Glow Tonic is marketed as a gentle toner for normal to dry, aging and sensitive skin, but the formula raises some concerns. Chiefly, the inclusion of witch hazel poses a considerable risk to skin (see More Info for details).
There's also several issues with the ingredient list. For example, the company indicates glycolic acid is an active ingredient, but it is not regulated in this manner, and shouldn't be listed as such. Also, Pixi lists "pixi Natural Fragrant Oil" but that goes against the FDA's regulations for ingredient name disclosure. (They should list it as "fragrance" or specify which fragrant oils the formula contains). Regardless, fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, can lead to skin problems (both immediately and long-term; see More Info for the scoop).
It's a shame that Pixi decided to include irritating ingredients because they negate the otherwise beneficial mix of antioxidants and skin-soothing ingredients that this liquid toner contains. Likewise the 5% glycolic acid is a helpful addition (especially for dry skin), removing dead skin cells as it binds moisture for fresher, younger looking skin. Those benefits are nice, but given there are plenty of other toners and exfoliants that don't pose a risk of irritation, why bother with this one?
- Glycolic acid acts as an exfoliant.
- Contains some beneficial skin-soothing ingredients and antioxidants.
- Despite claims, this is NOT a gentle formula for sensitive skin.
- Witch hazel and fragrant ingredients pose a risk to skin.
Witch hazel's high tannin content can be irritating when used repeatedly on skin because it constricts blood flow. The bark of the witch hazel plant has higher tannin content than the leaves. Steam distillation for producing witch hazel water removes the tannins, but the plant's astringent qualities are what most believe give it benefit. Alcohol is added during the distillation process, the amount typically being 14–15%. Witch hazel water is distilled from all parts of the plant, so in that sense you never know what you're getting, though the alcohol content remains (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com; www.drugs.com). Depending on the form of witch hazel, you're either exposing skin to an irritating amount of alcohol (which causes free radical damage and collagen breakdown), tannins, or both. Moreover, witch hazel contains the fragrance chemical eugenol, which is another source of irritation.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can impede healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin. (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135 and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)
Active Ingredients: Glycolic Acid-5%, partially neutralized by Ammonium Hydroxide. Inactive Ingredients: Deionized Water, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Horse Chestnut Extracts, Propylene Glycol, Glycolic Acid and Ammonium Glycolate, Hexylene Glycol, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexylnicotinate, Ginseng Extract, Potassium Alum, Diazolidinyl Urea, Biotin, pixi Natural Fragrant Oil.
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 care–oriented 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 receipt—my strong opinion is that you'll need it).
For more information about Pixi visit www.pixibeauty.com or www.target.com.
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.