Regular readers will be aware that I don’t go into beauty too much on this blog, aside from getting excited about The Tribe and that kind of thing. I kind of get enough of writing about lipstick and hairspray at work (no really!) so when I come home it’s nice to switch off and think about other more pressing things like coats and quilts. Still, people keep asking me to recommend products and review things so I figured I’d bring a little bit of my professional duties to the site starting with a brand that I’m obsessed with but which is still quite unheard of outside of beauty nut-land.
Alpha-H is an Australian skincare brand which could lazily be described as an Australian Dermalogica. I hate to make a lazy comparison, but that’s the easiest way to explain it to newcomers. It’s a professional, results-driven line with a strong emphasis on anti-aging, problem skin and sun protection. Every time they launch something, it becomes my new favourite whatever it is. I have pretty sensitive skin which doesn’t agree with a lot of brands, but I also have really oily skin which is prone to blackheads. People don’t know this though and always tell me I have good skin. That’s ‘cos I use the right products. I know a lot of people are unwilling to spend money on skincare and say they’ve used soap for 35 years and never had any problems. Good for you. I’d rather spend a bit more and have great skin that’s well behaved, protected from the sun and, ultimately, is a great base for makeup because that’s all I’m interseted in. You probably all know that I use Liz Earle cleanser because I talk about it ALL THE TIME, but my two of my other favourite items are Alpha-H.
You all know that you should be wearing SPF every day but I’m sure not all of you do. TBH I don’t either, although I do try. Facialists always know and they’re right to badger you, it’s the one thing that will make you look old, quickly, let alone the more serious issues sun damage causes. I’ve just wrapped up an indepth aging feature and the gross damage from sun damage even in your 30s is mind-blowing. New research suggests that the SPF quoted on a lot of makeup is pretty inaccurate, so you can’t really rely on that either. It’s interesting stuff but all makes sense. Something like foundation is only applied in small amounts and the formulations themselves are not photostable which means they wear off really quickly. Unlike sunscreen, you’re probably not going to reapply your foundation every few hours so you’re essentially leaving skin unprotected. Alpha-H has just launched a new moisturiser with SPF 50+ which is really high, I know, but it’s ideal for summer which is apparently just around the corner. Usually with sunscreen or even moisturiser with SPF you slather it on then have a greasy face which either erupts in spots a few days later or is so sticky you have no chance of putting any makeup on. Not the case here. For real! It is such a beautiful light texture and sinks in almost instantly so you can stick your makeup on straight away, even a powder. BELIEVE ME, ‘cos let’s face it I never go without foundation so I should know. So that’s that.
The real favourite is their Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask. I didn’t know the price was quite so high until just now but this is hands down the best mask ever and you need such a tiny amount that it’ll do you for ages. Look at it this way, it’s like 20 of those shit clay masks you buy in Sainsbury’s with your groceries every week that do nothing. Alpha-H’s great PR calls this their ~Cinderella mask~ but yo, it is! I put it on for about 5 minutes before I get ready to go out and it leaves skin glowing, plumped up and smooth. Liquid Gold is Alpha-H’s hero product; an extremely powerful overnight treatment that basically resurfaces your skin and really helps with acne and enormo-pores like mine. This mask takes that power and squidges it into a fast-acting mask. I swear by it, and if you’ve ever been out with me and thought ‘hmm, she looks moderately better than usual’, this is the reason why. In fact, I’m about to go and put it on now in anticipation of bank holiday boozathon.