Right. Believe it or not this is now the fourth time that I have tried to write this post! I seem to always have dire problems when it comes to talking about products or brands that I really love – I mull over my words for ages and ages, trying to think of suitably fantastic things to say, and I can never seem to find words that are effective enough! Alpha-H is one of these brands – the first draft of this post dates back to September last year – and I feel acutely ashamed that I have taken so long to get these words down on paper. Screen. So, here we go: Alpha-H.
As you can probably tell from the picture above, Australian skincare brand Alpha-H don’t worry a whole lot about their packaging. (The Balancing Cleanser example is pretty much typical – some of the other products don’t even look as attractive as this one!) They are, and I will say this again I’m sure, wholly concerned with effectiveness. Driven only by results – not by fancy boxes, luxurious textures, ‘fig’ this and ‘rose otto’ that – they spend all of their time and energy checking and double-checking that things work, and then they sell them. Note that I don’t use the word ‘market’ -this is because I have hardly ever seen a less aggressive marketing strategy than Alpha-H’s. There’s no celebrity spouting crap about looking fifteen years younger, there’s no billboard campaign, no editorial ads and no wild promises splashed across the website. They rely almost entirely on the products ‘speaking for themselves’ which is rare in today’s competitive, overstuffed beauty industry.
The owner of Alpha-H is Michelle Doherty and I have met her on a number of occasions along with Tom Ogden who looks after the UK side of the brand. I can honestly say (and I’m sure I’ll say this again!) that I have rarely met two people so genuinely passionate about skincare and so utterly frank about what it can and can’t do. Both have suffered physically and emotionally because of skin problems, but you’d never tell now from looking at their skin! I’m hoping they won’t mind me saying this, but I get the feeling that they must feel very frustrated with the number of brands selling expensive ‘empty’ products – products with no discernible use or benefit – when they have such a comprehensive, brilliantly-priced range of performance skincare. There’s nothing in the range that doesn’t need to be there – no superfluous toners or lotions – everything has a purpose, everything has been tested to exhaustion to ensure that it’s the most effective it can be. The level of active ingredients is incredibly high for the price-range that the brand sits in (a huge 200ml tube of cleanser comes in at £20) and they make every effort to keep any filler ingredients (water, for example) to the minimum so that value-for-money is at a maximum.
I’m a sucker for a beautifully packaged face cream or a lovely glass bottle of gorgeously-scented oil, but Alpha-H products have gradually nosed their way in to my firm favourites. I use the Balancing Cleanser (£20) nearly every day now because it’s so gentle but removes every scrap of makeup, including mascara; their hero product, Liquid Gold is simply incredible. (There’ll be a review coming up on that in the next few weeks, which is one of the reasons I thought I should get my act together and tell you a bit about the brand first!)
What I love about Alpha-H is that it just seems so…chilled out and self-assured. It’s like the products are on my shelf in the bathroom saying, “yeah, sweetheart. You use that rose-scented cleanser this morning. You’ll be back to me tonight when you need a real man.’ (God, another one of my amazingly bad analogies! HA!) It’s true though, that Alpha-H is fast becoming one of my staple brands. The products don’t promise to ‘wrap you in a veil of softest moisture’ or ‘send your soul to the fragrant slopes of the Atlas mountains’, they don’t ‘wow’ you with a ‘sensory journey’ or give you that little feeling of naughty luxury that you get when you buy a Chanel lipstick or a YSL palette…
What they do do – and this must be said in a strong Aussie accent – is THEY BLOODY WORK, MATE! If you want good skin and you don’t want to pay 90% of your premium for flash advertising and a nice bottle, then Alpha-H is your man. Or woman. (Sorry, Michelle!)
Alpha-H can be bought at BeautyBay.com with free worldwide delivery