Are They Dupes? Pixi Glow Tonic VS Bravura London Revitalising Ginseng Toner With 5% Glycolic Acid

by Gio
pixi vs bravura glycolic acid toners dupes

Finding it hard to get hold of a bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic?

This cult toner is flying off the shelves faster than the brand can restock it, leaving many a beauty junkie wondering if they’ll ever be able to try it. While you’re waiting, why not track down a dupe?

Bravura London Revitalising Ginseng Toner With 5% Glycolic Acid promises the same benefits as Pixi Glow Tonic at a fraction of the cost.

Curious? Read on:

Which Ingredients Do The Pixi And Bravura Exfoliating Toners Have In Common?


I don’t use a toner anymore, but if I did, I’d definitely choose one with glycolic acid. One of my favourite ingredients, glycolic acid is an exfoliant on steroids.

It dissolves the “glue” that holds old, dull, and rough skin cells together, allowing them to slough off, and reveal the brighter and smoother skin underneath.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Glycolic acid also moisturizes skin through a humectant mechanism (attracts water from the environment into it), In high doses, it boosts collagen production!

The catch? Glycolic acid can be irritating in high doses and at the wrong ph. To fix this, Bravura London has neutralised some of the glycolic acid with ammonium hydroxide. Studies shown that’s still effective. But, if you ask, I’d just have added less in the first place.

Related: The Complete Guide To Glycolic Acid: What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It


Who doesn’t love good aloe vera? Its juice has been used for centuries to treat wounds and soothe irritations.

It’s quite moisturizing too. According to a 2006 study, a lotion “with 0.25% and 0.50% (w/w) of Aloe vera extract increased the water content of the stratum corneum […] possibly through a humectant mechanism”.

Of course, there’s a catch here too. The type used in skincare is 99.5% water! All its beneficial goodies are in the other 0.5%! That’s why it should be used very generously in skincare products. Luckily, it tops the list of both toners.

Related: The Complete Guide To Aloe Vera In Skincare: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It

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If there’s a skincare ingredient that confuses me, it’s witch hazel. I still can’t decide if it’s good, bad, or both.

Studies have shown that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can soothe skin and help keep premature aging a bay. That’s good, right?

Problem is, its antioxidants (they’re called tannins) can, in high amounts, irritate skin. And often, witch hazel is prepared in alcohol, which can be drying. That’s not so good, is it?

So, what’s a girl to do? I prefer to avoid it, just to be on the safe side. If you have sensitive skin, I recommend you do the same.

Related: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Witch Hazel In Skincare


It’s not often I come across an ingredient I hadn’t heard about before. Hexyl Nicotinate had that honour. When researching this post, I’ve discovered it’s a vasodilator that “causes the blood vessels near to the surface of the skin to increase in diameter and to increase their blood flow.”

I’m not really sure what the point of including it in skincare products is. It’s unlikely to do either much good or harm in the small amount used here. Unless your skin is super sensitive. Then, it may irritate it.

What Else Is In The Bravura And Pixi Exfoliating Toners?

The rest of the formulas are pretty much identical. If the ingredient lists look slightly different, it’s because they named the ingredients differently.

Both Pixi Glow Tonic and Bravura London Revitalising Ginseng Toner with 5% Glycolic Acid contain glycolic acid to exfoliate, humectants to hydrate, the tiniest amount of antioxidants so they can say they help fight premature ageing too, and a fragrance.

Well, actually, I guess the fragrance is the only thing that’s different between the two formulas. But that’s about it.

What’s The Texture Like?

They both have lightweight textures that sink in quickly.

What’s The Packaging Like?

Pixi Glow Tonic comes in an orange and green see-through bottle, but Bravura Glycolic Acid Toner comes in two versions: a brownish bottle with a larger opening or a pump applicator (recommended to avoid product wastage).

How To Use Them

A couple of nights a week, straight after cleansing.

I don’t recommend daily use. Dead cells are there for a reason: to protect the younger cells underneath that aren’t ready to come to the surface, yet. You want to remove the extra cells that are dulling and roughening up your skin, not all of them!

Which Of The Two Should You Go For?

Don’t overthink it! They do the same thing, so pick the one that has the prettiest packaging or is the most easily available. Your skin won’t notice the difference.


Bravura London Revitalising Ginseng Toner With Glycolic Acid 5% (£12.77): Available at Bravura London

Pixi Glow Tonic (£18.00): Available at Asos, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, and Ulta

Is Bravura London Revitalising Ginseng Toner With Glycolic Acid 5% A Dupe For Pixi Glow Tonic?

Yes! Bravura London Revitalising Ginseng Toner With Glycolic Acid 5% is almost an exact dupe for Pixi Glow Tonic. The benefits are the same, so if you can’t find Pixi in the shops (it sells out so quickly!), go with Bravura.

Bravura London Revitalising Ginseng Toner With Glycolic Acid 5% Ingredients

Purified Water, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Horse Chestnut Extracts, Glycolic Acid and Ammonium Glycolate, Glycerin, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Ginseng Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Biotin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrant Oil.

Pixi Glow Tonic Ingredients

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Hexylene Glycol, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Biotin, Panthenol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Caramel, Hexyl Cinnamal, Red 4 (CI 14700). Made in UK / Fabriqué au R.-U.

Have you tried Pixi Glow Tonic and Bravura London Revitalising Ginseng Toner With Glycolic Acid 5%? Which one is your favourite?



Janessa September 10, 2015 - 12:16 am

I’ve not tried this but I like my toners and moisturizers to not have active ingredients so I can decide for myself what I want to layer on top.

Gio September 10, 2015 - 6:10 am

Janessa, I’m the opposite. If they don’t have active ingredients, I don’t bother. But then I like to use as few products as possible, so I like to make sure they’re packed with goodies. But I can see your point. So many ingredients don’t like each other much, and you want to make sure you’re layering them on properly..

BebeTaian September 10, 2015 - 5:19 am

The hexyl nicotinate sounds like an interesting addition for someone with red skin like mine. It’s like a rosacea type thing, so I’m wondering if the nicotinate would aggravate that. Otherwise, the aloe sounds nice! It’s soothing, so maybe it takes the edge off?

Gio September 10, 2015 - 6:13 am

Bebetaian, I know a few people have had a bad reaction to this toner, and I think the culprit may be hexyl nicotinate. It’s quite harsh. I think the aloe may take the edge off it a bit, but if your skin is very sensitive, it may still cause problems.

Allison September 11, 2015 - 1:56 am

Darn, I’m on the hunt for a 5% glycolic toner since I’m almost finished with my 2% GA Reviva Labs toner. But I can’t justify transporting “water” across the Atlantic. There’s gotta be one around here I can find!

Gio September 11, 2015 - 6:00 am

Allison, I believe there are, but it depends on how much you want to spend. Shame Bravura London is’t available in the US. Its so affordable!

Annette September 12, 2015 - 7:37 am

I got swept up in the Pixie Glow tonic fever during the summer. I’m still on my first bottle and I like it but knowing there is a cheaper alternative is good news. I really like Peter Thomas Roth 10% Glycolic and their 20% Glycolic Peel Pads. Obviously I don’t use them all at once but depending on what my skin needs.

Gio September 12, 2015 - 7:54 am

Annette, cheaper is always good, isn’t it? I like PTR too. Those are good when your skin needs something stronger.

Cookie Monster July 9, 2016 - 8:25 am

Hi!! Great post, it’s very interesting and detailed 😀 but just a quick note/update for people like me trying to find a more affordable option to Glow Tonic. The Bravura’s tonic price is not £8 anymore (instead it costs £12.40 in July 2016). Also to have in mind, the bottle contains 150 ml vs the 250 ml of the Pixi Glow Tonic (or its £10 with 100 ml version). At the end, do the maths and the Glow Tonic is the cheaper option here now. I hope this can help someone.

Gio July 16, 2016 - 5:11 pm

Cookie Monster, thanks for the update, and what a shame they raised the price! Not as convenient now, I agree!

Maggie January 5, 2017 - 6:55 pm

Pixi Glow (and a wide range of other Pixi products) are now sold at Target in the U.S.

Gio January 5, 2017 - 8:41 pm

Maggie, that’s great news! Thanks for letting us know.

Comments are closed.