By now, you've probably tried adding at least one AHA, BHA, or even physical exfoliant to your skincare routine. Although there are arguments made for (and against) each, to me it's more about knowing your skin type and doing what works best for you. After quite a few visits to aestheticians and dermatologists, I realized there's another exfoliating gem out there that many still aren't taking advantage of: the cleansing sponge.
Could this small (but mighty) exfoliating tool be the secret to youthful, glowing skin? Well, according to Brendan Camp, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, it does help with certain factors needed to obtain year-round radiance. "Cleansing sponges are great for removing oil, debris, and dead skin cells," he says. "They gently exfoliate skin to soften it. In this regard, they can play an important role in one’s daily skin care routine. But they are not products that help combat [major] sources of aging, such as ultraviolet radiation, skin discoloration, and reductions in the amount of collagen and elastin in the dermis."
Bottom line? Facial cleansing sponges should by no means replace your current youth-enhancing serums, SPF, and other elixirs, but adding one to your routine can definitely reveal a brighter, smoother complexion if used consistently. They're pretty budget-friendly and don't require much extra effort to use. I say go for it if you're up for baby-soft skin on a daily basis. To get you started, I've rounded up the best facial cleansing sponges below to kick your routine up a notch.
Camp also recommends Peach & Lily's facial sponge which contains both Binchotan charcoal and Konjac root. Binchotan charcoal helps the sponge further remove excess oil. It's even a great option for those with sensitive skin, you just may want to go easy at first.
Camp also loves Pure Sol's luxe facial sponge that comes in three variations: original, charcoal, and turmeric. The turmeric in this sponge has natural antiseptic properties and acts as an additional exfoliating agent. It keeps the skin balanced, healthy, and glowing.
I once heard that an 89-year-old uses this in her skincare routine to keep her complexion fresh and smooth. And boy does it work. The other glowing five-star reviews don't lie either—this gentle exfoliating sponge leaves your skin baby soft and polished on the surface. I will say, though, that if you have sensitive skin, you might want to opt for the brand's gentle option as the original might be a tad too abrasive for you.
Although this is made of a harder material than a traditional cleansing sponge, the flexible silicone removes stubborn dirt and grime from the skin. It's great for removing makeup and has dual-texture bristles that provide a light massage for the face.
This oh-so-cute option from Nola Skinsentials is cushion-soft and exfoliates dead skin cells, dirt, and makeup for smooth, radiant skin. It's also mold-resistant and wards off bacteria so you won't have to worry about it transferring anything unwanted to your skin.