Pixi Glycolic Body Wash - Formula Review

Next up in our series of evaluating ingredient lists is Pixi’s Glycolic Body Wash.

As we have written about before, when you analyze a cosmetic ingredient list, there are basically three ingredient categories including:

  • Functional – ingredients that deliver the claimed product benefits
  • Aesthetic modifiers – ingredients that improve the usability of the formula
  • Claims (or hero ingredients) - ingredients that support the marketing or brand story but often don’t provide any measurable benefit

Primary purpose and claims:

Body wash that claims to cleanse and improve the texture of the skin.

Product appearance:

Clear gel

Ingredient list:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium C-14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Glycolate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Parfum/Fragrance, Xanthan Gum, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate,Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

Functional ingredients:

  • Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium C-14-16 Olefin Sulfonate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine are surfactants (cleansing agents).

Aesthetic ingredients: 

  • Aqua/Water/Eau is the solvent and likely accounts for 80-90% of the formula.
  • Glycolic Acid is an exfoliant and can also be used as a pH adjuster. While Glycolic Acid is an effective chemical exfoliant, it likely has limited impact in a rinse-off formula.
  • Sodium Glycolate is the salt of Glycolic Acid, and is used as a pH adjuster and skin-conditioning agent.
  • Cocamidopropylamine Oxide is a secondary surfactant that is used to make the foam look and feel better.
  • Parfum/Fragrance covers the base odor and delivers a pleasant scent.
  • Xanthan Gum is a thickening agent.
  • Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate is a chelating agent to help the preservative system work better.
  • And speaking of preservative systems…they’re using Phenoxyethanol and Ethylhexylglycerin which is a pretty common blend.

Claims ingredients:

  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract 
  • Panax Ginseng Extract 
  • Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract 
  • Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract
  • Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract 
  • Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract 
  • Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract 
  • Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract

Formulator takeaways:

If you strip away all of the claims ingredients (extracts), this is a pretty straightforward body wash formula. The addition of Glycolic Acid does provide some skin smoothing benefits but, as previously mentioned, the impact is limited in a rinse-off formula. Nonetheless, the product does contain ingredients that cleanse and theoretically improve skin texture, as the product claims. 

This product retails for $18 USD for 6.67 fl oz which is a bit steep in my opinion for a body wash. Still, I do use this product as I find the texture more pleasant and less harsh than other clear gel body washes.

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