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Two years ago I introduced exfoliating acids into my routine and to be honest, I never saw a more drastic results with any other product. And today I want to talk about the one that started it all: The Alpha H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid. Surely not the most gentle one, but still the one that won my heart over.
To put it out there: I had never even heard about acid toning until 2012. Shocking, I know.
Even more shocking if you consider that I suffer from Adult Acne and Postinflammatory Erythema, something acids are great at dealing with. (More info: Hyperpigmentation – What is it and how do you treat it?) Well, two years later acids are an essential part of my routine, and when used right, are the key to even and glowing skin.
What Alpha H Liquid Gold claims
A powerful multifunctional 5% Glycolic Acid liquid exfoliant.
+ Improves brightness and tone
+ Supports collagen production
+ Helps reduce the signs of sun damage, ageing and pigmentation
+ Accelerates the skin’s renewal process
In the evening, simply swipe, sleep and glow.
Facts about Alpha H Liquid Gold
Price and size
One bottle contains 100 ml, and is available for 37,50 € on the website here. As you don’t need to use it that often, 100 ml should last you at least six months.
Texture and scent
It looks like water, but has a kind of unpleasant and strong smell. A mixture of acid and alcohol, not as bad as P50 is supposed to smell, but it is rather obvious that there is no fragrance whatsoever.
How to use Alpha H Liquid Gold
While the text on the website makes it sound like it is suitable for every night application, I really don’t think most people need that much exfoliant. After all the upper layer of your skin does serve a purpose! (More info: Damaged skin barrier – the cause of acne and eczema?) Despite only having 5% Glycolic Acid (exactly the same as pixi Glow Tonic an only a sixth of The Ordinary AHA BHA Peeling Solution, which has 30%), that fact that it comes with a pH of only 2.8 means that too frequent use might lead to irritation, especially as alcohol is used as solvent.
I recommend using it two to three times a week at night, directly after cleansing and around 20 minutes before you apply a moisturizer.
Ingredients of the Alpha H Liquid Gold
Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
As I mentioned above it is 5% Glycolic Acid, paired with Glycerin to act as a humectant and Licorice Root Extract to help with brightening the skin. (More info: What are humectants?). I do not find this one to be very hydrating despite the added Glycerin though.
How does it compare to…
pixi Glow Tonic
Both contain 5% Glycolic Acid, but that doesn’t mean they are comparable in texture and effect. Liquid Gold is the one you will feel working, it might sting, maybe cause some redness, but at the same time give you visible results after the first application. pixi Glow Tonic on the other hand is much gentler, feels refreshing rather than irritating and is much slower in revealing smoother, brighter skin. Just another example that shows that formulation matters a lot, and also that there is probably an acid out there for everyone.
Which one is right for you depends on your skin type and preference (or maybe patience?). I have used and loved both.
Does it live up to its claims?
Glycolic Acid has shown to do everything claimed and the difference I notice in my skin in the morning after applying it at night is visible.
Which skin types do I recommend it to?
While I think even sensitive skin could make this work, it would probably not be my first choice for that. (More info: Polyhydroxy Axids – the perfect acid for sensitive skin?) If your skin can take a little acid exfoliation and your main concerns are hyperpigmentation or premature aging, then this is a great option for you. Dry skins will need a rich moisturizer afterwards, while oily skin might be able to use only this one – true to the claim on the website: “Swipe, sleep and glow”.