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Have you ever used a skin care product that immediately takes you back to childhood days? For me that is the pixi skintreats Vitamin C Serum that I´ll review today. It is not because the pixi serum was already around when I was a kid (AGES ago, people!)
No, it is because the scent reminds me of the lemonade we were allowed to drink when on beach holiday in Italy. I can´t remember the name (I am not even sure it was the same lemonade each year), but it was always the highlight of our trips, because sugary and fizzy drinks were completely forbidden on any other occasion!
So keep in mind that I might be biased when reviewing the pixi skintreats Vitamin C Serum – anything that takes me back to Italy and careless childhood days first thing in the morning is a win in my book.
One of the changes I want to put in place for my channel (and consecutively for the blog) is that I do film quick reviews on the products for those of you that want an easy to digest (and hopefully entertaining) version, so don’t be surprised to find a video below.
What pixi Vitamin C Serum claims
Brightening & antioxidant serum provides a boost of immediate and long term radiance.
Prize and size
One dropper bottle contains 30 ml and retails for 24 $ on the website here. It is out of stock quite often, which already tells you it is one of the best selling items in the Vitamin C collection. About a third of a pipette is all you need for face, neck and décolletage, so the 30 ml will last you several months, making it good value for money.
Texture and smell
Whenever I look at the yellow color, I expect the serum to feel slightly oily. It doesn’t. And there is no reason why it should, it doesn’t contain any oils, but it looks as if it would. Makes sense? Probably not. It is however not a watery texture, but a little richer on the skin while still being lightweight enough to be used under makeup without being too much.
And the scent? Well, I have spoken about it enough already, so I´ll leave it at: It smells delicious!
How to use the pixi Vitamin C Serum
Fairly straightforward, I´d say: You cleanse your skin, maybe add some hydration underneath and then pat the serum on top. If you just apply it to your face, a quarter pipette will do, but if you want to smooth it over face, neck and décolletage (and I highly recommend you do, these parts give away our age quickly!) you might go with about a third of a pipette each time.
While it is suitable both morning and night, I think Vitamin C should be applied in the mornings, so you get the antioxidant benefits when you need them most. But of course using it at night will work just as well. I personally like to keep Vitamin C in higher potencies separate from my other actives like strong retinoids or acid exfoliants, just to be sure not to irritate my skin (read more on a damaged skin barrier here), another reason to not use it at night.
- Ascorbic Acid: reduces hyperpigmentation, important for collagen production, antioxidant
- Propanediol:Humectant, penetration enhancer
- Glycerin: Humectant
- Aloe Barbadensis Juice: Antiinflammatory, soothing
- Sodium Hyaluronate: Hydrating, smaller form of hyaluronic acid with deeper penetration
- Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin) Fruit Water: A fruit extract rich in flavonoids that inhibit Tyrosinase; a natural source of Vitamin C that inhibits melanogenesis
- Microcitrus Australis Fruit Extract: natural source of Vitamin C
- Microcitrus Australasica Fruit Extract: natural source of Vitamin C
- Ferulic Acid: antioxidant, known for stabilizing other antioxidants like Vitamin C, thus enhancing their efficacy
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol): Antioxidant, reduces hyperpigmentation and improves skins elasticity
- Caffeine: Antioxidant, reduces puffiness due to diuretic effect, tightening
- Beta Carotene: Antioxidant
- Citrus Glauca (Desert Lime) Fruit Extract: rich in antioxidants
- Panthenol: B 5, humectant, penetrates into deep layers of skin, moisturizing, antiinflammatory
- Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract: Source of beta carotene and Vitamin A
- Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract: natural source of Vitamin C
- Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf/ Stem/ Flower Extract: Antiseptic
- Retinol: deactivates the matrix metalloproteinases that break down collagen, increases cell turnover, and improves skin’s moisture retention
- Leucostonoc (Radish Root) ferment filtrate: Adstringent, preservative (natural alternative to parabens)
- Punica Granatum Fruit Extract: rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants
- Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin: Stabilizes antioxidants, humectant, brightening, tightening
- Phospholipids: Part of cellular membrane, repairs skins barrier
- Soybean (Glycine Soja) Oil:Rich in Vitamin E, B complex and linoleic acid
- Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride:Occlusive, antioxidant
- Ethoxydiglycol: Solvent, controls viscosity
- Sodium Hydroxide:pH adjuster
- Lecithin: Emulsifier
- Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract: Cooling
- Xanthan Gum:Improves viscosity
- Phenoxyethanol: Preservative
- Polysorbate 20: Surfactant
- Sodium Acrylates Copolymer: Emulsifier
- Sodium Benzoate: Preservative
- Potassium Sorbate: Preservative
- Sodium Sorbate: Preservative
- Citric Acid:AHA/pH adjuster
- Citrus Grandis Peel Water: usually used as fragrance
- Citrus Limon (Lemon) /Aurantium Dulcis (Orange)/ Citrus Junos Peel Extract: usually used as fragrance
This is, again, an ingredient list to divide the community, and it all comes down on where you stand in regards to Citrus in skin care. Not the essential oils this time, which wars are fought over online, no, fruit and peel extracts that usually don’t serve any other purpose than making something smell nice and citrussy and maybe add a little amount of “natural” Vitamin C. Which is totally unnecessary in this formula, as Ascorbic Acid is the second ingredient, right after water, so there is probably enough Vitamin C in it already without relying on fruit extracts.
So why add it, you might ask? Well, for the scent is my educated guess, and the scent is really delicious.
And even though I know many will point out the abundance of fruit extracts (all of which have low evidence for effects and a potential to be irritating) as fault in the formula, I personally don’t find any flaws here: A high concentration of Vitamin C, supported by Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Panthenol for soothing and a few humectants – a great formula. There even is retinol added, and it seems to be above 1%, which might explain the amount of rave reviews the pixi Vitamin C Serum gets online. Mind you, I don’t think it is enough to replace a dedicated retinoid if you are really concerned about premature aging, but a nice touch if you cannot be bothered to think about that as well.
Why do we use Vitamin C serum?
Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant, something everyone knows by now we need in our skin care routine (if you didn´t, read my “Which ingredients work for anti aging” post here). Why? Because stress, sun, pollution and just basic reactions in our body create free radicals that have the ability to damage our cells – free radical damage. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals, preventing damage and thus premature aging.
But Vitamin C can do more than just that. It plays an important role in collagen production. You might have heard of scurvy, a form of malnutrition that made you prone to bleeding and loosing your teeth? That is because of a Vitamin C deficiency that hindered collagen production. No one these days should be that Vitamin C deficient, but making sure you have enough for optimal production won´t hurt on your way to plump skin.
And last, but definitely not least: Vitamin C blocks a part of the pathway that leads to melanin deposit in our skin. Which translated means it stops dark pigment accumulating, making your skin appear brighter and reducing hyper pigmentation.
Does the pixi skintreats Vitamin C Serum live up to its claims?
And it smells delicious!
How does the pixi skin treats Vitamin C Serum compare to
Pixi Glow Tonic
Although the word “glow” might lead you to believe that both do similar things, they actually don´t. Both have the same goal, give you bright and even skin, but while the pixi skintreats Vitamin C serum works by preventing damage, reducing melanin deposit and firming the skin, the pixi Glow Tonic is an acid exfoliant. It sloughs off dead skin cells, which also makes the skin look brighter and more even, but by a different mechanism.
So while both aren´t really comparable, both are great to combine!
Read my full review on pixi Glow Tonic here
Instytutum Anti-Wrinkle Brightening C-Serum
This Instytutum serum used to hold the place for my favorite Vitamin C Serum to date, despite the high price (around 90 €) and the fact that they use 15% Vitamin C THD, a form of Vitamin C that has a little less data behind it than the original Ascorbic Acid (that data however is promising!). But with the recent change of packaging (read more about it here) I encountered a new problem: The dropper did not reach the bottom of the flask, and it was a pain in the behind to get the last third of serum out. Annoying, especially if a third of the product equals 30 €!
So while I still love the effects of the Instytutum Vitamin C and would recommend it for even the most sensitive skin types, for me the pixi skintreats Vitamin C Serum is the new favorite.
Read my full review of the original formula here.
The Inkey List Vitamin C
The Inkey List Vitamin C is the most affordable one of the three, and with its “Ascorbic Acid in a silicone base” formula the most straightforward one. It is also the strongest out of the three, with a 30% concentration of Vitamin C, and that already tells you the problem I have with it: It is too strong for my skin. I need to mix it in with either a Hyaluronic Acid Serum or a moisturizer, otherwise it will give me redness and with repeated use irritation. Being the lazy person I am, I much rather pay a little more and don’t have to mix than the other way round, but if you are on a tight budget and just want straightforward Vitamin C, it could be for you.
Read my full review of The Inkey List Vitamin C here.
Would I repurchase?
I would repurchase and recommend it to all my friends and family.
Which skin types is the pixi skintreats Vitamin C Serum recommended for?
Given that you have no issue with plant extracts, I would recommend this serum for all skin types. Vitamin C (or a similar antioxidant) should be introduced into your routine in your early to mid twenties, so even if you are just starting out with building a routine, this serum would be a great addition.