushing/ Dry Scrubbing
1. Lymphatic Support
The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts, and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin. Proponents of dry brushing claim that brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and helps the body detoxify itself naturally.
This benefit is often noticed the first time a person dry brushes. The process of running a firm, natural bristled brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating skin. I noticed less dry skin and much softer skin in the first few days and weeks after dry skin brushing. My skin has stayed soft thanks to this built-in way to exfoliate.
3. Clean Pores (& Smaller Pores!)
The added benefit of exfoliating the skin is clearing oil, dirt, and residue from the pores. Use a smaller, gentler dry brush for the face (don’t use the stiffer body brush here… ouch!). I notice that my face is softer and my pores are much less noticeable.
4. Reduces Cellulite
Though the evidence is anecdotal, I’ve found many accounts of people who claimed that regular dry brushing greatly helps to reduce cellulite. I talked about this and my other cellulite remedies here. There isn’t much research to back the cellulite claims, but dry brushing feels great and makes skin softer, so there isn’t really any downside to trying it!
5. Natural Energy Boost
I can’t explain why but dry brushing always gives me a natural energy boost. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend dry brushing at night but it is great in the morning. One theory is that because it increases circulation, it also increases energy. Either way, I only do it early in the day as part of my morning routine.
Here’s How to Dry Brush the Skin:
1. Starting at the feet, I brush the bottoms of my feet and up my legs in long, smooth strokes. I typically brush each section of skin 10 times. For lymph flow, I always brush toward the heart/chest area where the lymph system drains.
2. As a good rule of thumb, always brush toward the center of the body.
3. Repeat the same process with the arms, starting with the palms of the hands and brushing up the arm toward the heart. Again, I brush each section of skin 10 times.
4. On the stomach and armpits, brush in a circular clockwise motion.
5. I then repeat the process on my abdomen and back, and then switch to my face with the more delicate brush.
Note: Don’t brush too hard! A soft and smooth stroke often works best. My skin is slightly pink after brushing, but it should never be red or sting. If it hurts at all, use less pressure!
I brush before showering and use a natural lotion after showering.
Replace the brush every 6-12 months as the bristles will eventually wear out. I also recommend washing the brush every few weeks to remove dead skin cells.