As a licensed Esthetician, I consider the health of my skin and the ingredients and tools used on it to be very important! As a WAHM with two toddlers, though, I have to admit that my skin is rather easy for me to neglect!
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I just don’t have the time for a multi-step program or to give myself the facials and pampering that I used to rely on when I had more “me” time and cash flow. And the more natural-minded I get, the less OK I am with unnecessary chemicals doing a superficial job for me.
So, where is the balance? How can I take care of myself without budgeting much time or money for it? How can I age well (yes, I do plan on ageing, but I want to do it gracefully!) without harmful or potentially toxic and pricey ingredients?
Well, that is a big question that deserves a big answer! Today I want to begin addressing it by looking purely at cleansing with a natural, affordable, and QUICK method that I have been embracing lately…
WATER-ONLY CLEANSING FOR FACE & BODY
How can water properly clean on its own?
It is such a common misconception that water does nothing but rinse. A splash of tap water on its own may not remove makeup or environmental polution, but water is a fantastic surfectant when the agitation is right! Using appropriate tools for the job (konjac and microfiber, in my personal experience) can certainly facilitate effective water-only cleansing!
It’s good for the skin!
A lot of cleansers alter the pH of the skin and strip natural oils from the face as well as the external debris. This stripping can cause us to rely on a list of other products to rebalance our pH and replace moisture. In addition, our skin can take the stripping personally, acting out by overproducing oils to compensate and leaving us other issues and messes to figure out.
I’m not saying that all cleansers and skin products are bad by any means! What I am getting to, though, is that water-only cleansing works with our natural oils to aid and nourish our skin in the way it was designed to. (This philosophy is very similar to why I no longer use shampoo. Read about why I switched to washing my hair with clay HERE.)
GOING WATER-ONLY: MICROFIBER vs. KONJAC SPONGES
The key to water-only washing of the skin, as I began mentioning above, is proper agitation. Here are the materials that I have tried and will be comparing for you today:
MICROFIBER: I originally started with THESE face/body microfiber cloths by Norwex, which are said to be able to cleanse and exfoliate the skin using only water and be suitable for all skin types and the most delicate skin. (And in case you were wondering, they were a gift to me from my aunt.)
Overall I have been very impressed with their performance. I really liked that they have silver embedded into the fibers that make the cloths naturally anti-bacterial against themselves, meaning they can be rinsed and reused several times before laundering without harboring anything too scary.
KONJAC: I was recently contacted by Pure Sol to try out their line of face & body sponges. Though they are made of completely natural Konjac fibers with no added chemicals, they come in fun options like turmeric and activated charcoal for added skin benefits. They can either be used with natural cleansers or the water-only method and are said to cleanse, gently exfoliate, and moisturize the skin.
(For the comparisons below I used their original facial sponge on my face and the turmeric body sponge, both of which were gifted to me by PureSol in exchange of an honest review. I will not be financially compensated for my comments and am committed to sharing only my truthful experiences with you.)
I wanted to test the sponge and cloth’s ability to not only cleanse the face, but also to remove makeup. So, I quickly threw on my 5-minute minimal makeup face, and then drew an imaginary line down the center, deciding to wash one half with Microfiber, and the other with konjac.
TEXTURE & FEEL: Konjac wins
I love how the PureSol sponge felt against my face! Instead of the typical foam-sponge feel, it had more of a cool, jelly texture to it. It was extremely gentle, especially around the delicate eye area, and was almost relaxing and calming to use! Really, when their packaging states that it “massages” the skin, they weren’t joking.
The microfiber cloth, on the other hand, was much rougher and definitely felt like it was tugging.
MAKEUP REMOVAL: Microfiber wins
Both the microfiber and konjac did a great job of removing my homemade face powder, mascara, and red lipstick (this vegan mineral color by Pacifica, in case you are wondering).
As far as the eyeliner went (I was wearing this one by Pacifica), neither got it off completely. The konjac side had more smudging and residual liner, while the microfiber side looked almost clean and could probably have gotten the rest off with another wipe or too (though I was hesitant to keep going as it felt rough and tugged on the eye area).
Then came the homemade foundation, which was the makeup-removal test that clearly boosted microfiber into the lead. The microfiber side of my face felt completely clean and soft to the touch. The konjac side still had an obvious film or layer of makeup left on the skin that I could feel, though I couldn’t see it.
EASE OF USE: Konjac Wins
I found the konjac sponges to be much easier to grab onto, use, and manipulate, especially on the body. They came with a handy string attached and suction cup hook for storage. Both the sponges and microfiber involved regular rinsing, but I would say that the sponges required more simply based on their surface area being smaller. The microfiber cloths would need to be laundered (about every week), where as the konjac simply need rinsing, with an option to boil or nuke after a few weeks or month.
EFFECTS ON SKIN: Konjac Wins
If judging on just the one wash, I would have thought that the microfiber did a much better job of exfoliating and brushing away dead skin cells and build up. However, having used both over time and seeing the cumulative results, I began to realize that the microfiber was actually too strong for my skin to use on a daily basis and ultimately a bit counter productive. After two weeks of consistent use my skin felt tight and dry during and right after cleansing. The sponges were able to dust dead skin off gently, keeping the skin healthier overall.
ECO FACTORS: Konjac Wins
PureSOL Konjac sponges are vegan, created using only steamed konjac fiber and sometimes (based on variation) have added turmeric or bamboo charcoal. There are NO added chemicals and the entire thing can be composted when finished. They also come packaged in recyclable packaging. Microfiber, on the other hand, is synthetic and not at all biodegradable.
PRICE: Microfiber Wins
Considering price-per-unit, the microfiber wins out by 50 cents – $2.50 each, depending on the variation, but come in a multi-pack though, forcing you to fork out more money to buy three up front. Another consideration is longevity; PureSOL recommends replacing your konjac sponge every 2-3 mos, while the microfiber should last far beyond that, which some might consider “better value.”
Though both options could work, I much prefer the konjac sponges for both my face and body. They leave my skin merry and bright, are more eco-friendly, and I am in love with the turmeric option. However, I don’t feel that the konjac does as well on makeup removal. On the days that I wear full-face makeup I will either: (1) use homemade eye-makeup remover and wash my face with the sponge and water twice; (2) use a natural cleanser along with the sponge; or (3) use the microfiber cloth and water instead (with option 1 being the most likely).
YOUR TURN TO TRY PURESOL SPONGES:
We will be giving away 2 PureSOL sponges on Instagram this weekend! Be sure to follow us now so you will have a chance to enter!