When trying a new product goes wrong - Rosacea vs. Pixi Glow Tonic

Sunday, 8 January 2017
Hindsight is  a wonderful thing. With the benefit of hindsight I would have checked the ingredients more carefully. I would have read more reviews from people trying the product who had rosacea. But I didn't.

Despite the initial few months of having rosacea I generally have it well controlled. I know what routine suits me, which products work and which ones don't; I've learned how to manage flare-ups when things go wrong and how to make the best of a bad situation, when it comes to skincare. 

I've loved Alpha H ever since I first tried it, because it exfoliates my skin well, but without being too harsh. I personally find that exfoliation is a really important part of my routine. For some reason, without it, I seem to get a lot of dead/dry skin build up in the areas that are most affected by rosacea which only leads to more redness, and makes it more difficult to cover up with makeup. I usually use a two step cleansing process, followed by toner (Alpha H, etc.) and moisturiser.

Enter Pixi Glow Tonic.


I wanted to try this product for ages, after seeing beauty bloggers, friends and online reviews absolutely raving about it. Even Caroline Hirons is a fan. AJ's sister Zoe bought this for me as a Christmas present, knowing full well my rosacea problems and having used it herself with really good results. I was so excited to open it, honestly; one of my favourite presents. Pixi Glow Tonic is marketed as "suitable for all skin types" as being a gentle exfoliant and, leaving youthful, glowing skin. Well. Here's the glow it left me with...



There it is, in all its glory. Shudder. I am obviously very nervous about posting this picture. Most people that know me assume that my problems with rosacea extend to the occasional blushing episode and a few breakouts here and there. WRONG. This is day 2/3 of an all out angry, red, sore, rosacea attack. And my god was it painful. 

I don't have lots of pictures of myself, except the hideous ones I send to AJ (which are certainly not suitable for public consumption) so this is the only real comparison I can offer right now. Pretty average day.. Except I had just done a sky dive (!) But in terms of my skin, fairly normal, no flare up, very minimal makeup, which is my usual:


I didn't notice the issue straight away, it always takes time for these things to pop up. I used Pixi Glow Tonic twice a day, for two days, before I felt the familiar itchiness under my skin and noticed all the little red bumps slowly forming underneath. I immediately stopped using it, and after that had another 6/7 days of the red bumps developing, getting redder, forming into actual spots above the skin, and then eventually going down; with a lot of gentle soothing and cleansing. I tend not to wear makeup when flare-ups happen, to give my skin the best possible chance of recovering quickly and not getting clogged up in the process. But that does unfortunately mean me looking like a spotty tomato in the meantime.

Now obviously, it was totally my mistake not to check the bottle before I used it. But honestly, I was so excited by all the other reviews, and I did look online, but couldn't see anyone that had as serious a reaction as I did. An examination of the bottle after I noticed the problem revealed the culprit; witch hazel. Aptly named rosacea nemesis. I used to use products with this ingredient when I was younger, with no issues, but it seems that rosacea doesn't like it one bit.

I cant comment on the effectiveness of this product, given that I only used it for two days and then ran for the hills. I'm gutted that its not suitable for me, because everyone else seems to have such good results with it, and smooth skin is my absolute goals. I was really surprised to see witch hazel included in the ingredients, given that Pixi Glow Tonic is listed as being suitable for all skin types, and "gentle". I wouldn't recommend against Pixi Glow Tonic, but if you do have rosacea or sensitive skin, use with caution - I'd recommend a tiny little patch a couple of times for a few days, to see if there is any reaction, before you all out plaster it all over your face, like I stupidly did.

I'm really interested to see if anyone with rosacea or sensitive skin has had a similar reaction to Pixi Glow Tonic, or other product with witch hazel?

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