Alpha-H Instant Facial with Cypress & Barley - review

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This is one of those products that's taken me absolutely ages to review because I just couldn't work out how I felt about it. I used it for almost two months at the beginning of the year, then took a break from it for a couple of weeks, and I've now been using it for almost two months again.

I'm over halfway through the bottle and I'd normally have reviewed something I'd used that much by now, but the thing is, I wasn't seeing any results from it and I was expecting to, given that it's Alpha-H and given that I almost always see results from Alpha-H's products (except the cleansers).

Anyhoo. After some pretty rigorous testing, I can now say that it's not a bad product, it's just that my skin needs more than this delivers. I think it's too gentle for me and is better-geared towards sensitive skin that can't tolerate products like Alpha-H's Liquid Gold, but more on all that below.


Alpha-H claims/product details:
  • 'Botanical brilliance in a bottle'
  • A fast-acting, oil-free facial that delivers the clarity and radiance of microdermabrasion and salon inspired peels without the abrasion and stress 
  • Instantly unveils a fresh, healthier looking complexion
  • Evens out the skintone, reduces redness and blurs imperfections
  • Soothes and repairs the skin
  • A unique resurfacing and hydrating solution that absorbs immediately, working at a cellular level to help reinvigorate the complexion
  • Refines pore size, reduces dead skin buildup, softens wrinkles and mattifies the T-zone
  • Leaves skin instantly fresher, smoother, firmer and more radiant
  • For all skin types
  • To use: apply onto cleansed skin each alternate evening; moisten cotton pad with solution and apply to face, neck and d├ęcolletage; when the skin is touch-dry, apply your moisturiser or serum; for an intensive treatment, do not follow with a moisturiser or serum
  • RRP $62 AUD for 100ml, but do shop around


Verdict


I've just had a look at a bundle of online reviews and everyone else seems to have given this product four or five stars, so looks like I'm in the minority when I say that this is a three star product for me because it doesn't deliver the results I've come to expect from Alpha-H skincare that contains glycolic acid, as this one does.

Problem is, I discovered Alpha-H's Liquid Gold (reviewed here), Balancing Moisturiser and Gentle Exfoliant (reviewed here) and Liquid Gold Rejuvenating Cream (reviewed here) before I tried this, and all three of those - plus a few others - do much more for my skin than this one does. It's not that it does absolutely nothing, it's just that the effects are so subtle that I barely notice them. With the other products, I see instant and marked results that really change my skin.

Anyhoo. This is a clear liquid that smells a little chemical in nature, but the scent doesn't linger so it doesn't bother me. You apply it to your skin as you would a toner, and it does do a great job of removing the last layer of gunk from your face that your cleanser hasn't shifted, if the dirt on the makeup pad is anything to go by.

Do note that when I first started using this product, I looked up the instructions online (from memory Alpha-H had uploaded directions onto Youtube) and saw that you apply this twice a day, every day, as you would a toner. The instructions from the website (noted above), however, say to apply this only on alternate evenings. A bit confusing.

Perhaps it's about what your skin can tolerate, and while I do need to use Liquid Gold on alternative evenings because it's too concentrated for me to use any more than this, I can apply the Instant Facial twice a day without any issues because it doesn't do as much.

On the product claims: I do think it generally meets these and my skin does look and feel a little brighter and fresher after use, and the texture is a touch more refined. Problem is, the comparable Liquid Gold product delivers the same results, but they're three times more marked and I only need to use it once every two days, where I use this four times in two.

So it's a no brainer for me because the Liquid Gold works out to be much better value on a per use basis when it comes to results, and the results are better anyway.

Indeed, it's not until I apply the Alpha-H Balancing Moisturiser and Gentle Exfoliant - which I'm using at the moment too - that I see the results in my skin that I've come to expect from Alpha-H's glycolic products. This Instant Facial just doesn't do it for me, so it's not a product I can recommend and it's not one I would repurchase.

The only thing I'll say about it is, it might be a better product for you if you can't tolerate Alpha-H's Liquid Gold. The results are there, but they pale in comparison to many of Alpha-H's other products and I'd recommend any of the ones I've mentioned above over this one, unless you suffer from really sensitive skin (mine's only a little sensitive) and need to start with baby steps.

Ok, but not for me.


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