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If you had created something that was such a success that hunderts of bottles were sold each year, would you resist the urge to create other products around it? I couldn´t, so I totally get why pixi skintreats took their best selling Glow Tonic and created the pixi Glow Tonic Collection, one of which, the pixi Glow Tonic Serum, I am going to review today.
So if you have been living under a rock and have no clue what the pixi Glow Tonic actually is, it is a gentle daily exfoliant that, if you are new to chemical exfoliation, will change your
And now we have the pixi Glow Tonic Serum, to (and I quote pixi here) “gently exfoliate”.
If we already have a hero product that is a gentle exfoliant, why do we need another one in the same line? Both use Glycolic Acid, both contain Panax Ginseng Root Extract and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice – aren’t they the same?
No, they absolutely aren´t. And to explain why, let’s take a look at the pixi Glow Tonic Serum first.
What pixi Glow Tonic Serum claims
This lightweight serum gently exfoliates, hydrates and nourishes.
Some facts about the pixi Glow Tonic Serum
Prize and size
One dropper bottle contains 30 ml and retails for 24 $ on the homepage here. You only need 2 to 3 drops and I wouldn´t recommend using it more than twice weekly, so the 30 ml will last you quite a while.
Texture and smell
It has a firm, gel like texture, spreads easy on the skin and leaves some tackiness behind, which didn’t bother me too much, but doesn’t make applying it the most sensual experience. I did not notice any strong scent.
How to use the pixi Glow Tonic Serum
After you cleansed your skin, apply a thin layer of the serum and let it absorb before you apply anything on top (I usually wait 5-10 minutes, sometimes longer). You can use it both morning and night, but I prefer to do anything exfoliating in the evenings to avoid surprise flakiness accentuated by my foundation. I recommend not pairing it with retinoids directly to avoid irritation, as both have an exfoliating effect, so if you use both, alternate. I also wouldn’t recommend exfoliating more than twice weekly at max.
In terms of strength I´d say it is medium strength. I did not experience any tingling or redness, but saw a noticeable reduction in texture when using it.
Ingredients of the pixi Glow Tonic Serum
- Glycerin: Humectant
- Glycolic Acid: AHA, exfoliates dead skin cells, slightly improves collagen production
- Arginine: Aminoacid, healing, increases cell turnover, stimulates growth factors
- Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract: Rich in Vitamin C, other antioxidants and trace minerals
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract: Antiinflammatory, soothing
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract: Antioxidant, promotes healing
- Tocopheryl Acetate: More stable form of Vitamin E, antioxidant
- Ascorbic Acid: reduces hyperpigmentation, important for collagen production, antioxidant
- Ascorbyl palmitate: Vitamin C ester, more stable
- Retinyl Palmitate: Weakest form of retinoid, bound to a fatty acid. Less irritant, but usually less effective
- Cyclohexasiloxane: Silicone, emollient
- Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride:Occlusive, antioxidant
- Sucrose: Humectant
- BHT: Antixodant
- Polysorbate 20: Surfactant
- Ammonium Hydroxide: pH Adjuster
- Hydroxyethylcellulose: plant based amino acid, preservative, emulsifier
- Phenoxyethanol: Preservative
- Ethylhexylglycerin: Preservative
- Triethanolamine: ph adjuster
- Hydrogenated Lecithin: Emulsifying, increases cell penetration of other ingredients
- Lecithin: Emulsifier
- Xanthan Gum: Improves viscosity
- Disodium EDTA: Binding Agent
Although the pixi Glow Tonic Serum contains a few plant extracts, Vitamin E and Vitamin C, they all are less than 1% in concentration, so you essentially have a Glycolic Acid serum with Glycerin as humectant here. It does contain Fragrance, which might be a red flag for some. (More info: The benefits of exfoliating acids in skincare explained)
Does the pixi Glow Tonic Serum live up to its claims?
It does exfoliate and hydrate, but I am not sure where the “nourish” part supposedly comes from, and I wouldn’t call it the gentlest exfoliant on the market. The pixi Glow Tonic is surely more gentle.
How does the pixi Glow Tonic Serum compare to…
The pixi Glow Tonic
Even though both share quite a few ingredients when you put the packaging side by side, they are different enough to both have a place in your routine. The pixi Glow Tonic is very gentle and marketed as “daily exfoliant” while the Glow Tonic Serum is more of a weekly treatment or something you would reach for when you have serious congestion or texture that you want to address.
While pixi Glow Tonic is great for beginners that want to try chemical exfoliants without risking irritation, the Glow Tonic Serum is the next step up, designed for people that want more than the Glow Tonic does provide.
Would I repurchase the pixi Glow Tonic Serum?
I tend to use Salicylic Acid for exfoliation (this one is my current favorite), simply because it does agree better with my blemish prone skin.
Who do I recommend the pixi Glow Tonic Serum to?
People that already have some experience with chemical exfoliants and want to increase the exfoliating power. People with mature skin and skin texture issues they need to address.