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There has been quite a debate about the percentages of active ingredients lately. Some brands take a very straight-forward approach and share their whole formula, while others either just disclose the percentage of their key ingredients or nothing at all.
Now it is important to say that I do not believe in the “more is more” approach that many consumers seem to take, picking the brand with the highest percentage, I stand with Michelle from Labmuffin Beauty that recently pointed out the pitfalls that come with the 100% Niacinamide powder The Ordinary released (here is a link to her blogpost in case you missed it), but there is a time when I would very much like to know the percentage of an ingredient, and that is when it comes to picking my acid exfoliant.
Not because I want the highest percentage, quite the opposite, but because I have to be careful to not overexfoliate my face, given that I am on Tretinoin (you can read more on why I am careful here).
Well, pixi do not share the percentage of acids in their pixi Clarity Concentrate that I am going to review today, but I bit the bullet and tested it anyway. No risk, no fun as they say!
The pixi Carity Collection
The whole pixi Clarity Collection focuses on Salicylic Acid as main “active”, although you will see as we dive further into the individual reviews that there is a lot more to the products than just that. As always with pixi, the products are not tested on animals and come in their signature packaging with light blue being the determining color for this specific line.
While I know the dropper bottle is not everyones favorite, but I usually don´t mind them and pixis pipettes (quite a tongue twister) work very well.
What the pixi Clarity Concentrate claims
An effective, water-based serum that helps minimize the look of pores, resulting in a clarifying effect. It quickly exfoliates, as well as hydrates and balances, helping to refine and promote an even skin tone for a smoother, less breakout-prone complexion.
Some facts about the pixi Clarity Concentrate
Price and size
The dropper bottle contains 30 ml and retails for 24$ on the website here. As you only need a few drops, one bottle should last you a long time.
Texture and scent
The product itself is more on the runny side and slightly milky, with maybe a tiny blue-ish hue, but that might be just my imagination. I do not notice any particular scent.
How to use the Pixi Clarity Concentrate
While pixi recommends you use it at night, I don´t see any problem with using it in the mornings, should that be the time in your routine where you do your acids. As I said before I do not know the exact percentage of acids in this formula, but I assume from my personal experience and just the general nature of a serum that it is the most potent in the collection, which is why I would not use it every day. For me once a week worked fine while three times a week was too much, so while it probably isn´t as strong as The Ordinarys AHA BHA serum, it is strong enough to provide you with noticeable results.
The ideal way for me personally to use it was when my skin was really congested and then only on the “problem areas”, not on the rest of my face without congestion.
pixi Clarity Concentrate ingredients
Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
When we look at the ingredients of the pixi Clarity Cocentrate, it does, like the other products in the collection, not only contain Salicylic, but also Glycolic and Lactic Acid to exfoliate on different skin depths.
Glycolic is present first on the ingredient list, with Lactic coming second and Salicylic Acid coming last, after Niacinamide, which makes sense as the maximum allowed concentration of Salicylic Acid in over the counter products is 2% and all other ingredients mentioned usually come at a higher concentration than that.
There are is also Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice for soothing, a few humectants like Glycerin and Betaine and a few brightening ingredients like Licorice Root Extract and Niacinamide, one of my favorites. What the pixi Clarity Concentrate compared to the other products of the pixi Clarity Collection is missing though is the Lactobacillus Ferment Filtrate, in the brand claims noted as probiotic, but more a postbiotic if you ask me (read more about the difference here).
How does it compare to…
the pixi Glow Tonic Serum
The main difference is of course the fact that this one combines three acids, while the Glow Tonic Serum only contains Glycolic Acid. The Glow Tonic Serum also has a more gel like texture and added fragrance, but in my opinion a similar exfoliating strength. Which one work better for you depends on your skin type and main issues: clogged pores and oily skin will prefer the pixi Clarity Concentrate, while more mature skin with texture issues will probably prefer the Glow Tonic one.
Would I repurchase?
For my skin type and issues a Salicylic Acid only product is much better, as the Glycolic Acid has a tendency to irritate my skin and I do not feel like I need it for resurfacing, my Tretinoin does that for me. I mainly need help with congestion and found that 2% Salicylic Acid products (like this one from The Ordinary) are perfect for that.