Review: Jen’s Green Tea Shea Cleanser (Holy Grail!)

Today, let me introduce to you my current Holy Grail facial cleanser that has stuck with me through the great times, the bad times, the worse times and the usually unappreciated normal times. Oh,  I’m talking about the many moody times of my skin. So without further adieu, I present you Garden of Wisdom’s Jen’s Green Tea Shea Cleanser!

Mild But Efficient
What I love most about this cleanser is that it never irritated my skin or triggered my odd upper eyelid eczema. It has shea butter which gets rid of oily grime and light makeup or sunscreen and yet it foams just slightly enough to give me a clean yet supple after-wash feel.

Green Tea, Finally
I’ve always wanted to include Green Tea in my skincare routine but as I was and still am using too many anti-oxidant serums already (you’ll know what I mean if you shop at Garden of Wisdom), it was akin to layering cake icing if I added another green tea-based serum. The answer to my dreams came in the form of this cleanser. Although I suspect the green tea goodness most likely just (literally) goes down the drain whenever I rinse my face, at least I now found a convenient way to include it in my skincare routine.

Smells like Betadine
Not sure if it’s just me but the smell of this cleanser reminds of Betadine, the popular drugstore solution used to clean minor wounds. It never bothered me, though. The texture of the cleanser is gel-like with some air-bubbles. The color is murky green—reminds me of lake grime the first time I saw it.

Mild vs Original
I’ve only tried the original version so I can’t comment on how the mild one works. My only guess is that the mild one would be less drying as the surfactant (Decylpolyglucoside) swaps positions with Aloe Vera gel in the ingredient’s list. From experience, though, the original version can be drying if you use TOO much so don’t get carried away. I use only a small amount of this cleanser for my face and my neck so one full-sized tube can last me at least half a year.

Toss or Keep?
Jen’s Green Tea Shea Cleanser is currently my Holy Grail cleanser. Although it doesn’t do miracles, I think it’s reasonably priced at USD$15.35 (4 oz) and it does a pretty good job of matching the mood of my skin is. It’s a perfect morning cleanser for those who aren’t comfortable using cream cleansers but want a milder cleanser to start their day. Just like most GoW products, this cleanser also comes in a smaller sample size with a cheaper price.

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  • Kit


    Thx for the review. I hv been looking at GoW cleansers. Can this green tea cleanser remove MVO’s sunscreen completely? Cheers!

    • Vivi

      Hi Kit, from my experience, it can remove MVO sunscreen completely as long as you massage it longer into the skin. But please take note that my night skincare routine usually begins only around 10 PM. It means the sunscreen had stayed on my skin for more than 10 hours and might have melted a bit during the day, leaving nothing much to wash off by the end of the day. You can try the sample size first which only costs around USD$6. :)

  • Miss L

    Great review!

    • Vivi

      thanks :)

  • Scentual Soundtracks

    That cleanser sounds amazing. I’ve been hearing about Garden of Wisdom for a few years now but have still not tried any of their products. For the last several months, I’ve been using soap-less facial cleansing grains and masques as daily cleansers and use a traditional (creamy and slightly foaming) cleanser 1-2 xs a week. My skin is so much happier without being stripped on a regular basis. With summer approaching, I’ll probably use the cleanser a few more times a week.

    I also want to thank you for your comments on my blog and for your regular visits. I’ve been to your blog a few times now, and wanted to return the favor. Plus, the content is great! :)

    • Vivi

      It’s a really interesting brand and they have TONS of products. Can be confusing but it’s a trap hole for skincare fanatics like me, lol.

      Like you, I’ve definitely noticed a significant improvement in my skin after switching to less soapy facial washes. :)

      And thank you! I’m glad to have come across your blog, too, ’cause it offers me a preview of what could be on the other side of the world. Brick Cottages, for example 😀

  • xin

    thanks for sharing this! i haven’t shopped at GoW for a while now, but time to take a look! and i love their lotion base too!

    • Vivi

      I’m too lazy to DIY now and am afraid to buy more ingredients. But I’ll probably give that a try since there’s an on going spree here in SG. I wanna mix the lotion with astaxanthin. 😀

  • lemon

    I was recommended to try the gentle formula by a GoW member. The color was completely different than was a sheer green gel with little gritty beads (I’m not sure why there were beads). I loved how a small amount removes the toughest makeup. But it still left my skin feeling super tight and dry. Maybe I’ll try again when Summer approaches and my skin is more oily. Thanks for the review!

    • Vivi

      For some reason, I also found it drying at first but my skin grew to love it after continuous use. But it’s probably because it’s summer all year round here in Singapore. To avoid the drying after effect, I apply my hydrating serum or first water-based serum while my skin is still moist.

  • Amanda

    Same here! I’m also using this cleanser (normal version) and I have to say, I LOVE it. I like it that it foams a bit but doesn’t give that squeaky clean feeling to my face. Another thumbs-up reason is that I find it can help remove my white heads on my chin quite well. Will do a review later on.

    • Vivi

      Will look forward to your review — But I’m glad to have found someone who enjoys this cleanser as much as I do. Best of all, it’s cheap! :)

  • Jesslyn


    Thanks for the review. May I know what are your favorite products from GoW? I looked through their website, they have way tooooo many products to be chosen from! Haha :)

    • Vivi

      Hi Jesslyn, yeah — GoW store is so overwhelming since there are tons of products!

      Currently, my favorite GoW products include this cleanser, the Pomegranate Anti-Aging Serum, Chockfull of Vitamins Serum and the Some Kind of Wonderful Detox serum. So far, I’ve reviewed all of them on my blog except for the Chockfull of Vitamins Serum. You can do a search for my reviews.

      But I think it still boils down to your skin type and the kind of environment you’re in. I suggest for you to order a couple of samples first and see which works for you. I ordered LOTS of stuff from GoW before I found out what works for me and what doesn’t.

      • Jesslyn

        Thanks for the quick reply! Another question, by any chance, u taking collagen supplements? I am currently 25, am wondering should I already start consuming collagen, since people always says one will age after 25, lol. I have acne prone skin too, am worried whether collagen consumption will affect acne production…

        • Vivi

          I’m 26 1/2 years old. I took Meiji Collagen powder previously but I stopped ’cause I became too lazy, lol. I don’t think the collagen supplement will affect your acne as long as you’re not allergic to the collagen source (some collagen supplements are made of fish collagen, some from pork collagen) and you take it with something healthy and safe like fresh fruit-veg juice. Some take the collagen supplement with milk and sugar-y beverages which I think is a very bad idea.
          But don’t be disappointed if you don’t see results — it seems that not everyone can absorb collagen supplements well.

          Personally, given the choice and discipline, I would want to take it again :)
          Vivi recently blogged..Mood Swings and Hair Cuts and Why They Might be a Tragic Pair

          • Jesslyn

            Thanks for the replies! Btw, I love your blog! Gonna try out your way of eliminating acne soon..haha~ Procrastinating has been my full time job, lol~

            • Vivi

              Are you kidding me? I’m the Procrastination Queen! :p
              Thank you :) Try eliminating the usual prime suspects in your diet and see which one yields the biggest improvement in your skin. I found out that “beef” gives me acne so when I don’t take too much of it, I rarely get breakouts. Good luck and let me know how it works!