After I finished off my bottle of Dior Gentle Toning Lotion with Velvet Peony Extract I was looking for another toner. This time, I had a lot more ideas of what I wanted: something with hydrating and soothing ingredients, without alcohol, that would leave my skin soft and prepped for the next steps of my routine. In my search, I found Pixi’s Glow Tonic.

Product information:


From the Pixi website:

Oxygenating. 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.


Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Glycolic Acid, Ammonium Glycolate, Glycerin, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Biotin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance

The CosDNA analysis can be found here.

Ingredient Spotlight:

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial plant extract.  It also has wound healing properties and acts as an emollient and moisturizer.

Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel): Plant extract with antioxidant, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties. Acts as a skin conditioner to help restore skins suppleness and reduce flaking.

Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut): Plant extract with anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.

Panax Ginseng Root Extract: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties are found in this plant extract.

Fructose: A sugar which has moisture binding and skin softening properties.



Pixi Glow Tonic comes in a clear bottle with a simple hole in the top for dispensing product. It has a plain green cap. The tonic itself has no discernable color and has the texture and consistency of water, as you can see in the photo below. It smells like aloe and ginseng, which is quite pleasant. The pH of this tonic was 4.


The toner was extremely runny and thin, exactly like water.


As you can see, when spread on a cotton square the toner is colorless.


My nifty pH strips found the toner to be a pH of 4.

I have been using this toner for the past four weeks twice daily, in the morning and evening. I use it right after I cleanse with my Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. I typically apply a few splashes to a cotton puff and swipe it across my face. It’s cool and refreshing. My skin absorbed the product quickly, and it made my skin feel hydrated and smooth. One morning, I had overdone it with my AHA and my skin was feeling pretty raw. After I cleansed, I patted this tonic on and my skin felt so much better—it was incredibly soothing. My skin did not have a negative reaction to this product.

The Pixi website claims:

Glow tonic with ginseng & fructose for normal to dry, dull and aging skin. Oxygenating, exfoliating facial glow tonic. Helps tone, firm and tighten the skin. Removes dead skin cells for healthier looking skin.

First I want to comment on whether or not this toner is exfoliating. It contains glycolic acid, which I talked about before in my review of Peter Thomas Roth’s Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer. In a nutshell, glycolic acid is an AHA that works on the surface of the skin to decrease its thickness and increase cell turnover. This leads to the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, and evens the tone and texture of the skin. However, AHAs need to be formulated at a pH of 3-4 to function as exfoliants. Luckily this tonic has a pH of 4, which makes it right on the cusp of the effective range. The glycolic acid here is acting both as an exfoliator and a humectant. The other claims of this product are all related to the glycolic acid it contains and its exfoliating ability. The ability to improve skin tone, texture, and signs of photo-aging are all within the scope of glycoic acid’s function.

Just of note, I carefully watched my forehead lines and my skin pigmentation for any signs of change when I used this product. It made my skin brighter and feel softer, and certainly imparted somewhat of a glow. My hyperpigmentation appeared to lighten but I never noticed any difference in my forehead lines. This may be because my forehead lines are so fine that I just never appreciated the improvement.


Pixi’s Glow Tonic is a welcome addition to my routine. It is vastly superior to my previous toner choice in that contains glycolic acid at an appropriate pH for exfoliating, so it really does improve wrinkles, fine lines, and improve skin’s texture. The glycolic acid also functions as a humectant that draws moisture into the skin. In addition, it has soothing aloe vera and ginseng to round off an overall excellent product.


  • toner with exfoliating properties
  • helps even skin tone and texture
  • although may improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, I did not see any difference
  • contains soothing aloe
  • smells like herbs and aloe on drugs
  • recommended to buy

Score: 5/5

Where to buy: Pixi



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Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary A – Z: Cosmetics Cop Expert Advice. (n.d.). Retrieved 28 February 2015, from

Michalun, M. V., & Dinardo, J. C. (2015). Milady Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary (4th ed.). Clifton Park, NY, USA: Cengage Learning.

Winter, R. (2009). A consumer’s dictionary of cosmetic ingredients: complete information about the harmful and desirable ingredients found in cosmetics and cosmeceuticals. United States: Three Rivers Press.