March 12, 2019

Pixi pHenomenal Gel Balancing pH or Just Hydrating Really Well?

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
5 stars out of 5

Pixi pHenomenal Gel ($24) is a new gel moisturizer that was created for use after cleansing to restore moisture, balance skin, and neutralize pH levels. Sounds interesting right? That’s because it actually is. It contains a host of very moisturizing ingredients that act to restore hydration to skin very quickly after cleansing or a rather harsh round of physical exfoliation.

But does it balance pH and restore them to their natural levels?


I’m no chemist and I’m not a huge skincare expert but it might be a little difficult to prove if Pixi pHenomenal Gel is actually restoring pH levels unless you have a pH level meter hanging around your house! That being said I can speak for the moisture it provides and how it improved my skin texture with daily use after cleansing for the past two months.

Pixi pHenomenal Gel arrives in a 1.7 oz squeeze tube and will set you back $24. It’s actually one of quite a few more skincare items that Pixi recently released for Spring 2019. They have gained quite a cult following with some of their skincare launches, like Glow Tonic, and have grown their line of Skintreats accordingly. I like a lot of their stuff but other stuff is a bit of a meh for me. Like Glow Tonic is amazing but the fragrance totally turns me off. This is a problem with a lot of their line! Too much fragrance! And not a good fragrance at that 🙁 Glow Tonic smells like old lady perfume to me! Yak!

Lucky enough pHenomenal Gel has no fragrance and it’s loaded with a slew of hydrating ingredients like water, glycerin, emoillent Sodium Acrylate and glycereth. It also contains Betaine which is known to balance out moisture loss. This may be in fact where it acts to restore and neutralize pH levels but again, I can’t really prove that without a pH meter.

I can say it does a great job restoring moisture loss after a cleansing. I’ve adapted a double-cleansing technique that rarely dries me out however, I’ve been known to switch up that routine or try new cleanser that do dry me out. I always depend heavily toners, essences, moisturizers, etc to restore loss of moisture after a particularly stripping cleanse.

This pretty much does a great job restoring moisture right away. After I cleanse and pat my face dry I immediately apply this and it nourishes, smooths, and restores moisture in a matter of seconds. It’s a gel formula that absorbs quite quickly into skin without being tacky nor sticky. They recommend a “coin size amount” but which coin!? I typically apply about a penny amount and that’s plenty for my entire face. However, the packaging is a little fault with a larger opening that releases a lot more than a penny’s worth. You have to carefully squeeze to get the right amount without overdoing things. No matter though, as if you want to apply more go right ahead it’ll only provide even more moisture. It’s very rich and it feels like it enclosed skin in a hydrating cocoon.

I admit I was a little surprised. I expected some sort of lightweight gel moisturizer that would apply some hydration but not a ton. It actually does a great job providing intense hydration and is an ideal pick for drier skin types who feel stripped and tight after cleansing!

Use promo code OLOGY20 for 20% off your total on Pixi’s website!

Where to buy

Pixi Target

Pixi pHenomenal Gel is a new pH neutralizing and balance moisturizer created to restore your skin’s natural moisture balance after cleansing. This is 1.70 oz in size and $24. The texture is a thick gel that absorbs easily into skin without being sticky or tacky. I can’t say if it actually neutralizes pH after cleansing but I can say it’s highly moisturizing and leaves skin very smooth and well hydrated! Especially if you’re tight or dry feeling after a cleanse. It contains no fragrance.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Betaine, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Isododecane, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Citric Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Tocopherol, Isohexadecane, Trehalose, Panthenol, Polysorbate 80, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA.


  • Quickly restores moisture loss with lasting hydration.
  • Highly moisturizing.
  • Contains no fragrance.


  • A little smaller for the price.
  • Difficult to prove if it actually neutralizes pH without a meter being present.


Pixi pHenomenal Gel is a great pick for drier skin types that feel tight after cleansing! It provides intense moisture and restores hydration quickly to skin!

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Annie

    > “It’s very rich and it feels like it enclosed skin in a hydrating cocoon.”

    Does that mean that before it’s fully absorbed, do you feel any kind of “coating” feeling? I noticed Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate is high on the list, and my past experiences with dominant Glycols in Kbeauty/Jbeauty essences/watery toners is that they can get sticky and coating-like if you put too much or don’t pat some water on after.

    I’m always intrigued whenever you mention a product that moisturizes well in spite of moisture not being the dominant claim of the manufacturer.

    • Isabella Muse

      Mmmm I wouldn’t call it a coating. It’s more like it wraps around skin if that makes sense. I didn’t notice any stickiness nor any oily or greasy feel. Depending which essences you use there is def a weird stickiness, like Hada Labo totally leaves that weird stickiness behind unless you spend the right amount of time patting it into place. This felt very hydrating to me. It does contain a lot of Glycerin which should give it a good hydrating feel!

      • Anne F.

        I think it may be the combination of glycerin and polymers* contributing to the “wrapping” sensation. Polymers create a fine, mesh-like network across the skin and slightly tighten as they dry. Lightweight, gel moisturizers containing glycerin, soothing agents and antioxidants, such as this one, commonly use polymers to temporarily tighten the skin after application and minimize the appearance of fine lines. Water-based, serum formulas tend to enhance the effect.
        *sodium acrylate and sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymers

        • Isabella Muse

          I’m def not an expert in this area 🙂 So, you’re explanation does help a lot! I actually thought they were a thickening agent! If you try this let me know how it works for you! I’d be curious if you experience the same!

          • Anne F.

            Honestly, the only thickening agent I recognize off the bat is xanthan gum. My favorite example of is this seaweed-derived, safe ingredient is it’s inclusion in gluten-free cake mixes to thicken the batter (since no wheat = no gluten to thicken/bind). It can make the batter thick and gummy. I’m sure there are other thickeners I don’t know and I’m too lazy to look up individually on my day off. Keep up the content, I live for your updates. <3

          • Isabella Muse

            oh gosh thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m flattered! really flattered <3!

  • kjh

    I think you’re right about the betaine. IIRC, it is a lighter acid than salicylic, and used in ‘gentler’ formulas. I’m no chemist, though. That should be a good balancer in this formula.

  • michelle

    I have aging skin and I was wondering if this gel would be great for the summer. I can’t stand the shiny, glistening effect I get in the warmer months. I’m reflective! I don’t want a mattifying effect but, a moisturizer that doesn’t look like I’m drenched in oil.