A few months ago, I became obsessed with the idea that I should probably have a proper, grown-up skincare routine by now, and because I don’t know the first thing about skincare – or even the second thing, really – I decided I’d do this by basically just rushing out and buying all of the products the beauty gurus rave about, even although some of them cost more than a pair of shoes, and I’d secretly rather have the shoes. Who wouldn’t, though?
I decided to start with Alpha H’s ‘Liquid Gold’, which, as far as I could gather from the reviews, was ACTUAL liquid gold: as in, the people reviewing it seemed to believe they’d found the philosopher’s stone, and that their lives – or, at least their skin – would never be the same again.
Here it is in my bathroom, where it blended seamlessly with the tile. Would this be the ONLY benefit of Alpha H Liquid Gold, though? If the suspense is killing you, read on. And if not, well, it’s been nice knowing you for this all-too-brief time…
Alpha H Liquid Gold Review
(Alternative title for this post: ‘Could I Have Taken a More Boring Photo of This Product?’ Answer: probably not, but in my defence, I couldn’t work out what the hell I was going to say about it, so I just snapped a quick iPhone photo one night, on the off-chance that I’d decide to write about it after all. Let’s file this under ‘Things I Regretted in the Morning’…)
So, as I was saying, the beauty gurus all raved about this product, and despite my natural scepticism, when faced with rave reviews, I find it really hard not to completely lose my mind, and believe them with every fibre of my being. I spent quite a bit of time typing the words ‘Alpha H Liquid Gold Review’ into Google this year, and that’s how I found myself in possession of the alleged fountain of youth – even although I still wasn’t TOTALLY sure what the hell it actually WAS.
Here’s what I did know about it:
01. It is NOT a toner: I repeat, NOT A TONER.
02. It totally sounds like a toner, though.
03. You apply it after cleansing.
04. Just like a toner, really..
05. It is so strong you have to build up your tolerance to it gradually, using it once a week for 2-3 weeks, before gradually building up to using it 2-3 times per week.
06. If you don’t do this, your face will fall off.
07. Then a new face will grow in place of the OLD face, and this new face will be a TERRIBLE new face. A Voldemort face, if you will.
08. I just totally made that up, to see if you were paying attention.
09. Although your face will (probably) not fall off, it will tingle after application. You will find this quite alarming.
10. No, I don’t know why you will find the tingling so disturbing, but all of the reviewers did, so if you don’t, there’s something wrong with you, OK?
11. I’ve totally lost control of this post now: it’s like it’s writing itself.
12. You can use moisturiser after applying Liquid Gold, but if you want a more intense treatment, you can skip the moisturiser.
13. You will NEVER get used to going to bed without moisturising first. This is because you are a proper, grown-up adult, who would never DREAM of skipping the moisturiser, not even if it’s really late, and you should probably have skipped that last glass of wine, instead. Whoops.
14. Regular use of Liquid Gold will transform your skin, your life, and will also alter the space-time continuum.
15. “There’s virtually nothing this skincare miracle can’t accomplish!”
16. It ACTUALLY says that on the Cult Beauty product page for this. I wonder if the Pope will give it a Sainthood, now that we’ve established it can do actual miracles?
17. If there’s nothing it can’t accomplish, it’s a shame IT didn’t write this post instead of me, huh?
18. I’ll stop now, I promise.
I also discovered – again from reading the Cult Beauty product description – the following information:
“Starring nature-derived glycolic acid (it comes from sugar cane), this overnight treatment harnesses the cell-stimulating and exfoliating properties of alpha hydroxy acids, which melt the ‘glue’ that binds dulling dead cells to skin’s surface, revealing the healthy ‘new’ skin cells beneath. What’s more, by lowering skin’s pH (from 5.5 to around 3), this stimulates cellular activity – accelerating repair and renewal processes, as skin works hard to re-establish equilibrium. It bolsters synthesis of elastin and collagen (the ‘scaffolding’ that keeps skin firm), while penetrating deep within pores to eradicate spot-causing bacteria – while the resurfacing action also helps to diminish visibility of acne scars, dark spots and brown patches, so your complexion quickly looks more even-toned and luminous. “
I hope you were paying attention to all of that, because there will be a quiz at the end of this post…
By the time it arrived, then, I was almost giddy with excitement and anticipation: so much so that I’m ashamed to report that I failed to follow the “build up your tolerance gradually” advice, and proceeded straight to the “2-3 times per week” bit, and by that I mean “four times per week”. Here’s what I discovered:
01. My face did not fall off as a result of not building up my tolerance gradually.
02. My skin DID tingle, but I did not find it alarming: I actually found it quite pleasant, in an, ” I can feel it working, so it must actually be working,” kind of way.
03. I found myself really looking forward to the nights designated as ‘Liquid Gold’ nights, purely because on those nights I didn’t have to use moisturiser, and I’m a lazy ass, who will take any excuse to skip a step in her night-time routine.
04. I’m very aware that that line about looking forward to the ‘Liquid Gold’ nights sounds super-sleazy, somehow.
05. By the end of the first week… absolutely nothing had happened.
06. By the end of the SECOND week, however, I had started to notice an improvement in my skin. It was the kind of improvement that I normally think of as, “God, I have no idea how I’m going to describe this on my blog? My skin looks… better? In an undefinable kind of way?”
07. At around about this time, I took off my makeup one night, and Terry commented – totally unprompted – that I looked “really fresh-faced.”
08. It’s only just occurred to me that although I took this as a sign that Liquid Gold had done its job, and done it good, he MIGHT have just meant that my face literally looked like it had been freshly slapped?
I mean, I don’t THINK that’s it: in all seriousness, I genuinely noticed an improvement in my skin after the first couple of weeks, and I became really quite excited, thinking that AT LAST I’d discovered a product that truly lived up to the hype, and that my skin would basically just continue to get better and better, until I was starting to age in reverse, Benjamin Button-style. I was REALLY pleased, seriously.
The problem was, however, that after that initial improvement… nothing much happened. My skin didn’t get any better, and I don’t THINK it got any worse, but by that stage I guess I was used to the new status quo, so every time I looked in the mirror and realised I had once again failed to knock yet another year off my age, I felt a bit disappointed, really. I realise my expectations were unrealistic here (and, just in case it’s not obvious, I didn’t ACTUALLY expect to turn into Mr. Button. That would just be weird…), and that no product will make your skin continue to get better every single time you use it, by the fact remains that by the time I reached the end of the bottle, several weeks later (And I will say this for Liquid Gold: it might be pricey, but you don’t need to use much with each application, so it does last for a long, long time…), I was reluctant to splash out on a new one.
Don’t get me wrong, the product is pretty good, and I DO recommend trying it if you feel your skin needs a little something extra. For me, though, it just wasn’t good ENOUGH to make me want to continue buying it: or not for now, anyway. I may well go back to it at some point, but as of now, I stopped using it a few weeks ago, and my skin doesn’t really look any different, so I’m probably going to try something new, rather than buying a new bottle of Liquid Gold.