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The Shining Season — The Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic Will Light Up Your Face (And Your Life!)

For some time now, I’d heard that the Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic ($15 at Target stores and Target.com) is like a skincare lightsaber: a bottle harboring a magical elixir with illuminating powers. I was curious to try the product myself, of course, but I wondered whether it could live up to some of the exfoliating, glow-boosting, luxury products I’d tried — among them the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, the Murad Rapid Resurfacing Peel, and the Dr. Jart+ DermaClear Micro Milk Peel. As someone with dry and often sensitive skin, I worried that perhaps this exfoliating treatment would prove too harsh and lead to redness and irritation. And, admittedly, I questioned whether a product that retails for $15 could ever deliver the type of results I’d witnessed after routinely using a $90 peel. Turns out I was being a total snob: this treatment totally transformed my complexion and became an indispensable part of my routine.

I first tried the Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic in a state of frustration. I’d used my very last Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel and was not keen on the idea of spending $88 on a new box of exfoliating packets. I was pretty much resigned to the idea of making that investment, when I decided to try the sample of the Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic I’d been sent to review. At the time, I wasn’t thinking it could ever replace my other go-to exfoliating products. I just wanted to try something that could potentially give my skin a radiance boost until I restocked on my Dr. Dennis Gross peels. And so, after cleansing and drying my face, I reached for a cotton pad and dampened it with the Glow Tonic, proceeding to sweep the pad over my face. My complexion tingled ever so slightly but also felt deliciously refreshed — and, when I looked at the cotton pad, I could see all the dirt and debris it had removed. Moments after applying the product, my face already looked a bit more radiant, but the most striking results were visible the morning after (and each morning thereafter).

See, when I was first testing out the Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic, I was grappling with the aftermath of a particularly vicious breakout. I’d been under a lot of work-related stress, and my complexion staged a violent coup as a cluster of pimples planted its flag around the lower left corner of my mouth. Of course, I knew better than to pick and poke at the breakout but, like a 5-year old who is planted in front of a chocolate cake and told not to dip his finger into the frosting, I couldn’t help myself. Before I knew it, the pimple cluster had turned into a post-war wasteland: I’d managed to aggravate an entire patch of skin to the point where I had an open wound on my face and, once that healed, I was left with scar tissue. By the time I started using the Glow Tonic, I had developed a pinkish scar that I knew would only darken over time. I felt defeated, but I hoped with a proper course of exfoliating treatments, I’d manage to escape the worst of outcomes.

Here’s the extraordinary part: after using the Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic for 2-3 weeks, the scar had practically vanished, my complexion was clear, and it looked positively radiant. I was floored.

Containing 5% glycolic acid, the tonic effectively removes dead surface skin cells to reveal a layer of new, undamaged cells — and, hence, a more radiant skin tone. The aloe vera in the formula, meanwhile, helps to create a refreshing, soothing, and cooling sensation, plus the polysaccharides in this botanical also have a regenerating effect on the skin, helping to heal wounds and promote cellular turnover. The formula also contains ginseng, which is rich in phytonutrients that help to brighten the skin and which also have anti-aging benefits. Moreover, because the formula contains no alcohol, formaldehyde, parabens, and sulfates, it’s incredibly gentle and safe to use on even persnickety skin such as mine, never drying out the skin or leading to any redness and inflammation.

After using the Pixi Glow Tonic, I can’t imagine ever spending $80 on an alternate exfoliating treatment. The day after I ran out of Glow Tonic, I drove to the nearest Target and bought another $15 bottle — and just so I’d never have to do without, I purchased an extra one to keep on hand. That, friends, is how you know a beauty product has become indispensable: when you start showcasing hoarding tendencies because you can’t imagine going a day without it!

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