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 £31.50 for a whacking great 100ml bottle. You can get it with free worldwide delivery at


  1. Hi Ruth, I really liked liquid gold when I tried it, however I’ve recently been using Filorga Sleep and Peel. Now I’m trying to decide which I like best. Have you got any thoughts on this at all? L x

  2. Hi. sorry to comment on an old post but i am REALLY interested in this product. problem is, i am only 21 and do worry about using anti-aging products too soon! Would you advise to wait a few years before beginning with this product? Or does it benefit young skin also?
    Thankk You
    Asia x

  3. I just received my first bottle of Liquid Gold today, I can’t wait to start using it!

  4. Hello Ruth, I’ve had this for about 6 months using off and on if I get isolated spots. I did previously tingle and feel a bit dry but not as obvious as last night’s reaction. Unfort, this morn my skin is dry and flaky and tight. It hasvery dry, reddened patches and when I put cc cream/foundation on it sits on top of the flaky patches. I’d say I have combination, senstive skin. It continues to tingle throughout the day. Would you say I’ve developed an intolerance? Is there another product you can recommend which is a bit gentler??

    • If you’ve responded to this type of q previously if you or anyone else could point me in the right direction that’s be great! Thanks, Antonia x

      Also, I remember you from This Model Life doc and thinking you were
      very sane and canny. I thought the artist who painted the younger model as a fairy had a ‘special’ interest in her..

  5. Hi Ruth! I bought it and I´m dying to try it but I am terrified of sun, I live in the sunniest city in Europe and my skin tends to develop sun spots :-(( Haven´t you got any issues with the Liquid Gold during the summer time?

  6. Hi Ruth! I’m sooo glad I found this wonderful site! Thank you for sharing all this useful information with us!
    I am 47, fair complexion (blond hair, blue eyes), normal to dry skin and I live in Greece (it’ sunny most days, even in winter). I wear SPF 50 all year around. My skin is in good condition, I don’t have wrinkles (only around my eyes). I ‘ve been using ESTEE LAUDER ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR for the last 3 years.
    Here i have some questions:
    1) Do you think I could replace it 2-3 nigths a week with ALPHA LIQUID GOLD or would it be to “strong” for me? Would it be better for me to use only during winter (when the sun is not so strong)?
    2) Which is your opinion about using DERMAROLLER? (I searched but couldn’t find anything in your site). I was recently informed about FILORGA MESOTHERAPIST. What do you think about? (I know you have already used some products by FILORGA and that you were satisfied).
    Thanks a lot for your time to answer!

  7. Hello, Could you please tell me what age should I start exfoliating?? Thank you very much

  8. Ruth, can Liquid Gold be used during pregnancy?

  9. heeey Ruth ;) I’m just wondering, If I am 17, than may I use Liquid gold to reduce acne scars ? Will it be able to shallow them and make my skin smooth ? Pleeease answer.

  10. Hi Ruth! i love you channel! i was just wondering if you have ever tried Paula’s Choice AHA exfoliant, if so how does it compare to the liquid gold??love to heard back from you xo

  11. Im considering to start using alpha h, i curently use pai skincare.. and are scared of the purging process do you get that with this product/ cleanser?.. i have teenage hormonal skin, would this work for my age im 18?? thanks x

  12. Hi Ruth, I’m interested in purchasing the Alpha H Liquid gold, but I know since it is made up of AHA `acids I need to wear SPF during the day. I live in London- what SPF would you recommend? Also I don’t tend to wear foundation/bb cream etc. and i’m finding it difficult to find a nice moisturiser with SPF. I have recently purchased a new moisturiser without SPF and its great for me because although i have combination skin, i have some dry patches and this moisturiser deals with that, so I am reluctant to try a new moisturiser. Do you have any moisturisers/ alone SPF products you would recommend? Thanks

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