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I was pretty close of starting this review with a snarky remark about the naming of the product – I mean, pixi pHenomenal Gel, that is quite of a bold claim. But instead I thought I might talk about something else first: The “Practice what you preach” mantra and how miserably I fail to live by it.
Not in all areas of my life, of course (although I admit the: “Sweets just once a day, after lunch” rule magically disappears once I closed my childrens bedroom door at night), but when it comes to skin care, then for sure.
I bang on about the importance of the skin barrier and the “less is more” approach all the time (read here if you don’t believe me), but the minute interesting products arrive at my doorsteps. I throw caution in the wind and use them all.
A new acid exfoliant? Of course!
A new Retinol? Give it to me!
A strange Face Mask? Let´s slap it on!
Are you surprised that I have become an expert in calming down my angry and irritated skin over the years? Yeah, the Beauty Blogger Life is a hard one…
But today I want to talk about a product that didn´t upset my skin, but instead aimed to help me sooth and repair it – the pixi pHenomenal Gel!
What the pixi pHenomenal Gel claims
Balancing and pH neutralizing moisture gel.
Some facts about the pixi pHenomenal Gel
Prize and size
The pixi green tube contains 150 ml and retails for 24 $ on the website here. I have used mine on and off for more than two months now and still have about two thirds left.
Texture and scent
When I read gel, I immediately assumed it would be a clear product. Well, it isn´t. The pixi pHenomenal Gel is white and slightly richer than your average gel texture. It isn´t rich, but if you think of a lightweight gel, then add a little more body to imagine the texture correctly.
It still feels lightweight on the skin, but leaves a little bit of stickiness behind.
How to use the pixi pHenomenal Gel
While you could of course use it as a regular moisturizer, with it´s lightweight texture lending itself to summer days (or nights), it has a slightly different purpose. The goal of this product is to get the skins pH back to its optimal state and to soothe irritated skin, so it really works best after a strong acidic peel or treatment, to help the skin rebalance quicker.
It is part of the pixi Glow Tonic Collection after all, to use after exfoliating your skin with the other products.
Ingredients of the pixi pHenomenal Gel
- Glycerin: Humectant
- Glycereth-26: Emollient
- Betaine: Humectant
- Isodocecane: Emollient
- Cetyl Ethylhexanoate: Emollient
- Tocopheryl Acetate: More stable form of Vitamin E, antioxidant
- Ascorbic Acid: reduces hyperpigmentation, important for collagen production, antioxidant
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract: Antiinflammatory, soothing
- Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract: Rich in Vitamin C, other antioxidants and trace minerals
- Retinyl Palmitate: Weakest form of retinoid, bound to a fatty acid. Less irritant, but usually less effective
- Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract: Soothing
- Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract: green tea extract, antioxidant, antiinflammatory
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract: Antioxydant, promotes healing
- Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract: Antioxidant
- Witch Hazel (Hammamelis Virginia) Extract: Promotes healing, oil-control, anti-acneic
- Tocopherol: Vitamin E, antioxidant, reduces hyperpigmentation and improves skins elasticity
- Trehalose: Humectant
- Panthenol: B 5, humectant, penetrates into deep layers of skin, moisturizing, antiinflammatory
- Allantoin: Aminoacid, soothing irritated skin
- Butylene Glycol: Humectant
- Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate: Gel building ingredient
- Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer: Emulsifier
- Citric Acid: AHA/pH adjuster
- Isohexadecane: Texture enhancer, gives powdery-dry finish to products. Too big to penetrate, so it can keep ingredients close to the skin surface.
- Polysorbate 80: Emulsifying
- Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer: Viscosity control
- Phenoxyethanol: Preservative
- Ethylhexylglycerin: Preservative
- Xanthan Gum: Improves viscosity
- Disodium EDTA: Binding Agent
Star of the show is probably the Citric Acid, that while not uncommon in skincare products, usually comes further down the ingredient list. Responsible for the soothing are Allantoin and Panthenol, with a few other potentially soothing plant extracts to support that.
There is also Vitamin C, E and Retinylpalmitate, a weak for of Vitamin A, but they are further down the ingredient list so I don´t think they will have much effect.
Does the pixi pHenomenal Gel live up to its claims?
Well, if applying a product has a massive influence on the skins pH recovery, the data on that is conflicting. I like the idea though, and when I reached for the pHenomenal Gel after my weekly peel (or after a day spend outdoors with frequent ocean baths), my skin immediately felt calm and relaxed.
How does the pixi pHenomenal Gel compare to…
Murad Nutrient Charged Water Gel
First and foremost – the Murad Water Gel has entirely different claims to the pixi pHenomenal Gel. It doesn´t bother with pH, but aims to hydrate and repair the skin through a bunch of humectants, ceramides and peptides. I found it soothing and cooling as well, a little more lightweight than the pixi Gel, but wanted to mention that it contains Fragrance and Colorants that people with very irritated skin might want to avoid.
Read my full Murad Nutrient Charged Water Gel Review here.
Would I repurchase the pixi pHenomenal Gel?
I am not sure.
I really enjoy it, but I am not sure if I am convinced enough by the idea to purchase a moisturizer dedicated to the purpose of rebalancing my skins pH. It is a lovely lightweight moisturizer though, great for summer, so maybe I will change my mind once it gets hot again.
Who do I recommend the pixi pHenomenal Gel to?
People looking for a lightweight and soothing moisturizer, but prefer a little more than the average gel texture. Especially if you feel like your skin is really irritated after chemical peels and needs some help bouncing back.