Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about product pilling. You may be thinking, what in the world is product pilling? Trust me, it’s not a beauty topic that’s often covered which is why I wanted to bring some awareness to it. You may have noticed little balls under your fingers when you’re applying your skincare products or makeup. That’s what I’m talking about when I say “product pilling”. When you apply any cream to your face, if it starts to “ball-up” after you’ve put it on, that means you’re experiencing product pilling or facial pilling.


Product piling

So the next question you’re thinking about is, what causes this? The main cause of product pilling is when your skin has trouble absorbing the products you’re putting on it. The less product your skin is absorbing the more the product will “ball-up” on your skin’s surface.


You can also experience product pilling if you’re using your products incorrectly. Apply your skincare products to your skin lightly by patting them onto your skin. You can always change the order in which you’re applying the products to your face as well. Try eliminating one product at a time from your skincare routine to see what product may be causing the product pilling. The last thing that can cause product pilling is skin that you aren’t exfoliating. While product pilling isn’t dead skin, it’s product. When you exfoliate your skin, the product can better absorb into it instead of sitting on a layer of dead skin. You can visit your esthetician to get dermaplaning or an exfoliating facial. At home you can use an exfoliating scrub or product in your skincare routine.


Some products are prone to “product pilling” as well. Silicone-based products have a harder time being absorbed by your skin. If you’re experiencing product pilling then you should look at the ingredients in your skincare products to see if any contain silicone (Ingredients like “dimethicone” or any other ingredients that have the word “cone” at the end count too!). Ingredients such as talc, iron oxide and fluorphlogopite can also cause product pilling.


Here are the main reasons product pilling happens:


1. You Need To Exfoliate

2. Your Skin’s Condition

3. Product’s Ingredients Interacting with Each Other

4. Using Too Much Product


Want to Know What’s Causing Your Product Pilling? Try This:


Exfoliate then apply product in a smaller amount than you usually do. Do your best to limit the number of products you’re putting on your face (think about what you can cut out of your skincare routine). If you need help deciding what to cut out, you can always ask me for a second opinion as a trained esthetician. I recommend keeping your skincare routine limited to a toner, serum, eye cream and moisturizer.


How You Can Avoid Product Pilling:


I would try to use as many organic products as you can because those are easily absorbed by your skin. You can also apply all your water-based products first and then your oil-based products to seal in your skincare. This means you’re putting on your lighter skincare products before you put on your thicker ones.


Pay attention to if you’re applying a product over an oil-based product because that can affect how the product you’ve applied is absorbed by your skin. Regular exfoliation whether at home or by your esthetician can also help to prevent product pilling. I offer services such as dermaplaning and several different facials that will help to exfoliate your skin at my studio. Don’t hesitate to ask me if these could help you too, I can recommend which is best for you!


As a trained esthetician I can also help assess your skin and help to figure out what might be causing any product pilling you may be experiencing. Feel free to reach out to me on my social media pages or via my website with any questions!

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