Pixi Vs Ordinary: Glycolic acid


Glycolic was the vital ingredient in transforming my skin. It deeps cleans like nothing else I’ve tried and both of these acid’s have worked wonders for me. Hence, this has been a difficult comparative to write. I’m therefore going to relay as much information on them both as I possibly can and so you can decipher which is the best for you.

You are already likely to know that they are basically glycolic acid in a bottle and some people may be rather wary of trying an acid because, well because it’s an acid. There is no natural inclination to want to put it on your skin. Especially if you have sensitive skin – the reaction to it can be drastic. However, after rigorous testing I can confirm it is safe to use on your skin. If you do have sensitive skin you may want to start with something a little less acidic like lactic or salicylic acid (I also compared them right here).

The best way to introduce an acid into your skincare regime is starting at a lower concentration and then slowly increasing this as your skin becomes more tolerant. And you must always be wary of how much you are using them. Some products say they are safe to use twice a day – I would disagree, over ‘aciding’ (not a real word but a real thing) can happen and you can weaken your skin’s barrier. So, treat it like masking, only use when your doing a more intensive routine. 

Firstly the key details summarized:

Pixi Glow TonicThe Ordinary Glycolic acid
250 mL240 mL
£18£6.80
5% glycolic acid 7% glycolic acid

Starting on a very important point The Ordinary is much cheaper at £6.80 for 240 mL, whereas the Pixi is a tad pricier at £18 for 250 mL. Hence, you might be thinking why even bother with Pixi? But it is at this point imperative to take into consideration the balance that YOUR skin needs – is it dry, is it oily, does it react to new products badly? All important questions especially when you realize how individualistic skincare is.

I started with the lesser concentration one, Pixi at 5% glycolic acid. This was not really a conscious decision seen as Deciem hadn’t come out with their own version, it was the only glycolic acid toner option available to me. Having said that I’d probably start with Pixi again, if I were trying acid for the first time, just to be on the safe side. It was the only new product in my skincare kit at that time that had a transformative effect on my regime. All of a sudden all of my other products started working better. My skin looked much smoother and felt much softer. The texture of my skin was finally moving in the direction I’ve always wanted it to go in.

The reason I bought The Ordinary version was because like all ordinary products, it is a total bargain! And so far I have loved every product I’ve bought from the budget friendly range. I was further enticed by the high concentration of glycolic acid only because I’m a firm believer that your skin, not dis-similarly to hair, can get used to a product and stop working as efficiently as it once did. My skin was breaking out and I thought maybe Pixi wasn’t cutting it anymore! My skin breaks out when its clogged, so I gave this more acidic version a go and it worked wonderfully. 

I’ve been using it for around six weeks. I always instantaneously see a difference. Each time I use it I feel refreshed and clean, which stopped happening with the Pixi, although using it for a year everyday may be a tad excessive and something I regret now my skin feels a little weaker.

Even I must admit 7% glycolic acid is high acid concentration to use every day. I get addicted to the clean feel and that is a dangerous path to go down. It isn’t necessary to use an acid every day, switch it up with some micellar water –  just a warning. I couldn’t find any responsible sources that suggested how to use it correctly, so I would suggest checking your irritation level when you apply it. If you were wondering about scents the Ordinary had a hint of a milk scent and the Pixi was slightly floral, for me the Pixi takes the cake for the scents.

When it comes to the clean I think they both produce good results but I needed a step up from the Pixi Glow Tonic when the summer came. If you want to try glycolic acid you need to take your skin’s sensitivity into consideration and if that means you do have sensitive skin try Pixi Glow Tonic first, they do small bottles which I think is great in case you don’t want to spend the whole £18 when you’re not 100% sure that it is right for you. It’s £5 so around the same price as the Ordinary.

So, in summary The Ordinary is a much better deal but if you’re new to all of this ALWAYS start with a lower concentration acid, which in this case would be Pixi Glow Tonic, you can get it for £5 to test right here. Once you are comfortable with what acid and what concentration will suit your skin, then you can invest. If your skin can handle a high concentration of glycolic go for the bargain one from The Ordinary as a part of your permanent routine.

For more articles on acids click below: 

Lactic acid vs Salicylic 

What is Azelaic acid?

Glycolic acid vs Salicylic 

Lactic vs Hyularonic acid 


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