You’ve probably heard of peeling, but what is skin pilling? It’s forming up of tiny particles on the face similar to linting on an old sweater or a knitted top. Peeling and pilling both affect the efficiency of your expensive skincare. So, it is important to gather all the details on these two issues since you don’t want to spend money on expensive skincare without getting the desired results. In this blog, we will make an endeavor to answer all of your queries about skin pilling, from what it is to how to mitigate it, so saddle up and read on for smoother skin!
What is Skin Pilling?
Pilling has always been associated with clothing. You may have seen your clothes pilling and small balls of fabric appearing; pilling on the face brews the same urge to turn your eyes away. One must not be misled by the term “skin pilling,” because it is the skincare products you use that pill, not your skin.
According to Dr. Derrick Phillips, a consultant dermatologist, “skin pilling is when a product, such as a moisturizer or serum, doesn’t soak into your skin but instead collects on the surface as tiny particles that obstinately hang around or transfer onto your fingertips.”
What does pilling mean in skincare?
There are numerous factors at play involving your skin care products and routine. It might be because you’re rubbing your skincare and not allowing it to absorb before applying the next product, you’re not putting the skincare in the appropriate order, or you’re layering too many skincare products. When you apply skincare and makeup, you’ll see that the product is split into small clusters. Pilling is an indication that your skincare application and routine need to be adjusted. Your cosmetics can also start to pill. Pilling might also affect your skin’s protective layer and clog your pores.
So why does your skin pill?
Now that we know what pilling is, let’s look at the causes so we can determine where to draw the line with our skincare for healthy skin. Here’s what might be causing the pilling:
Overusing skincare products
To all skincare collectors, here’s something to keep in mind: Certain skincare products remain on your skin rather than being absorbed. When you layer too many skincare products, certain of their compositions may not sit well together. The majority of these are silicone-containing items. Some moisturizers may also contain silicone, whereas almost all cosmetic products contain silicone to help them adhere to your skin. If you use a silicone-containing moisturizer and apply it with a foundation, the spherical beads will congregate, causing skin pilling.
Keep appropriate skincare layering
If you stack your skincare products incorrectly, you may have pilling. A costly serum, for instance, could end up curled up in little balls on your skin if you use it after a mild serum but before a lotion. Begin with watery products and work your way up to ones with a thicker composition.
Every chemical and formulation absorbs at a different rate. So, in order to get the most out of a product, we must wait for it to absorb. If you layer skincare too quickly, it will form little balls or pile up as you massage your skin.
Dead skin will help with pilling
To protect your skin from pilling, make sure your products penetrate your skin. However, if you have dead skin, your skincare products may roll up on your skin rather than being absorbed. A good practice to preserve the health of your skin is exfoliating once or twice a week. You’ll have plenty of dead skin piling up if you don’t exfoliate.
Tips to keep your skin safe from pilling
We now understand what skin pilling is and what the most common causes are. Let’s move on to some tips to keep your skin safe from pilling.
Regular exfoliation can help prevent the buildup of dead skin cells on the skin, even though it isn’t what makes skincare or cosmetic products clump up. So keeping your skin completely exfoliated is the first step in preventing cosmetics and skincare products from pilling.
Exfoliation on a regular basis eliminates uneven and harsh texture on the skin, which can impede absorption of skincare products and cause them to build up on the top of the face.
Eliminate silicone, as it does not penetrate the skin but produces a film or coating on the epidermal layer. This is the most common ingredient added to skincare and beauty tips and products that might result in skin pilling and is also known as dimethicone.
Choose silicone-free makeup and skincare products, or look for a formula with minimal silicone content. The simplest way to confirm that your product is silicone-free or has a low concentration of silicone is to look for it in the first five items on the ingredient list.
Use less skincare products
Applying too much skincare product might also cause pilling because you’re applying more product to your skin than necessary. If you use additional skincare and makeup products, the excessive substance forms a film on the skin rather than absorbing into it.
Reduce the amount of skincare products you use to rule out the likelihood of overuse producing pilling. As a general guideline, only apply a few drops of facial serum and moisturizer.
Correctly layer skincare products
One of the most common factors that might result in the production of tiny particles on the skin is not stacking your skincare products properly. When applying skincare products, the basic rule is to start with the thinnest formulas and work your way up to the heavier formulas. Gel, lotion, or water-based skincare solutions are typically thinner and more likely to soak quickly into the skin. Following that, heavier cosmetics seal in moisture and absorb it into the skin. If you use face serums, essences, and lotions on top of thick formulas, the skin won’t be able to absorb them and they will build up, which might result in pilling.
Keep your hands off your skin
One technique to save your skin from piling is to keep your hands off your skin when using skincare products. Touching and rubbing the skin while applying skincare products might shake the ingredients, causing surface residue to roll up. The clumping of these products might cause the skin to pill. Instead of slapping and rubbing the products into your skin, apply them in mild patting or pressing movements, allowing the products to sink into the skin.
Wait for products to sink
Waiting for each of your skincare products to sink into the skin before layering them can help decrease pilling. Give each layer of your skincare products some time to absorb into the skin before applying the next layer if you want to see if the issue is the result of rushing the application of the layers.
Who Is More Susceptible to Skin Pilling?
Anyone can develop skin pilling. But because of skincare and makeup products, persons with dry and flaky skin are more likely to experience pilling. Additionally, if you have dry skin and haven’t exfoliated in a while, you may be increasing the likelihood that your skin will pill.
When applying thick, creamy cosmetics to the skin, people with oily skin are also frequently impacted by skin pilling. This is because such products may be overly rich or heavy for oily skin and may cause pilling.
What are the effects of skin pilling?
If you make changes to your behavior at the start of skin pilling it does not significantly compromise your skin barrier. If you’re not aware that those little balls are the consequence of skin pilling, you may continue with your regular skincare practice. This will irritate your skin and give you a headache, oily skin, certain types of acne, blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and clogged pores.
Are any ingredients more prone to pilling than others?
Silicone is one of the main substances that can cause this problem, although a number of cosmetic products can also cause the skin to pill. The ingredient list of skincare products frequently refers to silicone as dimethicone. Because it does not completely permeate into the skin, it can cause pilling. Some mineral-based cosmetic products might also contribute to skin pilling.
Decide to switch to silicone-free formulas if you have previously used moisturizers and cosmetics that contain silicone. Allow your moisturizer to seep into your skin before proceeding with your makeup application.