Monday, 21 March 2016

Review: Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant + Absoluté Eye Complex

via Look Fantastic & Beauty Bay

Post edited 4/4/16 

Hi everyone!

Today's post about Alpha-H's Gentle Daily Exfoliant & Absoluté Eye Complex has been a long time coming....I guess I haven't had the motivation to do it until now. This will be a really long post, so bear with me.

In case you didn't read my Christmas self-gifting post from last year, I bought these for myself around that time and was excited about this purchase as I'd been lusting after some Alpha-H products for ages, especially the Gentle Daily Exfoliant. Now that I'm getting older in my 30's, I've realised that I need to start busting out the big guns in terms of skincare and I'd been curious about fruit enzyme-based exfoliants for a while; so when Alive Skin & Hair had an extra 10% off Alpha-H, I jumped at the chance to try out both the exfoliant + the Absoluté Eye Complex since I was in need of an undereye product & thought this might do something for the dark under-eye shadows I've had since forever + the burgeoning crow's feet on the outer corners of my eyes + a pesky (but light) spot of pigmentation on my right eye contour.

First I'll talk about the Gentle Daily Exfoliant, which won Beautyheaven's Glosscars & Best In Beauty awards for 2012:

From Alpha-H: "An award-winning, zero-abrasion micro-exfoliating treatment which effortlessly lifts away dead, dull and tired skin cells to unveil younger looking skin each morning. Water-activated fruit enzymes derived from Green Papaya and Pineapple will ensure a smooth fresh canvas each and every day.

Powder exfoliant 'comes to life' when mixed with water
Removes unwanted dead skin cells whilst leaving healthy skin cells intact
Enzymes instantly break down corneocytes to achieve an immediate exfoliation
Softens surface pigmentation and uneven skin tone
Can exfoliate even the most sensitive skins without harm

Papaya (Papain enzyme)
Pineapple (Bromelain enzyme)
Bentonite (Green Clay)"

How to use
Remove the cap & flip the lid. Simply shake/squeeze a small amount of product onto the palm of your hand (I usually squeeze twice) and mix with a little bit of water before applying to your face in circular motions. I recommend wetting your fingers, otherwise the mixture will end up way too runny if you use a lot of water. I speak from experience. ;o) Post edit 4/4/16: I saw in Sephora over the weekend that the packaging for this product has changed from a flip-top lid to a capped lid with a little hole in the middle to squeeze product out - kind of as you would with tubes. 

Positive thoughts
The clay-based Gentle Daily Exfoliant can be used on all skin types, regardless of sensitivity. I haven't experienced any adverse effects from this, which is great since my sensitive skin can sometimes be too sensitive to products. The only time I've experienced any redness with this is if I've used it straight after or during my shower.

I've used the Gentle Daily Exfoliant 3 ways - as a straight up exfoliant, as a mask (albeit one I had on for 5 minutes only) & also mixed in with my cleanser. I've found that I enjoy using it more when mixed in with my cleanser, so that's how I use it now.

Negative thoughts
Now here's where I get all Disappointment Bear.

Firstly, the flip-top lid has a habit of spurting out a bit of product each time you open it. This decreases once you use up more product; but regardless I found this a bit wasteful. Post edit 4/4/16: If you buy this product with the new lid, then you can ignore this.

I also feel that this hasn't done anything for me. Aside from having sensitive skin, I'm also prone to dehydration/rough-feeling skin on my face & have found that this exfoliant hasn't done anything to improve that, nor has this brightened my skin either, despite containing papaya & pineapple enzymes (albeit as the last 2 ingredients on the list, although since my post Alpha-H added "maltodextrin" to the ingredients as well.). I'm not sure if it's because I'm not using it as often as I should and therefore I'm not seeing results (despite supposedly being gentle enough to use daily, I only use it 2-3 times a week); but either way I just don't feel the need to exfoliate my face every day, even though I probably could since this product is so gentle. I feel like I got better exfoliating/smoothing results from my previous (manual) exfoliant from La Mav and I may go back to using that once I'm finished, even though it's not as gentle as this.

I'm quite disappointed with the Gentle Daily Exfoliant because it's a product I had rather lofty expectations of. Even though I use this in with my cleanser, this isn't why I bought it (I wanted a proper exfoliant dammit!) and for what it is + the amount of product you get & the price that Alpha-H charge for it, I can't see myself re-purchasing this once it's finished.

Now onto the Absoluté Eye Complex:

From Alpha-H: A lifting and perfecting serum uniquely designed to be applied to lash level and over the entire eyelid to combat dark circles, dark shadows, puffiness, hooded lids and fine lines. Natural flower acids from Hibiscus petals smooth and brighten the skin whilst Hyaluronic Acid and Tetrapeptides lift and plump the eye contour. Precise on the spot application is provided by the cool-touch ceramic applicator wand, which instantly tightens, refreshes and relieves fatigue.

BENEFITS: Soothing and firming gel that refreshes, rehydrates, reduces puffiness and dark circles
With continued use, the need for an under eye concealer is reduced as swelling and dark circles are minimised
Fine lines, wrinkles and crows feet become less visible as the skin is plumped and moisturised
Ideal for hooded, puffy, tired eyes; dark circles/pigmentation, men and for smokers

Hibiscus Flower Extract
Olive Leaf Extract
Matrixyl 6
Sodium Hyaluronate
Bud of Beech Tree Extract

How to use
Remove the cap & pump out a small pea-sized amount of product. Gently press the product around your eye contours. It is safe to use on your eyelids & up to your brow bones as well. I have used this right up to my lash line & it does sting at first, but once your skin gets used to it it should be fine. Just make sure you don't get it in your eyes!

Positive thoughts
Unlike other eye products, the Absoluté Eye Complex's texture is more of a gel serum as opposed to a cream. I quite like it since it doesn't feel too heavy on my skin; although it does leave a slight tacky feel once applied, which eventually subsides. Handy tip: if you keep it in the fridge during the summer months (which I have), then it feels kinda cooling & refreshing to apply. Another bonus is that it doesn't have much of a scent to it, which is a good thing for those of you who can't deal with fragrances.

As mentioned above, my eye issues are dark shadows, burgeoning crow's feet & a pesky spot of pigmentation. Whilst I haven't seen much of a difference in the latter, I have noticed my dark shadows have lightened & decreased by about a third, despite only using this at night with an occasional application in the morning. I did briefly notice a difference in my burgeoning crow's feet, but I think I need to apply this more often than I have because the crow's feet have deepened again. As I mentioned above, to the naked eye you can't see them, but I did notice a difference....then again I might've been wrong in the first place, who knows. I can't promise that any of this will happen to you given that I'm 31/much younger in terms of aging (I've only begun to see the signs of aging in the last 2 years), but if you are reading this and you happen to be much older than I am, don't be afraid to give the Absoluté Eye Complex a try because whilst you may not see the same results as I have, you may see some level of result.

Negative thoughts
This isn't a negative point as such, but something I'd like to point out. Whilst browsing all the websites I've linked to below, all of them have different images for the Absoluté Eye Complex. I can assure you that it does come in a 15mL pump tube with an applicator, not a container like the Gentle Daily Exfoliant. I'd say that's the older packaging, but just be aware that it looks pretty much like the image above.

Speaking of packaging, I've also noted that in order to get any product out, you need to flip the tube upside down & pump from above, otherwise nothing comes out. It is a bit awkward at first, but you get used to it. Sometimes a lot of product has come out depending on how many times I've pumped (and squeezed) the tube - generally I've had to pump anywhere between about 3-7 times before I get anything out. In those respects I find the packaging somewhat frustrating, but I entirely understand why this needs to be in a tube & not a jar due to the high level of anti-aging ingredients it possesses.

Another thing - the price. Yes, this is a bit of a pricey product (I can't remember what I paid, but I think it was around $48AUD even with a further 10% off), but IMO it's worth it. Unlike the Gentle Daily Exfoliant, I have seen some small but significant results from the Absoluté Eye Complex & will re-purchase it once my tube finishes. Alpha-H recently brought out an SPF15+ version of the Absoluté Eye Complex, which might be worth trying. Maybe that will help with the pesky spot...

Aussies, you guys can buy Alpha-H from Adore Beauty, RY, Alive Skin & Hair (they usually have the best price IMO outside of sales), TVSN, Skincare Store and (no doubt) countless other sites.

For any overseas readers, you can get it from Beauty Bay; Bath & Unwind; Look Fantastic or Cult Beauty.

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*All products featured for review on The Novice Life are purchased by me, unless otherwise stated. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more details.

Have you tried Alpha-H products before? If so, what do you think of the brand? 

I've joined Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Party - go on over & check out the other blogs involved! 


  1. I swear by Alpha H Liquid Gold, it gives me amazing results. From your description the Daily Exfoliant sounds really similar to Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, I wonder how they compare?

    1. I've never used the Dermalogica product (and I won't because it contains talc + a paraben, 2 things I avoid in all my beauty products), but I'd say they are of similar consistency. From what I've read of the ingredients of both, the Alpha-H one has less ingredients (basically 3 types of clay + papaya & pineapple extracts), whereas the Dermalogica one contains saliyclic acid & some other stuff.

  2. Shame about the exfoliant, but I'd be keen to try the Absolute Eye Complex. Alpha H is one of those brands I look at, but never buy, due to that price tag!!

    1. Try & get it when there's a deal on - I'd never pay full price for their stuff!

  3. Fab review! I need to try the Alpha H Liquid Gold. It's a pity about the packaging in both cases. There's nothing more annoying. They sound like lovely products all the same x

    1. Agreed! That aspect is annoying, but I can put up with it if the product is good.

  4. It's a pity the Gentle Daily Exfoliant didn't live up to your expectations. I hate it when that happens, especially when it's an expensive product. The Absoluté Eye Complex sounds like a product that would suit my 40+ year old skin!

    1. Me too. I don't tend to buy expensive skincare, but when it comes to the much-lauded brands, I do expect bang for my buck & unfortunately the Gentle Daily Exfoliant hasn't cut the mustard for me. That said I know other people love it, so I'm the black sheep here haha.

      Definitely try the Absoluté Eye Complex - just try not to get grumpy when you stand there forever trying to pump out enough product!

  5. Gee wiz Shell, from the sound of it, they need to do something about their packaging. I'm a HUGE fan of the Liquid Gold so I'm mad keen to try this eye complex - I swear I age overnight these days, and I'm losing the battle. Terrific review hon - wow you've included everything a gal needs to know ♥

    1. I certainly aim to be informative Kats, at risk of boring everyone with my verbosity. :o)


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