Marvel gel with green tea by Ginvera originates in Singapore and according to their brochure, it has been no. 1 selling exfoliator gel for past 16 years there. It has been also featured as a 'buy of a day' on Marie Claire's website. So, is it worth the hype in Asia? Do I think that this exfoliator is going to hit big time in the UK?  

So what is this exfoliator, also called 'Zero Blackhead Gel', meant to do to your skin? The packaging says LOADS. And by loads I mean 10 loads!
  • Exfoliation helps to get rid of deep layers of dead skin cells
  • Eliminates blackheads
  • Contracts pores
  • Lightens blemishes and scars
  • Removes oil seeds
  • Regulates sebum secretion
  • Brightens skin
  • Whitens skin
  • Makes skin significantly smoother
  • Improves absorption of other skin care products

To be fair, that looks like a pretty miraculous gel to me! My first thought when I saw this massive list of skin benefits, I thought - well, that must be some solid chemical beast to do all this! So I checked ingredients straight away, and look!
  • Green tea leaf extract
  • Ginseng extract
  • Lycium Barbarum fruit extract
  • Angelica Archangelica extract
  • Oldenlandia Diffusa extract
  • Bilberry extract
  • Sugar cane extract
  • Sugar maple extract
  • Orange extract
  • Lemon extract
  • Pomelo extract
  • Royal jelly powder
  • Natto gum
  • Fructus Tribulus Terrestris extract
  • Gingko Biloba extract
  • Ampelopsis Japonica extract 
  • Perilla Frutescens extract
  • Aloe Vera extract
  • Menthol
  • Deionized water
  • Plus: Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance, CI 19140, CI 42100 
It seems like there is loads of great natural extracts, but also a few chemicals (these would explain some negative effects that I've come across and mention later on!). 

On the box, which is in two languages (English & Malaysian language), the recommended instructions are use on dry skin - basically rub it with dry fingers over your face, focusing on problematic areas, such as chin, forehead, nose and cheeks, and the gel 'rubs away' dead skin cells, dirt from your pores, all does all the amazingness to your skin that it is supposed to do. After you have been rubbing it for about minute, Ginvera says, you wash it off with water or wipe it off with a cleansing wipe. It is apparently safe to use it daily and on eye area.

As you can see from the picture, the consistency is more on a thick side with a few 'thicker' bits, which help the exfoliation. It has a green, sorta green tea colour and fresh, not too strong, scent. The consistency turns really 'jelly' like when you start rubbing it into your skin and eventually it disappears leaving you with little bits of gel mixed up with dead skin cells and all sorts of dirt it managed to 'suck out' of your skin. It's quite gross to be honest, because you can actually notice that the gel changes colour from nice green to nasty grey 'snotty' (excuse the adjective, but I couldn't come up with shade resembling it more accurately hah!). 

You can tell that my skin (even though it is 'just' my hand) is much smoother and brighter with more even tone than it was before.

Now what do I really think about it? It works! It works amazingly, I have been using it for about a week every day before going to bed and eventually it made my skin much much much brighter, super soft and nice to touch, with more even tone, less blackheads and I would even say that application of foundation (or BB ceam) is so much smoother and more convenient, and products also look better on my skin I think! So the benefits are definitely ticked for me. 

Alas, there are a few 'hiccups'!
Although my skin is not overly sensitive, this exfoliator is harsh. At least to me. I would not recommend this for sensitive skin, and I would not recommend you to use this on your eyes! That's a big no-no! The first few days I used it on my eyes and it literally dried the skin out. The skin was almost sore to touch and so 'tense'. Personally, I think this might be caused by the ingredient Imidazolidinyl Urea, which (as I Googled ha!) can cause allergic reactions quite often, but to be fair, I'm not a chemistry geek, which makes me think that maybe it is some of the natural extracts or the -cones that caused the irritation. Furthermore, do not leave it on for more than a minute, although the instructions say 'rub for about a minute'. I tried to use it in the shower and left it on for about 3 minutes, which did not seem like a big deal to me, but I think I had a slight allergic reaction which showed up as red patches of rash which were incredibly itchy, feeling kinda burnt as well. I moisturised them and they were gone the next morning, phew! One little patch seems to be still there, with tiny little bumps on it, but you can't really see it, I just feel it on touch.

Overall, I would say use it every other day, or even every third day, and you will be okay! Also do a patch test first if you have rather sensitive skin. If used correctly (that does not necessarily mean according to the instructions!), this is an amazing product, which actually does what it promises - and it promises a lot! The most I probably like the softening effect on my skin and that other skin care products seem to work much better after I use this! 

You can get a free sample like I did from Janiro (UK distributor of Ginvera) here, they have a really nice and friendly customer service! 60ml bottle retails for £18-£24 (depending if on sale or not), but you can grab some slightly cheaper ones on E-Bay! Ginvera also offers other skin care products, such as cleansers, creams and newly a BB cream, which I've been also sampling so I will pop up a review soon - and it looks very promising to be honest!

UPDATE (10/02/12): Janiro was kind to inform me that due to a high demand for samples, there are not any left at the moment, but you can order Marvel Gel for a lower price (25% off)!  

Have you tried this gel or some other Ginvera products?