5 Reasons Why Your Skincare And Makeup Is Pilling — And How To Prevent It

Written by Sanya HamdaniSep 16, 2023
5 reasons why your skincare and makeup is pilling — and how to prevent it

Pilling is a term usually associated with knitwear and sweaters — so what is it doing on a beauty website? Turns out, pilling can happen on your face too, when you apply your skincare and makeup products. After following an elaborate skincare routine and blending each makeup product well, have you noticed tiny little bobbles on the skin? That, my friend, is called pilling.

Now, pilling can happen to anyone — even those with amazing makeup skills. Then what causes those annoying little balls to sit on the surface of your skin and ruin your makeup game, you ask? Well, we’re going to tell you exactly that. Scroll down to learn everything about skincare and makeup pilling.


1. You’re using silicone-based products

Skipping exfoliation

While different ingredients react differently on various skin types, silicone is considered to be one of the biggest culprits of pilling. While it creates a smooth, silky and long-lasting canvas for your makeup to glide on, it sits on top of your skin and is not absorbed; hence, if you apply a silicone-based moisturiser or foundation on top of your silicone-based primer, pilling can occur.

Solution: To tackle this problem, check the ingredient list on the back of your skincare and makeup products to avoid using too many silicone-based products.


2. Using heavy-duty skincare and makeup products

Skipping exfoliation

You know how to perfectly layer each product in your skincare routine. Yet, you notice some tiny balls appearing on the surface of the skin aka pilling. This is a sign that your skin is finding it difficult to absorb the products and therefore some of it is left on the surface.

Solution: Opt for lightweight skincare and makeup products that are easily absorbed by the skin.


3. Rushing your regime

Skipping exfoliation

You follow an elaborate skincare routine, but do you actually have time for it? Doing a rushed job will prevent the products from getting absorbed properly. When you apply the next product, the first one rubs off and you gain nothing out of it. So, in short, quick piling of products can lead to pilling.

Solution: Take your time to build the base, give each skincare and makeup product enough time to settle to prevent pilling.


4. Applying skincare products in the wrong order

Skipping exfoliation

Using too many products or even following a simple CTM routine won’t do anything for your skin if you don’t follow the right order. No prizes for guessing, applying it haphazardly will lead to pilling because it blocks your skin from absorbing the products.

Solution: As a general rule of thumb, start with water-based products and then move on to cream/oil-based products. So your serums will go on first, whereas a rich cream or facial oil will be the final step in your skincare routine.


5. Skipping exfoliation

Skipping exfoliation

If you are applying skincare products and blending makeup on top of a layer of dead skin cells, your skin will never be able to absorb any of it. All the products lingering on the surface of the skin will have nowhere to go, except form tiny bubbles and ruin your look.

Solution: Exfoliate twice a week with a mild exfoliator and get chemical peels at a dermatologist clinic to decrease the chances of pilling.

Sanya Hamdani

Written by

Sanya Hamdani is a skincare enthusiast and lipstick hoarder, she truly believes no two red lipsticks look exactly alike. With a Master's degree in Communication & Journalism and 5+ years of digital writing experience up her sleeve, Sanya has some of the biggest beauty experts in the country on her speed dial. When she's not swatching products or writing about the latest trends in beauty, you will find her watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.


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