Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner 5% Glycolic Acid
Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner 5% Glycolic Acid's formula is a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly, which ultimately compromises skin.
The good? The 5% glycolic acid is an excellent exfoliating ingredient to reveal softer, smoother, more radiant skin. The bad news, however, is that its effects are minimized because the pH of this formula is slightly above the range required for optimal exfoliation. This is also packaged in a clear container that isn't UV coated, meaning you'll have to store it in a dark place to keep its antioxidant ingredients stable (we contacted the brand and it confirms it should be stored out of direct light).
The ugly? The high concentration of witch hazel that this liquid toner features is a sensitizing ingredient, which leaves skin worse for wear. Between that and the potentially skin-aggravating fragrance, it's a recipe for disaster on your skin (see More Info to learn why).
Beyond the glycolic acid, Pixi included ammonium glycolate which can offer some exfoliation, but considering the overall formula is more problematic than helpful, why bother?
See our list of Best Exfoliants for superior options that are gentle on skin yet highly effective!
- Contains ingredients that allow for some exfoliation.
- Contains sensitizing witch hazel and fragrance, which leaves skin worse for wear.
- Glycolic acid's ability to optimally exfoliate is compromised by the high pH of this formula.
Sensitizing ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems that include redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increases in oil production, clogged pores, and contribute to making signs of aging worse.
Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating skincare products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin without any volatility, including those present in natural fragrant ingredients.
A surprising fact: Even though you might not see the negative influence of using products that contain sensitizing ingredients, skin the damage will still be taking place. It doesn't need to be evident on the surface! Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering the impact and the visible damage may not become apparent for a long time.
For this reason, it's best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that can be sensitizing on skin. There are many products that contain effective ingredients that are also completely non-irritating so there's no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.
References for this information:
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28-36.
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379-385
Journal of Clinical Dermatology, November 2014, online access
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257-262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191-202
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446—475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789-798
Exfoliating facial glow tonic. It helps tone, firm and tighten the skin. It removes dead skin cells for healthier looking skin. For all skin types. Alcohol free.
Strengths: Tester units at the Target stores; complete ingredient lists on pixibeauty.com; excellent gel liner; great sheer cheek gel.
Weaknesses: Really overpriced; the Illuminating Tint & Conceal SPF 20 is poorly formulated, with irritants and an unreliable SPF; no decent concealer option; all eyeshadows are average at best; no customer care phone number available in the United States.
Swedish-born makeup artist Petra Strand is the creator of the Pixi line of makeup products. She started it in London, opening her first shop alongside the salon of her aesthetician sister, Sofia. The Pixi line is positioned as being packed with skin-beneficial ingredients that will help women get the "Makeup to Wakeup" essentials that they need to stock their cosmetics bags. That sounds cute and potentially helpful, but in fact the main ingredients in Pixi's makeup don't distinguish it as being more skin careoriented than any other makeup product on the shelf.
Even if Pixi's products did have a two-in-one benefit it comes at a high cost. Although the line is sold at Target, it's priced as high as, and in some instances higher than, any line sold at a department store. However, these products are not makeup with a pronounced skin-care benefit, so they are not worth the extra money.
Of the new makeup artist lines now available at Target (JK Jemma Kid and NP Set along with Pixi), this one is actually the least impressive, and we predict it will be the first to be pulled from shelves. We recommend you shop this line with extra caution to avoid a pricey purchase that you're likely to regret or that you have to jump through hoops to return.
The good news is that, like fellow Target newcomers JK Jemma Kid and NP Set, the display for Pixi includes testers for every product. What a wonderful surprise! And if you happen to choose an item you're not happy with (hint: perhaps because there are better options for less from other lines) Target has a good return policy on cosmetics (just be sure to save your receiptmy strong opinion is that you'll need it).
Note: We were unable to locate a customer service phone number for Pixi and our e-mails to the company have gone unanswered. This is not a line to shop if you're expecting customer support beyond what Target offers.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.