pixi Clarity Cleanser Review – Great for #maskne? | Doctor Anne

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I have had a few requests to give some advice about dealing with #maskne, the breakouts that occur from frequently wearing a face covering. But as there are so many amazing videos on that topic already, I thought I´d give you a product review instead. You see, using a Salicylic Acid face wash is among the top three tips for #maskne struggles, and as it happens I just got my hands on the new pixi Clarity Cleanser that I want to review for you today.


pixi Clarity Cleanser Review
The pixi Clarity Cleanser


The whole pixi Clarity Line focuses on Salicylic Acid as main “active”, although you will see as we dive further into the individual reviews that there is a lot more to the products than just that. As always with pixi, the products are not tested on animals and come in their signature packaging with light blue being the determining color for this specific line.

I am actually a fan of their sleek and matching packaging, but admit that it is targeted at people younger than I am .



What the pixi Clarity Cleanser claims

A clarifying cleanser that hydrates while gently and effectively cleansing the skin, visibly minimizing breakouts.



Some facts about the pixi Clarity Cleanser

Prize and size

One tube contains 135 ml and is available for 18 $ on the website here. A coin sized amount is enough for your face.


Texture and smell

The product itself is pearly-white, maybe with a tint of blue if you look closely, and has a scent that reminds me of fresh cleaning products. There is this typical Salicylic Acid plus clay notion that I remember from my Clearasil days, but without the alcohol component as it is alcohol free.


Close-up of the pixi Clarity Cleanser
Close-up of the pixi Clarity Cleanser


How to use the pixi Clarity Cleanser

I apply it to a dry face (as I do with all my cleansers) and then add a bit of water to froth it up. You can use it both morning and night, both of which I do depending on how my skin feels. I would not recommend using it to remove makeup around the eyes though, the acid content would probably be irritating.

Even though the Salicylic Acid content is probably not very high, I still wouldn’t call it a gentle cleanser. Some people might be able to use it daily, my more mature skin tolerates it three to four times a week – more often when I am in a hot and summery climate, I loved it when I was inn France for the grape harvest, or for that time of the month when wearing a face mask and hormones lead to a lot of blackheads and breakouts.


Ingredients of the pixi Clarity Cleanser

Aqua/Water/Eau solv, Glycerin sii|h 0 0, Cetearyl Alcohol emo|vc|emu|surf 1 2, Decyl Glucoside surf, Cocamidopropyl Betaine surf|vc, Polysorbate 20 emu|surf 0 0, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice so|h, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil emo|perf 0 4, Allantoin so 0 0, Tocopheryl Acetate aox 0 0, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Leaf/Twig Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract perf, Glycolic Acid exf|buff, Lactic Acid exf|h|buff, Centella Asiatica Extract so|aox|h|surf, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract so|sb, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract/Extrait De Canne À Sucre h, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract so, Sodium Hyaluronate sii|h 0 0, Citrus Auranitum Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract perf|vc, Panthenol so|h 0 0, Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate Filtrate so, Bromelain, Papain 0 0, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Extract, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit/Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract aox|so|amic, Styrax Tonkinensis Resin Extract perf, Ascorbic Acid aox|sb|buff, Salicylic Acid exf|aacne|so|pres, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate amic|pres, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Sodium Polyacrylate vc|emo, Sodium Chloride vc, Bentonite vc 0 0, Glyceryl Stearate emo|emu 0 12, PEG-100 Stearate surf|emu 0 0, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride emo, Ethylhexylglycerin pres, Xanthan Gum vc|emu|surf, Maltodextrin, Phenoxyethanol pres, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499) col 0 0, Ultramarines (Ci 77007) col 0 0

Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.

So… there is a lot to unpack when looking at the ingredient list.

First, it not only contains Salicylic Acid, but also Glycolic and Lactic, presumably at a higher concentration than Salicylic based on their appearance on the ingredient list (and due to the fact that you usually use higher concentrations of these anyway).

Second, I have seen people online call this the first “fragrance-free” line pixi released, and all I can say is: That isn’t true. There might be no perfume, but there are quite a few extracts mainly used for their fragrant properties like the Citrus Flower Extracts or the less commonly known Styrax Tonkinensis Resin Extract, another perfuming ingredient.

The rest of the ingredient list features surfactants and bubble enhancers – yes, that is a thing and the quality of the foam is really good in here – soothing ingredients like Aloe Vera, Allantoin, Centella Asiatica and Panthenol as well as a lot of plant extracts, most of which have antioxidant properties, but some that claim to help fade hyperpigmentation like Licorice Root Extract.

There is also Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate Filtrate, a postbiotic (read more about what they are and their role in skincare here) to provide some extra nourishment.



Does it live up to its claims?


I don´t think the cleanser is particularly hydrating or very gentle, but it is an effective way to provide regular exfoliation at a lower risk of irritation due to the fact that it is a wash-off rather than a leave on product.


How does it compare to…

Instytutum Triple Effect Peel

I mainly picked that one because it is the only other product I own that combines different acids (yes, I have never tried the AHA/BHA Peeling Solution from The Ordinary). The Instytutum version is much stronger in concentration though, and designed to be a peel rather than a cleanser for repeated use, so I guess they don´t really compare at all.

Read my full review of the Instytutum Triple Effect Peel here.


pixi Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel

A product that I annoyingly never seem to have published a review of, despite me using it for a while when it launched back in 2019. Both are similar in consistency and effect on my skin, with the main difference being that  the Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel uses only Glycolic Acid, while the Clarity Cleanser has a combination of Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic Acid, which means it will exfoliate on different depths of the skin and also inside the pore, great for congestion prone skin.

You obviously don’t need both, but for congestion prone skin the pixi Clarity Cleanser probably is just a notch better suited to.


Would I repurchase?


Not that I am blown away by its uniqueness, but I think it is a handy product, especially as it seems that wearing a face mask is not going to disappear anytime soon. (Wear a mask, don´t be a d*ck!)


Whom do I recommend it to?

I think it is best suited at younger, slightly oily and congestion prone skin and a great introduction to exfoliation if your skin is more on the sensitive side, as it is a wash-off rather than a leave-on.

More mature skins like mine might find it handy to battle #maskne or occasional hormonal congestion, but will probably not enjoy it as a daily cleanser.


pixi Clarity Cleanser Review
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