Pixi Glow Tonic review

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How to cite: Wong M. Pixi Glow Tonic review. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. September 24, 2015. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://labmuffin.com/pixi-glow-tonic-review/

Pixi Glow Tonic is a cult skincare product in the UK thanks to Caroline Hirons, who calls it a P50 dupe, and I finally have a bottle in my hot little hands! It’s available now in Target in the US and it’s pretty good value, at $15 for 100 mL.


Glow Tonic is an exfoliating toner, containing 5% glycolic acid as its star ingredient. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which acts to unstick dead skin cells, allowing them to slough off more easily to leave smoother, glowing skin. The pH of this product is 4-5, making this a relatively weak exfoliating product. As well as glycolic acid, there are other beneficial/possibly beneficial ingredients, like aloe vera juice (emollient), witch hazel extract (astringent), horse chestnut and ginseng extracts (antioxidant), and a whole host of humectants (glycerin, glucose, fructose… pretty much the rest of the ingredients list!).

Ingredients: 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.

I have to disagree with Caroline Hirons here – it’s really not a P50 dupe! P50 has a lot more exfoliating ingredients, such as a generous dash of gluconolactone, lactic acid, malic acid and citric acid, as well as phenol if you get the original formulation. It also has niacinamide, which is fantastic for evening out pigmentation. The only real similarity is that they both contain AHAs, but there are tons of products on the market these days with AHAs.

Even though it’s not a dupe of a pricey product, Glow Tonic is still worth a try if you’re after a gentle exfoliant. If AHA products usually irritate your skin, this should go on your to-buy list – it has a decent amount of glycolic acid at a reasonably low pH, but all the soothing ingredients leave your skin soft, and it barely stings when you apply it. It also has a pleasant cucumber-ish scent. Just make sure you load up on sunscreen when you use any chemical exfoliant! You can buy Pixi Glow Tonic on Amazon or at Target.

This product was provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. This post contains affiliate links – if you decide to click through and support Lab Muffin financially, thank you! For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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17 thoughts on “Pixi Glow Tonic review”

  1. Always love reading your posts 🙂
    The ingredient list has changed since Caroline first raved about it I think. I’ll see if I can find the old list. I used to use it way back when it was in opaque container with a pump top. 🙂
    I have also used the Bravura London toner which has an identical ingredient list to the new Pixi (NB Pixi changed and became identical to Bravura – not the other way round).

    • Interesting! I love reformulation stories 🙂 The photo of the ingredients list in Caroline Hirons’ 2012 post still shows 5% glycolic acid though – I’m not sure if the formula’s changed all that much?

      pixi glow

  2. Meanwhile in Australia… LOL plenty of us Aussies are wishing an affordable P50 dupe would randomly pop up in our local Target. Doubtful… but a girl can dream right? 😛

  3. If you want a Paula’s Choice exfoliator dupes (or even better, more economical ones), I suggest the COSRX’s AHA and BHA exfoliants! They have the correct formulations and are straight to the point. They also don’t contain purified water and instead contain fruit water to enhance the exfoliating effects! The AHA has 7% glycolic acid and the BHA has 4% betaine salicitate (equivalent to 2% salicylic acid, but in a gentler form). They are alcohol-free, contain niacinamide to boost brightening and anti-aging effects, have been praised by other beauty bloggers, and have been growing in popularity! They have been working amazingly for me! 🙂

    Check out Fiddy Snail’s reviews on them!
    AHA: https://fiftyshadesofsnail.com/2015/04/29/review-cosrx-aha-7-whitehead-power-liquid/
    BHA: https://fiftyshadesofsnail.com/2015/06/10/review-cosrx-bha-blackhead-power-liquid/

    • I’ve only tried the AHA (which… smells a bit like fish haha), but I’ve heard good things about the BHA!

  4. Hi Michelle, I hope you could do a review on an astringent toner Beauty Water and moisturizer Beauty Gel by Son & Park. I’ve been wanting to buy those but the alcohol content is stopping me. Thanks!


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