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 • Skincare  • Skincare Reviews  • Pixi Glow Tonic – Is It Really Worth All the Hype?
pixi glow tonic

Pixi Glow Tonic – Is It Really Worth All the Hype?

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Main Image – Courtesy of writer

I first heard about Pixi Glow Tonic around a decade ago when beauty expert Caroline Hirons mentioned it in her blog. She described it as a cheaper version of her favourite acid toner – the Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion – which shares similar ingredients but has a much higher price tag!

If you know anything about Hirons, you’ll know that she really knows her stuff about skincare. So, as a result of her rave review, Pixi Glow Tonic became a cult favourite.

But you may be wondering, what’s so good about it? Is it really worth the hype? And what makes it different from any other acid toners costing around the same price?

Having primarily oily skin, I love to include an acid toner in my regime, not only to prevent or treat breakouts but to swap my occasional greasy glow for a healthy one. So, when I first tried Pixi Glow Tonic, albeit a little late to the party, there was a lot riding on it.

Here’s my honest review.


The product details

Pixi Glow Tonic is in a 250ml bottle with a screw-top lid. There is also a 100ml size available (£10 on the Boots UK website/$15 on the Pixi Beauty US website) and also, a 250ml Hello Kitty collab version (£18 on the Pixi Beauty UK website/$29 on the Pixie Beauty US website) (I mean, why would you choose the standard 250ml when there’s Hello Kitty involved?).

Pixi Glow Tonic contains 5% glycolic acid – a hugely effective chemical exfoliant that helps to smooth and gently buff the skin. It also contains energizing ginseng, soothing and hydrating aloe vera and brightening fructose and sucrose.

This is the perfect recipe for skin in need of a pick-me-up. The packaging says it works for all skin types, however, I feel it would be more suited to those with oily skin or normal skin as glycolic acid can sometimes be a little harsh on dry or sensitive skin.


pixi glow tonic

Image – Courtesy of writer


First impressions

I must say, the packaging is pretty pleasing and looks gorgeous on my dressing table but I must remember it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The liquid is an orange colour so you’d expect it to smell fruity and zesty. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered it smelt just like a really comforting night cream.

Fruity and zesty is great for the senses but it can also feel like you’re putting something quite harsh on your skin. Whereas this just smells…gentle.

Applying it for the first time was surprising. I usually find acid toners a little sticky and it’s almost as if they fight against me to easily sweep them around my face.

However, I noticed straight away that this one positively glided. It wasn’t sticky in the slightest and it felt like I was sweeping a really lightweight serum around my face. You don’t need a huge amount – just enough to cover a large circle in the middle of a cotton pad will suffice.

It didn’t tingle or sting either. A sign of good things to come.


My surprising results

The next morning, I was pretty blown away by the condition of my skin. Pixi Glow Tonic was the only new product I’d used the night before, so I knew it was responsible.

My skin really was glowing, it felt firm and the lines on my forehead – my biggest insecurity – had noticeably tightened.

My glow was a proper glow too. Not a greasy, I’ve-just-woken-up oil slick. I could tell because when I touched my face it felt balanced. Hydrated, but not over-hydrated and the morning light bounced off my newly firm forehead like it’s never bounced before.

So, I did my morning cleanse, then used Pixi Glow Tonic again and still continue to do so. I’ve discovered it’s certainly gentle enough for my skin type to be used twice a day and I haven’t experienced any irritation or redness.

If you do have dry or sensitive skin, I would still recommend using it but perhaps less frequently. Try using it three times a week in your evening regime having worked your skin up to it, to be on the safe side.


pixi glow tonic

Image – Courtesy of writer


What other users are saying

As this is such a fan favourite, you’d probably expect nothing but glowing reviews (if you’ll excuse the pun). But it’s important to note that everyone’s skin is different.

Natalie on agrees with me about it being suitable to certain skin types. “The famous Pixi Glow Tonic is amazing,” she says. “Keep in mind that if you have very dry, sensitive skin it can feel a little irritating. My skin felt slightly irritated after using it. However some of my friends and family use it and they all loved it, so I think it is great for oily or normal skin.”

Abigail T says, “it’s a bestseller for a reason. Leaves my skin brightened and rejuvenated while not being too harsh on my face.”

Whilst Sian T says, “my skin texture has improved with continued use and I no longer have patches of drier skin. Prior to this I have experienced skin reasons to every product I have tried to put on my face. Finally I have found something that works for me!”


Value for money

This is a no brainer. If you go for the 100ml option you’ll be spending £10/$15 on something that will not only last but hopefully make your skin feel great too. This is the price I would hope to spend on an acid toner first time around. And now that I know how much I like it, I would stretch to the £18/$29 just to get the bigger 250ml bottle.

Pixi Glow Tonic reminds me a little of the REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic which I have always been a huge fan of. It costs £30/$40 for the 250ml size and £17/$22 for the 100ml. This is obviously a clear price difference. But I am still inclined to edge towards Pixi for the sheer glow of it all too. The REN product does provide a beautiful radiance but it’s not necessarily better than the Pixi Glow Tonic.

So in the end, it really comes down to the price tag.


pixi glow tonic

Image – Courtesy of writer


The takeaway

I really enjoy using Pixi Glow Tonic and I love how it makes my skin look and feel. It’s hard to find anything wrong with it, except perhaps it might be sensible for dry and sensitive skin types to reign in how much they use it in case of irritation.

I know smell isn’t conducive to the performance of a product (and some might argue that no skincare needs added fragrance), but the smell of Pixi Glow Tonic definitely adds to the enjoyment of using it for me. And my firmer lines after just one use spoke volumes.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, yes. I wholeheartedly believe the hype.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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