For the last few years, the Pixi Glow Tonic has been a cult favorite for many skincare lovers. But last month, Pixi released their brand new Retinol Tonic and everyone freaked out.

I always like to read reviews before purchasing anything, but curiosity got the best of me and I got one for myself. Keep reading to see my review on the Pixi Retinol Tonic!


Oily, sensitive, and acne-prone.


The Pixi Retinol Tonic is supposed to have time-release retinol that will help smooth and soften the skin with antioxidants and botanicals while soothing sensitive skin.

There isn’t much information about how the toner works on the Pixi website or on other websites selling it, so knowledge is pretty limited. It would have been nice for the Pixi website to provide more information so customers can learn about retinol and decide if it’ll benefit their skin.

From my own research, I found that retinol is derived from vitamin A and can help with signs of aging, even out skin tone, and may possibly assist with acne and oily skin.



Aqua/Water/Eau, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-8, Panthenol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lecithin, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower Extract, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-27, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Retinol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Sodium Citrate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexylglycerin.


Something I noticed was that retinol is in the middle of the ingredient list. Since ingredients are listed from strongest to weakest, it’s likely that there’s not a high amount of retinol in this toner. I also noticed there’s quite a few flower extracts, which help with hydration. Retinol can be drying, so the extracts may be there to help counteract dryness.



At first sight, I was skeptical. I’ve been using the Pixi Glow Tonic for years and I feel like the glycolic acid does help with my acne scarring and overall skin tone. Although I used to think that toners were unnecessary, I can’t see myself without one anymore (to see my review on the Pixi Glow Tonic, click here!)

I also have sensitive skin, so I was afraid I might break out from trying a new product and I’ve never tried anything with retinol before.


When I first applied it to my skin, I noticed the scent. It wasn’t overly strong and it dissipates quickly, but it might not be for everyone. It smelled like herbs, so it might’ve been lavender or jasmine since those are in the ingredient list.

I also noticed the Retinol Tonic was more hydrating than the Glow Tonic. This was a pleasant surprise because I was able to use less serum and moisturizer. There was no stinging and my skin didn’t feel uncomfortable afterwards, so that was a relief for my sensitive skin type.



I’ve been using the Pixi Retinol Tonic for almost a month now and I can report that my skin is still happy with this product. I haven’t had any purging or breakouts (besides the areas where I get hormonal acne). Since I am on the younger side, I can’t say if this helps with aging, but my skin does glow after application and in the morning.

If I’m being completely honest, I don’t notice much of a difference between this and the Pixi Glow Tonic. This may be because my skin has improved a lot in the last year, so it’s mostly even and clear. However, I’m grateful that it’s continued to help me maintain my skin and I haven’t had any negative reactions to it. If there were any differences, I would say that my skin does look a bit brighter and healthier.



I like this toner! I do plan on continuing to use this and I might repurchase in the future, but I’ll also probably go back and forth with the Pixi Glow Tonic as well.

I think the Pixi Retinol Toner works nicely and I would recommend this for people who want to use a hydrating toner or want to try out retinol in their skincare routine. I’ll keep updating this post as I continue to see results and I also plan researching and doing a post dedicated to retinol, so be on the lookout for that!

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2019: After reading through a Reddit thread here, I saw that the packaging (a clear bottle) is not ideal for a retinol product, so it might not be very effective. On top of that, I’m wary about how we don’t know how much retinol is actually in this product. Again, I didn’t see much of a difference in my skin, but it may depend on the person. If you try it, let me know how it worked for you in the comments!


Have you tried out the Pixi Retinol toner yet? What did you think of it? I hope this post was helpful and thanks for reading!

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