Why your skincare is pilling and how to stop it. | Skin Virtue
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Why your skincare is pilling and how to stop it.

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There’s nothing quite as annoying as applying your skincare products, only to notice they’re forming into tiny little balls and literally rolling off your face.


The good news is that there are a couple of simple reasons this could be happening, and they’re actually pretty easy to resolve.

So, here’s exactly what’s going on and how to stop it.

What is pilling?

Pilling is something that commonly happens when products haven’t absorbed into your skin, forming tiny balls and uneven texture on the surface of the face. The result? These little balls can build up in flakes and globs, disrupting those precious layers of skincare.

How do you stop skincare from pilling?

There are a few things that can cause your products to pill on your skin – including the type of ingredient, the order in which you’re applying them, how much you’re applying, and the condition of your skin.

Here are some of our top tips to prevent your skincare from piling.

1. Exfoliate regularly

When was the last time you exfoliated your skin? In order for your products to absorb effectively, it’s important to maintain a good exfoliation routine.

Layers of dead skin cells can build up on the surface of your skin, preventing your products from doing what it needs to do and affecting your likelihood of pilling.

Everyone is different when it comes to exfoliation – so, it’s all about finding your sweet spot and the best products suited to your specific needs.

For normal to oily skin, we recommend chemical exfoliants that are effective, yet gentle. If you’re looking for options, Skin Virtue is adding a new exfoliating salicylic mask to the family.

Formulated with ingredients such as red kaolin, galactoarabinan and Indian fig extract, this little multi-tasker will be the perfect bi-weekly treatment for glowing, smooth skin. So, stay tuned!

For normal to dry skin types, we recommend a physical exfoliant such as Skin Virtue’s Pure Exfoliating Mask. Used as a regular face scrub or as an exfoliating mask, this two-in-one treatment features barrier resorting properties that help protect the skin while still removing dead skin cells.

When used as an exfoliating mask, apply and layer of product to the face and let it stand for a few minutes. Once the mask ‘disappears’ into the skin, start massaging it with your fingertips. The mask will shed dead surface skin cells off your face (yep - VERY satisfying). Continue to massage until the mask is completely removed, then rinse with water.

If you’re looking for other options, Skin Virtue’s Pure Radiance Glow Serum is a glycolic exfoliator that is suitable for all skin types. Recommended for those who are looking for a stronger exfoliator, it will remove dead surface cells and impurities, while encouraging cell renewal.

2. Apply your skincare products in the right order

If you’ve already got the whole exfoliation thing down pat, another reason as to why your products might be pilling is because you’re applying them in the wrong order.

To make sure you’re not wasting your precious skincare, a good rule of thumb is to simply apply products from lightest to heaviest in order to give them the best chance to work.

Generally, the order of your skincare (in the daytime) will look something like this: toner, serum, moisturiser, SPF.

3. Take your time layering products

Remember to give a bit of extra time between layering products – leaving a minute or so in between application (make a coffee!) will help prevent products from pilling.

So, try and take your time rather than slapping everything on at once.

4. Use less

Another important thing to remember, is to make sure you’re applying the correct amount of product. We know it can be tempting but using too much product and overloading your skin can make it hard for your skin to soak it all up.

So, sometimes less is definitely more.

Do you ever experience pilling? Share your views and ideas with us at skincare@skinvirtue.com

By Gary Williams, Bio