Another Wonder from Down Under: Alpha-H Liquid Gold

This is something I haven’t really noticed till now: a lot of the skincare brands I have blogged about recently haul all the way from Australia. Alpha-H is famous for their glycolic acid-based products, and today I’m sharing my two cents about their bestseller, Liquid Gold.

The packaging of Liquid Gold is relatively straightforward. The gray cap you see doesn’t really serve a purpose, as there is a flip cap underneath it. The concept however, is innovative and interesting. The glycolic acid it contains is supposed to dissolve the ionic bonds that hold dead skin cells together, thus by forcing new skin cells to surface. In the process, the appearance of fine lines should also be reduced and you will notice a healthy glow and smoother texture.

Using this is simple. Before bedtime, pour some of the liquid on a cotton pad and start wiping away on cleansed face. The liquid is clear, but I heard the color could deepen a little because of the licorice extract in it. Since alcohol denat is listed as the second ingredient (we’ll get to this later), it has an unmistakable alcohol smell. I use my pad on my face, neck, and even décolletage. Basically anywhere you want smooth and firmer skin!

This really should be it. I do avoid the area around my eyes and use my eye cream/lip balm as usual, but you should theoretically forego your usual toner/serum/lotion and whatnot. I know some will be skeptical, but at least over the 7 months I’ve never woken up with dry skin the next morning.

Does it work? Yes once you figure out how to use it! Again I cannot comment on the firming part, but my skin is definitely smoother, pores smaller, and is more radiant. It worked particularly well when I was in Taiwan. The heat and humidity certainly didn’t take much of a toll on my skin!

Why did I say you have to figure out how to use it? Here’s the thing. Everyone’s skin is different, so a lot about skincare depends not only on your preferences but also on how well your skin takes it. I know some can use it regularly (every third night is what I was told) and benefit from it, but not me. The only period of time during which I did benefit from using it every third night was when I was in Taipei. Other than that, if I use this when my skin is not acting up, it seems to irritate it a bit and I wake up with pimples. I know some will say this is the detoxing/purging process, but 7 months are an awfully long time for someone whose skin is not particularly problematic. On top of that, I seem to get acne where I really usually don’t (on my cheeks), and it’s the type of acne that has the life cycle of an allergic reaction to me (it doesn’t become “mature,” heals slowly, and is aggravated if I put products containing acid on).

If I use it only when my skin is acting up (or when the climate is warm and humid apparently) however, the result is lovely the next day. The bumps go down much faster, the texture is more toned/fine, and my skin is basically restored to a natural balance.

So yes, it does work for me, but if you are tempted to try it, you have to be very in tune with your skin. Also, however tempted you are, if your skin is in the sensitive category, I would advise you to stay away. Liquid Gold is not a regular mass-market skincare product and shouldn’t be treated as such. Your experience will vastly depend on the amount of attention you pay to your skin. Say it breaks you out from time to time (like what it did to me), stop and try to figure out how your skin was like before you put it on. With some time, you will hopefully figure out how to use this to the best of your advantage. If you don’t have previous experience with AHA (or products that contain acid in general), this is probably not the best place to start, either. It’s good stuff, it’s potent stuff, but it could be tricky and I can see many writing it off because their skin can’t tolerate it or they can’t seem to figure out how to make it work.

Something else I have to caution you is the fact that it contains quite a bit of alcohol denat. The ingredient list is simple: Aqua, Alcohol Denat, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Hydrolized Silk, Glycyrrhiza Glabra, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glocol. Again, my take on alcohol denat and so on is that if your skin does not react adversely to it, you’re probably good to go. However, if you really prefer to eradicate it from your skincare routine, Liquid Gold might not be your thing.

Last but not least, as with all products that contain acid, do offer your skin proper sun protection. You don’t want the lovely newborn cells to be damaged by the sun already (think about it, it’s a bit like bathing a toddler and put it right back in the sandbox)!

Bottom line: Alpha-H Liquid Gold works for me, albeit it took me a while to really know how to use it in a way that my skin will appreciate. I know there are many straight success stories out there, but if you’re thinking about purchasing it or have problems making it work for you, I hope my experience will be helpful!

Have you heard of/tried Alpha-H Liquid Gold? If you have any experience with it, is it a hit or miss? Would you stick to a product that’s finicky in the beginning?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

  • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    I LOVE using exfoliating products and I’ve heard SO much about this product, but I didn’t realize that it had such a high alcohol content :/ I’m not against alcohol in skincare per se, but if I CAN avoid it, I most certainly will. I have been using Pure+Simple’s Lactic Acid Original 5% lately and it only contains lactic acid, aloe, water, glycerin, and algin. It works REALLY really well, so I’d rather use a product that is super effective (though maybe a bit less potent) without alcohol than one with.

    • Sunny

      I know what you mean, Becca! That Pure+Simple one looks promising. I recently bought the Ren Glycolactic mask, and I can’t wait to try that. The ingredient list looks safe enough. I’ll keep you posted!

  • ValleyDoll

    Since my skin is in the sensitive category, this doesn’t really sounds like something for me.

    • Sunny

      Yeah it’s potent, and that’s why you have to be very careful!

  • claire

    ok, I know that this product is not necessarily meant for dry and sensitive skin but I am so tempted to get this (liquid gold sounds so promising, lol). australia has amazing products, I agree, I recently started using Kevin Murphy hair products and really, really like them. Thank you for your honest review Sunny!

    • Sunny

      You’re welcome Claire! At least make sure you have someone to give the product to in case it doesn’t work for you? :)

      • claire

        Well, I have someone who always is getting products from me that won’t work (for me), lol. not worried about that 😀

  • Beauty by Linde

    Doesn’t sound like my kind of product, since my skin is very sensitive and not very predictable. Too bad, I loved the pore-diminishing part :(

    • Sunny

      Aww I understand. I’ll try to discover some more gentle products with acid so that you might be able to use them.

  • My Lucite Dreams

    I picked this up a couple of months ago, I adore it. I feel like it works better for me the more frequent I use it. Not a big fan of the alcohol denat ingredient, but it just works for me. Fabulous and thorough review as always Sunny.

    • Sunny

      Yup I know what you mean Taylor! A lot of the times it really comes down to whether it works for you. I want to be careful just so that people don’t go out and grab it regardless of their skin type/needs and then come back to blame me haha

  • BeautyReflections (@BeautyReflectTS)

    It sounds lovely, but I think my skin would get all angry with me. :) My skin doesn’t like chemical exfoliators very much. Sigh.

    • Sunny

      Ahh that’s annoying! I’m slowly moving on from anything grainy because I’m not too sure that’s good for mine!

  • Yak Man

    I though it was a liquid with a color (gold)… :’)

    • Sunny

      LOL no it’s not. It’s a pretty special skincare product :)