Pixi Just Launched a Retinol Version of Its Fan-Favorite Glow Tonic

Put down your cotton balls and pull up a chair — you might want to steady yourself for this news. Pixi by Petra just dropped a new product, and it has all the makings of a new fan favorite. The Retinol Tonic, as it's called, delivers the benefits of everyone's favorite vitamin A derivative, plus the benefits of a hydrating toner. Admittedly, I was skeptical. A retinol toner? Unconventional, surely. Drying? Probably — or so I thought.

After all, there's a reason you haven't heard of too many retinol-spiked toners on the market. According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, retinol — which can cause skin dryness — usually lives in traditional moisturizers instead. "With lotion and cream, there are emollients to counteract [retinol's] drying effect," she explains. In place of traditional emollients, Pixi's liquid tonic relies on moisturizing jasmine flower extract and hydrating glycerin to keep skin balanced.

What's more, the Pixi Retinol Tonic is like a big ol' multivitamin for your face, boasting antioxidants, plumping peptides, and soothing jasmine flower. The star ingredient, of course, is retinol.

But if the sound of the word makes you quake in your bathrobe, rest assured: this isn't your skin-drying, redness-inducing retinol. Rather, it's time-released retinol, an encapsulated form of the ingredient which "can improve tolerability and make the product more gentle," explains dermatologist Sejal Shah, founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology in New York City.

If you're looking for a gentle, non-intimidating way to incorporate retinol into your routine, the Pixi's tonic is not a bad place to dip your toe in the (lilac) waters. King notes that the tonic has a relatively low dose of the ingredient, making the formula an ideal ease-in product for retinol newbies.

"Anyone who needs the benefits of a retinol — improved texture and tone, preventing and/or reversing signs of aging, reducing acne — can benefit [from the toner]," says Shah. (And who doesn't want at least one of those things?)

I know I certainly do, which is why I swiped this stuff on literally the second I got my hands on it. I've been using it twice daily for a week now, and I can confidently say that it now has a permanent home in my medicine cabinet. My skin feels clean, balanced, and most importantly, not tight or irritated — which is saying a lot, because my skin generally veers dry. Not to mention, I feel 20 percent more zen during the three seconds I swipe it around my face, thanks to a subtle lavender scent and skin-cooling sensation.

Another appealing aspect is the bottle itself. It's undeniably pretty (mint green, gold, and lilac) and it's also functional, thanks to an opening that drops out just the right amount of product (if you're familiar with the brand's fan-favorite Glow Tonic, you know what I mean). The directions advise using the toner not just at night (like most retinol products), but twice per day after cleansing.

If you, like me, are prone to forgetting your toner and/or retinol, this is the perfect two-in-one solution to knock out both in a few swipes. Just make sure you slather on that SPF after using it in the AM, as "retinol will increase sun sensitivity," King warns. (But you were doing that anyway, right?)

You can shop the Pixi Retinol Tonic for $15 starting today on target.com.

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