Episode 33: Why Is Liquid Gold So Popular?

We're back for another episode of Beauty IQ Uncensored, brought to you by Adore Beauty. 

What’s on this episode? We’re glad you asked...

Hannah got tested for coronavirus:

After getting some cold symptoms, Hannah visited The Alfred in Melbourne for COVID-19 testing (which came back negative FYI). Find out what her experience was like in this week's cringey convo.

For more information, please visit this link.

Why is Alpha-H's Liquid Gold so popular?

It's one of our best-selling skincare products out of around 11,000 products on site - but what actually makes this glycolic treatment so damn popular?

Michelle Doherty, the founder of Alpha-H joins us to explain how the product got its name, why glycolic acid is such a big part of the range, and what to do if you think it's not working on your skin.

  • You can shop Liquid Gold here

  • You can shop the Vitamin Profiling Kit here

  • You can shop the Beauty Sleep Power Peel here

Products we didn't know we needed:

Jo: Aceology Treatment Masks - Detoxifying, Firming, Lifting & Brightening 

Hannah: Compagnie De Provence Liquid Marseille Soap Cotton Flower 500ml

See our disclaimer here.

Hosts: Joanna Fleming & Hannah Furst

Guests: Michelle Doherty

Michelle Doherty, founder of Alpha-H joins us to explain what makes Liquid Gold a cult classic. Plus! Hannah got tested for coronavirus and tells us about the experience

Beauty IQ Uncensored Episode 34 Transcript - 'Why Is Liquid Gold So Popular?'

 

Hannah Furst:
Welcome everybody to Beauty IQ the podcast.

Joanna Flemming:
I'm your host, Joanna Fleming.

Hannah Furst:
And I am your cohost Hannah Furst. Someone sneezed the other day, when I was out, and she was so embarrassed.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. I think people are scared to even cough at this point, because everyone is so highly strung about it.

Hannah Furst:
On edge.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Which is fair enough.

Hannah Furst:
Look, I'm still sniffling.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
So let's get to what's actually on this episode, Jo.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. So today we're going to find out what happened to you when you went and got tested for coronavirus. And then we are chatting to Michelle from Alpha-H, about Liquid Gold and some other products in their range. And of course our product we didn't know we needed. Okay. Hannah, fill us in.

Hannah Furst:
So basically I got a cold, and my mom, last week, sent me an email.

Joanna Flemming:
Well, we got on a video call with you and you were sniffling. And I was like, "Hannah, are you okay?"

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. And so my mom actually sent me this email. So it said, "Do you have a cold?" In question mark. And she said, "People with mild symptoms should get tested." So she said, "Victoria's Health Officer Brett Sutton said, it was really critical that anyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, was tested."

Joanna Flemming:
Yes.

Hannah Furst:
Scratchy throat, a runny nose and symptoms that aren't that common such as loss of smell. And so basically, she sent me a list of COVID-19 testing sites in metropolitan areas in Melbourne.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
And actually someone messaged me on Instagram saying that their mom did the same thing. Because I actually didn't know that. I thought they weren't testing for mild symptoms..

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. So I actually heard on the news this morning, I think it was Anastasia Pellegae said, they're now encouraging anyone to come forward, that has any kind of cold or flu symptom to come forward. Because they want to test as many people as they possibly can to ensure that our results are actually reflective.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. So if yo go to DHHS.vic.gov.au/gettingtested... Look, we'll put the link. I'm not going to say it here. We'll put the link in episode notes.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
It does say here, "While the number of cases is low, there is still a chance the virus is present, but undetected in the community." So basically what will happen is you call the hotline. The number is 1800-675-398. So I called that number. I got on really quickly and she asked me a few questions. And literally I said, 'I think I have a sinus infection, which I'm prone to getting sinus and infections and tonsillitis." And so I said that to her and she said, "Yep, head to your closest testing center." And so she looked it up and said to go to the Alfred. And so I was really, really nervous. So my mom had said to me, her biggest fear of getting tested was the fact that they would put the swab so far up her nose, that it would be near her brain. That's very Linda. But she she just felt she could just sensed in her head that they would push it so far up her nose.

Joanna Flemming:
I did hear that in the early days, when this was first coming out that people were waiting in their cars and then they were getting swabbed up the nose. I think it was to go down kind of the back of your throat or something. I'm not really sure. But it did look like that they were doing that.

Hannah Furst:
Yes. I'll take you through... I actually at the Alfred, you do your own swabbing.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, okay. Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. So the reason that I wanted to do this as a cringy convo, it's actually a serious convo.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Because to clear up, I guess the fear around testing. Because I had that fear and I was really anxious in the car on the way there, super anxious about it. I was like, "Oh my God, it's going to be... I'm going to be in a room of people, coughing and sneezing. And there's going to be hundreds of people there." I just didn't know what was going to happen. So look, every hospital is going to be different, but this was my experience. So I parked, I went in. It was all outside. And so everyone was lined up one and a half meters away from each other and there was someone sort of guiding you to where to line up.

Joanna Flemming:
How many people were there?

Hannah Furst:
There would have been maybe 20 or 30 in the waiting area. I went during the day. And then basically as soon as you get to the inside area, it's kind of a mobile unit. It's not in the actual hospital. Anyway, once you get to the inside area, they give you a mask. It was so methodical. It was so quick and methodical. And so they give you your printout, give them your date of birth and your mobile number. And basically, they say that you'll get a text within three to five days, telling you if you're negative or positive. So I think my only thing was that I then had to self-isolate for three to five days, up to five days, which is fine.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
So then you basically go into... A nurse takes you into this your own little section, you've got the swab package sheet. She talks you through how to swab. So you put the swab down your throat. You do have to do it until you kind of gag a little bit.

Joanna Flemming:
Okay.

Hannah Furst:
It's actually not that bad. And that's probably the worst of it. And then you put the swab up and do ten, swirls in one nose and then in the other. And then you put it into the vial zip lock it up and then hand it over. And then you basically are told, "Go straight to your car, straight home and then self isolate until you get the text message." So I was like, Mom, I need heaps and mac and cheese. I've got five days to get through." That was probably early afternoon. And then 7:00 AM the next day I got the text saying it was negative.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Because I remember you coming back online and you were like, "This might take five days for me to find out what's going on. I'm going to have to just shut off my apartment to everybody." Because you can't even go up to Linda's.

Hannah Furst:
I was totally, completely blown away at our health system. I guess it was quite incredible. The whole-

Joanna Flemming:
I think, in general, we're extremely lucky and we probably should acknowledge how lucky we are to have the health system that we have.

Hannah Furst:
So lucky. Yep.

Joanna Flemming:
Because you see other countries like the U.S, and they're just in such a different position to us. And it really drives home. Not only are we lucky that we're so far removed from other countries and we've been able to kind of control our spread so easily... Well, Not easily, but a lot better than other countries. But we've got the health system to support that. And our leaders and all of those people are doing everything they possibly can to make sure that we're all safe. And that if we do have to get tested that it's a seamless experience. As you said in your experience, it was really easy to do.

Hannah Furst:
I put it up on Instagram, the whole thing. I had a couple of people write back saying, they had a different experience. And look, not every experience is going to be the same.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. And it's good to know that... I think in the early days they were saying, they're not testing anyone that hasn't been overseas or hasn't had a direct contact with someone, but now they are encouraging people to come forward. Even if you just have this long list of symptoms, they want to test you. And we want to make sure that we're testing people in the community, that could possibly have symptoms or even just have like a tiny little scratchy throat that you might just think is nothing. So that I think that's important to know as well. Because a lot of us, I think have maybe tuned out a little bit of the news. I've had a news overload.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. Same. I had this thought last night. I was like, "When this is all over, I literally just want to spend three months with no internet.

Joanna Flemming:
Really?

Hannah Furst:
Yes. I want to go somewhere. Okay, maybe not three months, six weeks, four weeks.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. You went from three months to four weeks real quick.

Hannah Furst:
I just want to let my boss know, on the podcast, when he's listening to this. I want to spend literally a good chunk of weeks. I don't know how many yet. I'll have to wait till it gets approved.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. I think you're going to have to go to the sanctuary for four weeks.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. I want no internet. I really want a break from the internet.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. I think you're going to have to leave your phone at home.

Hannah Furst:
That was what I was planning. Because last night I was like, "I think I'll just leave my phone. Just take my laptop and no phone." And so then you really have to start your laptop up.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. I actually asked my parents the other night. I was like, "What was it like to travel internationally when you didn't have phones?"

Hannah Furst:
Jo, how old do you think I am? I did this. When I was 19 in South America-

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Actually you did. Yeah, you did tell me that once.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. I had no phone. You had to dial up to the internet in tiny internet cafes.

Joanna Flemming:
Although that was 12 years ago. So that was probably the time of the Motorola razor.

Hannah Furst:
But it was the best time to be alive.

Joanna Flemming:
Did we even have internet on our phones at that time?

Hannah Furst:
It was around, but not... We just had a Lonely Planet and we had to get from place to place. I didn't speak Spanish. It was the best time to travel, if you are a bit more of an adventure traveler.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Which I'm not.

Hannah Furst:
I would really like to replicate that experience, where you just have your Lonely Planet, and you don't have the internet every single place you go.

Joanna Flemming:
All right. Well, I'm going to challenge you to that.

Hannah Furst:
I know.

Joanna Flemming:
You can come back to us with the feedback about how it was.

Hannah Furst:
How am I going to do the podcast?

Joanna Flemming:
I don't know. Linda's going to have to stand in for you.

Hannah Furst:
Linda, she can stand in. Yes. I love that idea.

Joanna Flemming:
Our next guest we'd like to welcome to the show is Michelle from Alpha-H. So for those of you who don't know Alpha-H by name, you might know Liquid Gold by name, which is one of probably the biggest cult skincare products I've ever come across in my career in beauty. Welcome, Michelle.

Michelle Doherty:
Thank you girls. How are you? I'm so excited to be here today.

Hannah Furst:
I think Liquid Gold was one of the only products that I actually knew of before working in beauty.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, really?

Hannah Furst:
And that's big for me. Isn't it, Jo?

Joanna Flemming:
That is big.

Hannah Furst:
I knew a few products. I knew some of the ones at Chemist Warehouse and things like that. In terms of cosmeceuticals, my knowledge is pretty limited. I love the name Liquid Gold. Can't go past that.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. How did you come up with that name, Michelle?

Michelle Doherty:
Actually, it's funny you should ask that. Because I was working on this formulation. One of my girlfriend's mothers owned a hair salon, and she was going off to get Botox later in the week. And I said to her, "Before you do that, do you mind trying this product that we're close to taking to market?" And she said, "Yes." But she said, "I'll have to ring you next week, because it won't work that quickly." And I said, "Well, give it a try." And she brought me the very next morning and she said, "This stuff is Liquid Gold." And I said, "That's the perfect name for it." Because it just looks like water, doesn't it?

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Michelle Doherty:
The actual function of the product is just outstanding, amazing.

Joanna Flemming:
And glycolic acid is a really big part of the Alpha-H range and obviously all of the hero product, which is Liquid Gold. Can you tell us a little bit about why you actually chose that ingredient at the time when you formulated it?

Michelle Doherty:
Yeah. Well it's because it's got the smallest molecular size, it penetrates into the skin really, really quickly. And that's where it can get to do the hard work that it needs to do to normalize the skin cells, to stimulate the skin, to help deliver other actives and accelerate that exfoliation. In fact, I think that I know one ingredient that has so many functions. The only other way get the same sort of results is to microneedle, IPL and all of those more technical machinery driven facials and treatments.

Joanna Flemming:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). So as I mentioned, Liquid Gold is a massive cult skincare product. I feel like everybody that shops at Adore Beauty would know what Liquid Gold is. Because it's always at the top of the list, when you go searching through skincare. Have you been able to put your finger on why this has become such a cult skincare product for the brand?

Michelle Doherty:
I think we have. You have to create genius in order to stand out in a very overcrowded market. And I don't know of any other product... And I love trying other products, but I don't know of any other product that works quite as fast as Liquid Gold. And people are tired of being, "Oh, well, if you waste a couple of weeks, you'll start seeing changes." It's not like that now. We formulate for fast, safe, effective treatments. And what I love about this one is you only use it three nights a week. Liquid Gold should only be used three nights a week, because it is a serious treatment. Right?

Hannah Furst:
I think one of my favorite reviews on the website was... I think it was, legit Liquid Gold. And then there was someone that said that they wish that they could fill a bathtub up of Liquid Gold and bathe their whole body in it.

Joanna Flemming:
I don't think I would want Liquid Gold on my private parts. Just saying.

Hannah Furst:
But to be honest, in iso at the moment, my whole body could definitely use a bit of Liquid Gold.

Michelle Doherty:
Yeah. My skin's really great. I wouldn't want to use Liquid Gold in the bath if I just wash or something.

Joanna Flemming:
No.

Hannah Furst:
I've got bits of weird fake tan that have accumulated over weeks now, that I just haven't noticed. And my mom looked at my back the other day. She's like, "You've got black all on your back." And I was like, "Oh no, I need a good exfoliation."

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. You're going to eed to get it out. I put the Liquid Gold on my heels, as I've said before on a past episode. And then I put Egyptian Magic over the top of it. So it really can be used everywhere.

Hannah Furst:
And someone else recommended it when I swapped to natural deodorant, they said use Liquid Gold under your arms.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. Seriously, Liquid Gold.

Michelle Doherty:
Yeah. But give it a couple of days pre-shaving.

Hannah Furst:
Yes. That's true.

Joanna Flemming:
I did wonder what other ingredients are in there, because it's got the glycolic acid, but it's also got some other key ingredients in there that are worth mentioning. Can you expand a little bit on that for us?

Michelle Doherty:
Yep. A lot of brands are like, "Oh my goodness, it's got alcohol in it. Stay away from it." But that's why we kind of are in a lot of medical salons around the globe. Because when you going to have a skin treatments, skin exfoliation, the first thing the nurse do, well, the doctor, would be to wipe your skin with alcohol. Pure alcohol. Now what that does is it actually debris the surface oil and allows the products to get to work. And then we've got liquorice. Now, liquorice is one of the best known ingredients to skin brighten. If you've got pigmentation, the liquorice and the glycolic work hand in hand to dissolve that, the layer on the top, but actually get to get it down in the lower layers to stop that communication between the melanin and the cells in the maternity ward from coming to the top.

Michelle Doherty:
So it helps to control the production of melanin as well. And then we've got the silk proteins, which is kind of a scaffolding for the collagen, it supports the collagen, but it also strengthens it because the glycolic helps to produce more collagen in the lower layers as well. Which is why people can... When they touch their skin in the morning, they're like, "Gosh, this feels soft. It feels plump." Because it's all creating it's own moisture from within the skin. I don't know of another product that actually can do that. Create moisture from within.

Joanna Flemming:
I love the Beauty Sleep Power Peel. And I use that before events, literally, I don't use anything else before an event. I've talked about it on this podcast a few times actually. Because your skin wakes up so plump, it's so true.

Michelle Doherty:
Yeah. It is a beautiful product that one. I pushed the boundaries making that one. It's 14% glycolic.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Because it's retinol and glycolic and collagen, right?

Michelle Doherty:
Yep. That's right.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Michelle Doherty:
So we did push the boundaries.

Joanna Flemming:
I love that one.

Michelle Doherty:
It's really hard, because there's so many regulations that we have to abide by.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Michelle Doherty:
So to have the Beauty Sleep Power Peel, we had to go 14% glycolic. Because anything higher than that, you must remove. If you're going to follow the regulations, as we do at Alpha-H, you would have to remove it. You couldn't sleep in it.

Joanna Flemming:
Right. Okay.

Hannah Furst:
Oh, right.

Joanna Flemming:
That's so interesting. I love all these little facts about products. That's so interesting. Michelle, you didn't mention that Liquid Gold should be used every three nights a week, you said. With people that are experiencing irritation or anything like that, is there something that people are doing wrong with Liquid Gold? Is there something that you're finding customers come back with and there's one specific thing that they're maybe not doing right with the product?

Michelle Doherty:
Absolutely. And the first thing that I want everyone to consider is avoiding any cleanses that foam.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, interesting.

Michelle Doherty:
Foam can compromise the skin by removing all the oil in the skin, not just the bad oil, but also the good oil. And when that happens and you've got no lipid oils surrounding your skin cells, it's like a little bear nude bum.

Joanna Flemming:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Michelle Doherty:
And then you coming through and putting an acid on. That's going to hurt near irritate anyone. So when you're cleansing, you should always use a cream cleanse, because what a cream cleanser will do is remove the oil off the surface, but leave the good oil in the skin. So just avoid foaming products. And the other thing is if you've got sensitive skin, dampen your caution pad and then put your Liquid Gold on and just take baby steps into it.

Joanna Flemming:
Yep. And do you recommend, for people that are more sensitive or that are maybe finding they're not tolerating it as well, to buffer that with a moisturizer? Like a nourishing moisturizer over the top, instead of using it on it's own as an intensive treatment?

Michelle Doherty:
Yeah. Well, what you could do is cleanse your skin Liquid Gold, wait a couple of minutes till it's dry, and then you could buffer it by putting a moisturizer on. What that will do straight away is it will adjust the skin's pH. Because what's happening is the glycolic and the low pH, those two things work to stimulate those lower layers. But you should know that you're not going to get the same response.

Joanna Flemming:
Yep. And it is very important as well to also wear a broad spectrum SPF every day, if you're using any sort of product with an AHA or a BHA or a retinol in it, because they do make your skin photosensitive. So if you are using Liquid Gold, you should also be using an SPF during the day. Yes, even in winter. Yes, even when you're inside. Don't get me started on this topic.

Michelle Doherty:
Yeah. Well, I'm very passionate. We were one of the first Australian brands to create an SPF 30. And we realized that we were obligated to do that. If we take layers of skin off, then we're obligated to provide the highest level of protection.

Joanna Flemming:
Well, the Protection Plus Daily SPF50 is one of my favorite sunscreens. But I've also been using the new Vitamin Profiling Collection, and that's got an, A, B, C and E serum, all separate ones in the one set. Which I really love, because a lot of people come to me going, "What do I start with? And which Vitamin B should I get? And which Vitamin A should I get?" And I find it really easy to recommend this set, especially because it's also under a $100. So I don't feel like I'm selling something to someone that they're going to have to spend 300 bucks on. But I've been using all of those serums and really enjoying them. But I did want to ask you specifically why you did a Vitamin E serum separately, because you don't see that a heap in a lot of ranges. You definitely say an, A, B and C very regularly, but an E isn't as common. So what's the benefits of using an E in conjunction with those other ingredients?

Michelle Doherty:
Well, firstly, what I'd like to say about the Vitamin Serum is when I registered that name years ago, it was because I saw the need to create a product for individuals. So they're very concentrated vitamins. And I want you to think about your skin like, what's the day look like ahead? So you're going into your skin wardrobe and you're thinking, "What am I doing today?" If you're going to be outside in the sun, you're going to use your Vitamin C Serum in the morning. Because it's going to give you the protection. If you're going to be inside, in an office, in air conditioning, you'd probably look at going for your Vitamin B. Now those two vitamins are water soluble.