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Liquid Gold and the Leap of Faith

alpha-h liquid goldI’ll hold my hands up straight away and admit to you that I had to make a little leap of faith in order to start using Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold. Although I trust Michelle Doherty and Tom Ogden from Alpha-H unreservedly when it comes to skin advice, it still took a little persuading to get me to give up my night-cream and swap it for a quick wipe of tingly Glycolic Acid three times a week!

So why did it take me so long to try out Liquid Gold? Conventions. Beauty traditions. We’re told we need to moisturise at night to keep wrinkles at bay and so that is what I have always done. The thought of sweeping a cotton wool pad soaked in Glycolic Acid (just the word ‘acid’ is a no-no!) over my skin and forgoing moisturiser?! It’s horrendous! Surely my skin will thin out, get dry and flaky and tight? Surely if I do this on a regular basis, I won’t be moisturising enough and the wrinkles will pop out more quickly?!

Absolutely not, say Michelle and Tom of Alpha-H. The Glycolic acid in the Liquid Gold works in many different ways to improve the tone, texture and long-term condition of the skin far better than any simple moisturiser could ever hope to. Firstly, the glycolic acid drops the PH of the skin overnight so that the skin has to work hard to raise it back up – this gives the skin a huge workout and leaves it tighter and firmer in the morning. The acid loosens dead skin cells from the skin’s surface which makes the skin look more radiant and bright anyway, but it also increases the skin’s own production of hyaluronic acid (an agent which helps ‘trap’ moisture into the skin) and Collagen. So, on the whole Moisturiser vs Glycolic Acid front, the Glycolic is the equivalent of taking your skin for a full-on gym session followed by a hearty, healthy, re-fuelling lunch whereas the moisturiser, if you’ll excuse the very crap analogy, is the equivalent of reading the Sunday papers in a towelling robe sat by the pool in the spa area.

That’s not to say that using a moisturiser is pointless – it’s a wonderful thing and we do need it to make sure our moisture levels are good for our skin to look and feel great… I suppose what I’m saying is this: if we only ever visited the gym to sit by the pool and chill then we’d be happy and relaxed, content, pampered. We’d grow old gracefully and accept our body changes. Get slack and a little saggy. But much better in the long-run to be doing some skin ‘gym sessions’, no? Toning it up a bit, re-fuelling it, fine-tuning it, making it do some work? Especially when the only actual effort required involved wiping some wet cotton wool over your face! (I’m not saying that you can’t ever sit by the pool – you can do it every day if you like, slather on that moisturiser every morning! Just make sure that you get a few sessions a week in with that stair-climber and weights machine. OK, analogy over now, I got slightly carried away.)

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and here are my results. (Bear in mind, please, that I had excellent skin to start with – and I’m not boasting, just being frank.) Usage and results: applied with a cotton wool pad – just a small amount of the liquid poured onto it soaked the pad enough for a full application. Swept over entire face, neck and chest area, avoiding eyes and lips. There was a slight tingling upon application and a tightening feeling. Nothing uncomfortable, but it is, I suppose, a strange sensation at night when you’re used to slathering on cool, juicy moisturiser! Smooth, firm skin the morning after treatment, reduced pore size, increased brightness and radiance. Long-term results (I have been using this since May) are that I have been almost entirely blemish-free and I have hardly needed to use any foundation, ever. My pores look smaller, my skin looks clearer and brighter. I’ll tell you that it still feels weird, even after all of these months, not using a moisturiser on my ‘Liquid Gold’ nights, but my skin looks and feels great!

 I really believe that my skin has always benefitted from regular exfoliation of the non-mechanical kind. So I’m not talking ‘scrubs’ here, I’m referring to enzymes and exfoliating agents, things that take off the dead cells without having to scratch or traumatise the skin. Products containing effective levels of enzymes or exfoliating acids – whether in the form of a mask, a face-wash or diluted in a moisturiser, I have always performed some kind of regular exfoliation. The difference with the Liquid Gold, I suppose, is that it’s a straightforward injection of glycolic into the skin – no moisturiser to dilute the effects. The instructions state that you can follow Liquid Gold with a moisturiser, but Tom and Michelle recommend that you don’t – it raises the PH of the skin and basically counterbalances the effects of the glycolic.

Some points to note:

1) I haven’t ‘given up’ any part of my regime – all other skincare is ‘as normal’ but I use the Liquid Gold every other night. I don’t feel as though I’m ‘missing out’ on my usual night creams and I have continued to use my usual eye creams.

2) I don’t use any other form of exfoliation on my ‘Liquid Gold Day’. No enzyme peels, cleansers, Clarisonic –  I think that mixing exfoliants is never a good idea – the skin can only take so much!

3) The Liquid Gold tingles. It’s not a painful sensation, and I would say that if you feel anything more than a mild sting then discontinue use. It shouldn’t be painful! Some people will be more sensitive than others, so if you feel any sensitivity then perhaps start gently by applying a nice moisturiser after the Liquid Gold or by using the Liquid Gold serum which is a different glycolic formula.

Liquid Gold has become, without a doubt, one of my top “can’t live without” (HATE that phrase!) products. I’m almost scared not to use it now in case something dreadful happens and I age by twenty years overnight! I love that I can still use (and test!) whatever products I want for most of the time and then just have to do this one simple act of wiping some liquid onto my face every other night!

Liquid Gold is £33.50 for a whacking great 100ml bottle. You can get at Cult Beauty here.

© 2016 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be very clearly marked. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. Outward links to retailers will usually be affiliate links. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer.  A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.


  1. Hey Ruth :) ,
    Just a question about using the liquid gold-do you still use other exfoliating products on different days? Or just the liquid gold?

    • @Hannah the Liquid Gold Serum on every second or third day and then just whatever I like on the ‘spare’ days!! I have just put up a video on YT about my routine – it’ll post on here tomorrow! xx

  2. Brilliant post! It sounds like an amazing product, I really want to give it a try. I have two questions if you wouldn’t mind! Do you need to wash your face in the morning after using the Liquid Gold? I only wash my face once a day (before bed) and moisturize in the AM (as recommended by the lovely Sarah Brown at Pai) and it has been working very well for me but would it be overkill to leave the Glycolic Acid on skin for so long without a proper cleaning? Also, (very important) is it ok for people with sensitive skin to use Glycolic Acid products? I don’t have any spots ever (sorry!) but a tendency to redness with most grainy exfoliators but I really like the sound of smaller pores and more radiance!

    • @Julia I would have a quick wipe with a cleansing water on waking just to freshen and remove any oils that have seeped out (UGH!) overnight. Just my preference! x

  3. Thanks for this Ruth….I was looking at the ingredients list as saw that alcohol was number two. I am a little worried about this as I have very oily skin and avoid alcohol in any skin product. Am I missing something here? Alpha H doesn’t seem the kind of brand to bulk products with something like alcohol!

    • @Name you are quite right, they would never bulk out a product needlessly. The alcohol is necessary to ‘deliver’ the active ingredients down into the skin efficiently, as far as I can work out. It does, in fact, make my T-Zone very slightly oily and when I wake up I do a quick sweep with a balancing cleansing water to even things out, but it has never made me break out for some reason! Let me double-check about the alcohol issue though – it would be great to get Tom from Alpha-H answering our questions! xxx

  4. You know when you go over to someone’s house for dinner and they serve a dish so divine that you later hound them for the recipe? They grudgingly give you this (an aeon later) and you lovingly try to recreate it but it NEVER tastes the same! Why? The person doesn’t really wish to share their secret recipe with you and doubtless has left some important ingredient or technique out. You however are a truly beautiful person (inside and out) because you share all your big secrets with us, like a good friend would. You genuinely care for all of us nameless, faceless souls and transcend a regular beauty blogger.This is why we TRUST and VALUE your opinion. Thank you for sharing this tip. I cannot wait to see the alchemic effects this Alpha-H product may have on my skin. I have always believed that only the magic fingers of my facialist can remove the dead skin on my nose, but alas maybe there is a home remedy too! xx

  5. Hi,
    I’m twenty-three and while my skin is beginning to mature i’m still more in the ‘teenage phase’ of getting the occassional blemish rather than getting the first signs of wrinkles. However, i’m fully aware that it’s now that I should be looking after my skin to prevent wrinkles in the long term. Do you think I would benefit from a product like this, or is it still far too early for me and I should stick to more ‘lightweight’ products?
    Thanks, Love the blog, Caitlin.

  6. Hi there, OMG!! :oD what a great FAB post – gonna check this out for sure … Needed something extra to compliment my night creams. Abs brilliant post, Ruth. Even dropped by Cosmetics Ala Carte ( Macomb St. ) yesterday – got me an under eye concealer. Thanks a million!! Have a great day … Xx :))

  7. I’ve got to say, I have been intrigued by this Liquid Gold and the other Alpha-H products for a while, but it is like you said – the mere talk of not putting any moisturiser on at night is hoohah (oddly enough though, I’ve not used any the last 2 weeks as my skin has been more oily than usual, and it looks better – go figure!). Your skin has recently been so frickin flawless, it’s a testament to it working. I have good skin, but suffer a bit of hyperpigmentation due to being half Chinese (damn these yellow genes!) and this would be perfect. I’m gonna splurge now (the lookfantastic deal is too good!), the guineas will have to eat less organic veg for a few weeks. :D

  8. I just bought the Lookfantastic package, and found this voucher code that gives you 15% off: AFFAUG151628. With free delivery the package now cost me £31.41 in total. :)

  9. Hi Ruth, fab post! I ordered the liquid gold and can’t wait to try it. If you ask alpha-h Tom some questions can you ask him when I should use retinol products in conjunction with this? The nights that I’m not using liquid gold or never while I’m using the liquid gold? Thanks so much!

  10. I’ve been wanting to try Alpha-H for a while & you may well have convinced me to take that step!
    It seems a pretty similar routine to the one I follow, using Heaven by Deborah Mitchell Skin Polish Exfoliator (a glycolic acid base although this is a gel so I apply a layer almost like a mask before bed). Have you tried it? Would be interested to see how they compare.

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