Pixi,  serum

Pixi Vitamin C Serum

the claim

The Pixi Vitamin C Serum claims to be a lightweight serum that gently exfoliates, hydrates and nourishes the skin.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum

the science

Please note, the core of the formula across all the Pixi Vitamin C range has a lot of commonality, so there will be some repetition noticed if you’re reading several reviews.
Easily absorbed, Vitamin C has the ability to decrease sun damage and dehydration plus reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It’s also able to decrease water loss and boost moisture retention. Furthermore, it enhances the skin’s ability to repair itself, speeding up cell turnover and improving the removal of accumulated dead and damaged skin cells. As a result, acne scarring and hyperpigmentation are eased for a brighter complexion and improved texture. Ascorbic acid is considered the most potent form of Vitamin C. It is also it’s most volatile, oxidising with air exposure, heat and light, highly effective at concentrations over 20%. Unfortunately, Pixi has not disclosed the concentration in any of their products from this line, although listed second on the INCI, it is expected to be fairly well represented in the formula. Other forms of Vitamin C include Grapefruit Water and Pomegranate Extract.
The serum also contains a series of citric extracts including those from Lemon Peel, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Orange Peel, three Australian Wild Lime species and Yuzu. Lime and Lemon are highly acidic with strong aromas, often added to skin care for the natural fragrance they impart contributed by bergapten and limonene. However, these coincidentally also make them sensitizing. Similarly fragrant, Orange, Grapefruit, Yuzu and Mandarin extracts contribute further Vitamin C to boost antioxidant protection and also help to reduce acne.
Other antioxidant sources include Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Beta-Carotene, Carrot Root Extract and Ferulic Acid while hydration is enhanced by Propanediol, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate and Lecithin. Often used as an alternative to potentially harmful preservatives due to its antifungal and antimicrobial properties, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate is derived from radishes fermented with bacteria which also moisturizes and conditions.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum
As well as acting as a humectant, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice displays excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It’s able to soothe and protect from free radicals whilst enzymes act to rejuvenate aged tissues and promote healthy skin. It’s also a great detoxifier, since it can remove dead cells and purify the pores.
Additional ingredients increase skin repair and healing. Tea Tree Extract displays antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties, making it an ideal treatment for acne and skin infections. It’s able to remove excess oils from skin by pushing out stale sebum deep within pores to prevent blackheads and acne forming. Peppermint Extract enhances soothing with a cooling sensation while antiseptic qualities help it fight acne causing bacteria. Also helping with this function is Tamanu Oil which exhibits anti-inflammatory and antibacterial behaviour. It’s composed of lipids, neutral lipids, glycolipids and phospholipids which are natural constituents of healthy skin and good hydrating agents.
Anti-inflammatory properties of Caffeine and its ability to constrict small blood vessels make it effective at reducing the appearance of dark circles, redness and puffiness. It is a strong antioxidant which helps to eliminate free radicals that can cause premature ageing. Soybean Oil is said to moisturise dry skin while simultaneously decreasing oiliness for a smoothing, softening effect and an evening out skin tone. It also encourages collagen production and elastin fibre repair to help keep skin firm and prevent sagging. Finally, there is Retinol in the formula which is able to stimulate cell regeneration for a healthy glow.

the ingredients

Pixi Vitamin C Serum Ingredients
Aqua/Water/Eau, Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Propanediol, Glycerin, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin) Orange Fruit Extract, Ferulic Acid, Tocopherol, Caffeine, Microcitrus Australis (Australian Rainforest Lime) Fruit Extract, Microcitrus Australasica (Australian Caviar Lime) Fruit Extract, Beta-Carotene, Lecithin, Citrus Glauca (Australian Desert Lime) Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Junos (Yuzu) Peel Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Retinol, Xanthan Gum, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Polysorbate 20, Phospholipids, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin

the packaging

Consistent with all of the serums from this brand, Pixi Vitamin C is presented in an opaque bottle with dropper dispenser. When new, the dropper is encased in a separate plastic bag and the bottle sealed with a screw top.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum Packaging

the analysis

The assessments returned from both the CosDNA and EWG resources rate the Pixi Vitamin C Serum a moderate hazard with warning flags primarily raised against potentially sensitizing retinol, citric extracts and preservatives.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum CosDNA Analysis

the application

Use daily after cleansing and toning. Smooth on 2-3 drops all over the face, neck and décolletage.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum Directions

the scent

The Pixi Vitamin C Serum has a clear scent.

the cost

A 30ml bottle of the Pixi Vitamin C Serum costs USD$24.

the availability

Pixi products are widely available on line and in-store in Australia.

the expiry

The serum must be used within 9 months of opening.

the performance

Starting with presentation, this serum is nicely packaged, the new bottle secured with a tight screw top lid ensuring it’s spill proof and accompanied by a hygienically packaged dropper. Opaque casing ensures it is not subject to unnecessarily light exposure, helping to preserve the potency of the Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). Although a pump would be preferable, the dropper dispenser is typical of such a product and works effectively. Vitamin C serums can be very expensive, however, this comprises a solid formula of notable ingredients and retails for a very reasonable USD$24.00 per 30ml. I do prefer my serums to have fewer ingredients with simplified formulations, but at least its content is made up of reliable and proven components.
As with the toner, there is a citrus scent associated with this serum, although I also pick up a bit of peppermint. The smell is naturally derived, primarily from the botanical extracts with nothing artificial added to enhance it. The scent is not problematic for me. Those sensitive to smell or citric extracts may be wise to patch test before using.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum
The serum itself is a little denser than water in texture. It glides on the skin easily and absorbs well with only the slightest tackiness which fades after a few minutes. The pale yellow colour of the serum is a natural result of the formulation. Personally, I like a clear Vitamin C serum as it’s really the only way to identify the onset of oxidation. When Vitamin C starts to degrade, it takes on a yellow tinge which will eventually get darker until brown. The initial yellow colour of this serum doesn’t allow easy visual detection of oxidation commencement.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum Texture
The concentration of Vitamin C in this product is undisclosed. In second place following only water on the ingredient list, it’s assumed significant. My guess is that it’s around 10-15%. I have based this estimate on a few factors. Firstly, the high position of Ascorbic Acid on the ingredient list as just mentioned. Secondly, the fact that this serum crystalises, deposits forming around the opening, as shown below. This is typical behaviour of Vitmain C in this form. Thirdly, Ascorbic Acid is quite volative and oxidises quickly. I show visual evidence of this happening in the first month of use below. Finally, the results which I will also discuss.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum Crystalisation
I have had this bottle of serum stored in a dark drawer and sealed tight. It’s been taken out and used daily since opening. It hasn’t been exposed to any sort of heat. The only time it’s been subject to light is during application and when taking the photographs for this post. I purposely didn’t refrigerate to test its oxidation rate. The photo below shows the state of the serum at exactly 4 weeks after opening. It hasn’t taken long to start oxidising, evidence of this in the colour of the serum within the pipette. You can clearly see the top starting to brown. Based on these observations, I would highly recommend this serum be refrigerated immediately upon opening to preserve its potency. I’m surprised this isn’t stipulated on the packaging. As such, I think the 9 month use upon opening is a little optimistic. Applied daily, this should ony last 3 months anyway. To date, I’ve probably used around 12ml of the 30ml volume, so will refrigerate the remainder and see how long it lasts. In its current state, the serum is still effective, however potency is decreasing with increased oxidation.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum Evidence of Oxidation
Let’s now consider the day to day process and results. Firstly, incorporating this serum into my routine was seamless. It plays well with preceding and following layers of toner and serum/cream respectively. It doesn’t interfere with makeup or sunscreen application either. On the skin, I didn’t experience any stinging, tingling or other notable sensation. Although there is retinol in the formula, the brand doesn’t confirm the necessity to follow with sun protection during the day (although I generally recommended this regardless) so it can be assumed the amount is fairly insignificant. (Pixi has an entire collection dedicated to Retinol). There’s also Sodium Hyaluronate as well as Aloe Vera close to the top of the INCI, suggesting a hydrating effect. As I always use a dedicated hydrating serum in both day and night routines, I didn’t really detect any boost to this effect on my skin. (At this point, dehydration is not one of my skin issues). The formula certainly suggests however that it offers hydrating benefits.
I have been using a Vitamin C serum in my morning routine for around 3 years now. I opt mostly for high concentration serums of around 20%, such as that from By Wishtrend or Timeless. As such, there was never going to be a dramatic boost to the brightness of my complexion that Vitamin C delivers, rather, I was hoping for a radiant consistency. Similar to the toner of the Vitamin C line, it took a few weeks to see any observable results.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum
I apply 3-4 drops of serum onto my face and neck per application. After around a month of continuous daily use, there was some evidence of brightening, displayed by a better skin tone. Slightly patchy sections became more even, giving my complexion a more consistent appearance and perceived glow. Those who have not incorporated Vitamin C into their daily regimen, are likely to see more evidence of brightening and faster results. Nonetheless, I was quite impressed that there was a visually detectable improvement in my tone.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum

the conclusion

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this serum. An undisclosed concentration of Vitamin C was a factor that made me both curious and frustrated. I’d still love to know the actual measure. Nonetheless, this serum delivered good brightening in a gentle fashion. Apart from those with sensitivities to any of the ingredients, I would totally recommend this for any skin type. If you’re going to use it, make sure you keep it refrigerated.
Pixi Vitamin C Serum

the summary

Pros Cons
Light, fast absorbing with minimal tackiness Quickly oxidises without refrigeration
Suitable for most skin types Not for those sensitive to citric extracts
Visibly brightens the skin Yellow hue makes it difficult to detect oxidation
Gentle, easy integration into routine
Cost effective


the references

Pixi website
What Are Vitamin C’s Benefits For Skin? Into the Gloss
How does Vitamin C help my skin Paula’s Choice Skincare
The incredible skincare benefits of Vitamin C! Nourished Life
Revitalize Aging Skin with Topical Vitamin C Gary Goldfaden, MD
Why is grapefruit so good for you? Megan Ware RDN LD
Fruit Extracts in Skin Care The Derm Review
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juicen Radiant RG-Cell Cosmeceuticals
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract Truth In Aging
The Tea Tree Skin “Miracle” – The 7 Benefits of Tea Tree Oil Body Ecology
Tea Tree Oil Paula’s Choice Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary
Benefits of Tamanu Oil Doctor Mahers
Caffeine for Skin Care Stephanie Crumley Hill
Punica Granatum Truth In Aging


the disclaimer

Please read in context with my disclaimer.
This product was provided to me free of charge by Pixi. This post only includes my honest opinion and experience of this product and is in no way influenced by Pixi, any of its representatives or any other third party.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *