CULT BUY: If you love Alpha-H's Liquid Gold, this dupe will save you over $30 a bottle.


There aren’t many products with a cult following as dedicated as Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold, but there is a definite reason for that.

It just works.

The glycolic acid-based chemical exfoliator works to resurface and stimulate new skin cells to diminish the appearance of pigmentation, wrinkles, sun damage. The result? Your skin is left looking more radiant and blemish free. You simply swipe it on at night over cleansed skin and go to bed. It’s that easy.

Personally, I used it when I was 17 years old and suffering from a bout of stress-induced acne three weeks out from my high school formal (thanks a lot HSC). I religiously used Liquid Gold every second day and although my acne scars didn’t magically disappear, the breakouts stopped and my skin was noticeably smoother.


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Mamamia‘s resident beauty expert Leigh Campbell is a fan, too.

Heralding it as her weekly ‘spendy’ product highlight on Mamamia‘s You Beauty podcast, she extolled its glow-giving abilities.

“It’s such a bloody bargain in relation to how good it is. People who know me will already have this product because I force it on them. It’s bloody good,” she said.

At $60 for 100mls, it’s not the cheapest product, but lo and behold, I think I’ve found a dupe.

Introducing Pixi’s Glow Tonic, which retails at Sephora for $28 per 100mls.

Similar to Liquid Gold, its hero ingredient is glycolic acid – it even has the same five per cent formulation – and you use both products in the exact same way.

For your latest dose of star-studded beauty advice, Rachael Finch takes us through her beauty bag and we are all ears.

How does it apply?

Having tried both, I’d say the Pixi alternative is noticeably more gentle – a plus for sensitive skin – compared to the sting you get when applying Liquid Gold. Glow Tonic just feels like a normal toner. It also had a fresh, subtle scent, whereas Alpha-H is unscented.


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What about the results?

When using Liquid Gold (once every three days) I notice my skin is glowier and more radiant upon waking the day after. My pores look smaller and my breakouts heal noticeably faster. With Pixi’s budget alternative, I had to use the product on a daily, or twice-a-day basis, to get the same results.

In this way, Glow Tonic is more of an actual toner, whereas Liquid Gold is a treatment.

This in itself isn’t a bad thing. If you have sensitive skin and find Liquid Gold to be too harsh, then this is a way to get the brightening benefits of glycolic acid without the irritation.

Which is better?

It really depends on your skincare needs. If you want an everyday toner with more oomph, then Glow Tonic is the product for you. Liquid Gold is more of a ‘touch up treatment’ that will suit more robust skin types that can handle the exfoliation.

Either way, your face will thank you.

Have you tried either Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold or Pixi’s Glow Tonic? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below.