The best exfoliating sponge will be effective without causing discomfort. There are many different types available, including those made of synthetic and natural materials, and most are inexpensive. You may have to try a couple different sponges before finding the one that's right for you. There are a few things you should consider before you begin shopping.
First, consider which area of your body you intend to exfoliate. Some exfoliating sponges are made specifically for calloused areas like feet, knees, and elbows, and others are made for delicate tissues of the face and neck. Although some sponges claim to be appropriate for "all over" exfoliation, it's usually a good idea to use separate sponges for your face and your body.
Facial exfoliating sponges are usually smaller and less abrasive than body sponges. They come in natural and synthetic materials as well as a variety of shapes. Many are round, but there are also square, rectangular, and teardrop shaped sponges. The shape is purely a personal decision and doesn't affect the effectiveness of the exfoliating sponge.
Both body and facial sponges come in synthetic and natural materials. Natural materials include plant cellulose, usually sea sponges. Synthetic sponges are commonly made from plastics. There is a distinct difference in texture between the two types. Both types have varying degrees of roughness and the feel against the skin isn't the same.
Typically, a natural exfoliating sponge is a better choice if the individual is allergic to plastics or has sensitive skin. It is also a good choice for ecologically aware individuals who want to use natural and renewable resources as much as possible. Many sea sponges are also antibacterial and resistant to mold or mildew which makes them last much longer than synthetic sponges. The disadvantage is that sea sponges are more expensive than synthetic varieties, sometimes as much as ten times more.
Synthetic sponges are a good choice if you are budget conscious. They may require cleaning from time to time, but that is simple. You can wash sponges in a washing machine with your other laundry or in a dishwasher. Alternatively, you can purchase a disposable exfoliating sponge, discarding it after a few uses.
An alternative to an exfoliating sponge is an exfoliating scrub or natural bristle brush. The scrub is a thick substance, usually made with sea salt or sugar and a liquid soap. It is rubbed all over the body during bathing to slough off dead skin cells. The natural bristle brush is good to use on dry skin, scrubbing in circular motions to remove dead skin cells.