The overnight facial loved by beauty editors

Brunette girl in sunglasses and silky green top

It has hundreds, possibly thousands, of five star reviews across the internet and is loved by industry insiders. Lauded as the ‘overnight facial’, Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold can count model Ruth Crilly (who included it in her list of desert island beauty products), Caroline Hirons and Trinny Woodall among its fans.

Featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, this overnight glycolic acid treatment has won countless awards in the last five years, but its actually been gaining cult status since 2000. We take a closer look to see if this much-loved treatment truly lives up to the hype.

What is it supposed to do?

Firstly, its 5% glycolic acid, which is a type of AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that’s naturally derived from sugar cane. AHAs help to dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells, removing them to reveal the newer cells below and giving your complexion a fresh and brighter look. Liquid Gold also claims to lower the skin pH to stimulate cellular activity, helping to accelerate your skin’s repair and renewal process – a resurfacing action which fades the look of pores, acne scars and pigmentation.

All of this leads to pretty high hopes in terms of how the skin will look come morning. Reviews say you wake up to glowing morning skin, that skin looks younger and fresher, and acne scars, rosacea and pigmentation fade.

First impressions

It’s a light clear liquid that feels like a toner or serum. It glides easily over the skin and doesn’t leave any stickiness. It also leaves the skin feeling slightly tingly, though not uncomfortable whatsoever.

The next morning

Incredibly, the difference is already noticeable. Though pores are still visible and pigmentation hasn’t magically vanished, skin definitely looks less dull and tired, and is really soft. It honestly does feel like a facialist has been at work overnight.

How do I use it?

That depends on the sensitivity of your skin – the bottle suggests using every other night, dampening a cotton pad with the product and sweep over your face, neck and décolleté – steer clear of your eyes and lips – and leave on overnight. You can apply a night cream after Liquid Gold, but if you want an intensive treatment leave it work on its own.

If you have sensitive skin and/or no or little experience of acids, advice is to first dampen your cotton pad with water, then add the product, and just apply once a week for the first few weeks. This allows your skin to get used to the product and minimise any redness or irritation your skin may experience. A tingling feeling is perfectly normal though, so don’t worry!

What’s the verdict?

Though we can’t speak to the effect Liquid Gold has on acne scars or rosacea, we can give it a massive thumbs up for how your skin looks first thing. Youthful and radiant, it adds a good hour of beauty sleep to your face.

Regular exfoliating is important, and if you’re not a fan of scrubs or can’t be faffed with exfoliating face masks that you need to wash off, this is the perfect exfoliating treatment. It’s non-abrasive and can be left on overnight to work its metaphorical magic with no mess or fuss.