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How to Stop Skincare Pilling When Applying Products

If you notice that your skincare products tend to “pill” after you apply them, then listen up! Skincare pilling is preventable, but you need to understand why it happens before deciding what to do about it.

What is skincare pilling? Skincare pilling refers to the occurrence of small clumps or rolls of product residue on the skin’s surface when applying multiple skincare products. It can be frustrating and affect the effectiveness of your skincare routine.

What Causes Skincare Pilling

The phenomenon of “pilling,” or when your skincare products roll or clump up on your skin, can happen due to a few different reasons:

  1. Incompatible Formulas: Some product formulas just don’t work well together. For instance, water-based and oil-based products might not mix properly and could result in pilling.
  2. Applying Too Much Product: Using more product than necessary can lead to it not being able to absorb fully into your skin, leading to pilling when the excess sits on the surface and then is disturbed.
  3. Rapid or Incorrect Application: If you apply a product and then immediately try to apply another on top of it, it may not have had enough time to absorb into your skin. Rubbing products in too aggressively can also cause pilling.
  4. Layering Multiple Thick Products: The thicker the product, the longer it takes to absorb into the skin. So if you’re layering multiple thick, rich products, they may not have a chance to fully soak in before you’re applying the next layer, which can cause pilling.

Here are some tips to help prevent skincare pilling.

Layer Products Correctly

One of the main causes of pilling is incompatible product formulations. Different skincare products contain various ingredients that may not work well together. To prevent pilling, it’s important to layer products with similar textures and ingredients. Use water-based products before oil-based ones.

Allow Absorption Time

Give each product enough time to absorb into your skin before applying the next one. This is especially important for products like serums and moisturizers. Wait for a minute or two to allow the previous product to fully penetrate the skin before moving on to the next step in your skincare routine.

Use Thinner Layers

More is not always better. Using the right amount will ensure the product can absorb properly into your skin. Applying thick layers of product can increase the likelihood of pilling. Instead, use thinner layers and massage each product into the skin until it’s fully absorbed. This helps the products integrate better with your skin and reduces the chances of pilling.

Apply Products to Dry Skin

Moisture can contribute to pilling, so make sure your skin is clean and dry before applying any skincare products. If there is residual moisture from a previous step, gently pat your skin dry with a towel before proceeding with the next product.

Pat, Don’t Rub

When applying your products, try patting them onto your skin rather than rubbing. This can help prevent pilling.

Exfoliate Regularly

Dead skin cells can build up on the skin’s surface and contribute to pilling. Regular exfoliation helps remove these dead cells and allows your skincare products to absorb more effectively. Use a gentle exfoliator suited for your skin type once or twice a week.

Adjust Product Order

If you notice pilling consistently occurs with a specific combination of products, try adjusting the order in which you apply them. Experiment with different sequences to find a combination that works better for your skin.

Check Product Ingredients

Some ingredients are more prone to causing pilling than others. Silicones, for example, can sometimes contribute to pilling when combined with certain products. If you consistently experience pilling, consider checking the ingredient lists of your products and look for any potential culprits.

Remember that everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It may take some trial and error to find the right combination of products and techniques that work best for your skin.

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