It’s the traumatic tale any beauty lover knows all too well. There you are in your bathroom, just minding your own business as you layer on a serum from your perfectly curated skin care line-up, when suddenly, your face begins to pill like an old cashmere jumper.
And while the prospect of having to wash our faces and start all over again might be enough to reduce us to tears (no one?… Just us?), we urge you not to give up hope. Because despite what you may believe, it isn’t the result of a dose of bad karma.
In fact, according to Melbourne based dermatologist, Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan, there are a few more logical explanations as to why your products aren’t absorbing into your skin.
RELATED: Drew Barrymore shares genius tip to put an end to ‘maskne’
What causes pilling?
Pilling may often result due to how the products you’re using are formulated and how they react with one another. Dr Gunatheesan explains that pilling occurs when “using products with a high concentration of silicones and an unhappy mixing of oil rich products with water-based creams”.
And while half the fun of picking your beauty products is incorporating different brands, Dr Gunatheesan warns a “random selection of creams and serums from various skin care ranges without a trialled and tested methodical approach” may also be to blame.
Another major factor, which we think may be the biggest culprit of all, is the use of “too much product and applying it too rapidly”.
… and what does our SPF have to say for itself?
It seems a common occurrence that once our SPF enters the room, the pilling party really starts. So as arguably the most important step of our whole routine, we need some answers.
According to Dr Gunatheesan “by the time we hit the sunscreen application part of our routine, many of us have layered on a few serums, moisturisers and primers”. On top of the issue of too much product, “sunscreen also tends to contain certain ingredients like talc, iron oxide and mica that are prone to pilling”.
OK – so how do we avoid the dreaded P word?
Here are Dr Gunatheesan tips:
- Less is more with serums and creams
- Know how to layer your products. Start with water-based serums that should penetrate the skin first such as niacinamide and moisturise after to lock the active serums in
- Pat the skin, don’t rub
- Allow time for each layer to dry and absorb before applying the next
- Minimise silicone or dimethicone rich primers, moisturisers or makeup
- Using a lactic acid serum or cleanser to aid the skin renewal system
- Usinge a beauty blending sponge to apply makeup for lighter product control and a diffused finish
bh recommends: Manicare Flawless Complexion Sponge
- Wait 5-10 minutes after skin care before applying makeup
In case of emergency, what can we do if we begin to pill?
If your pilling begins during the skin care stage, sorry to tell you but it’s back to the beginning, “cleanse with a micellar water or a lipid rich cleanser as these pilled balls are inactivated and inefficacious”, says Dr Gunatheesan, which essentially means that once a product becomes pilled it’s now useless to your skin defence and health.
bh recommends: Simple ® Skincare Micellar Cleansing Water
However, if you’ve made it all the way to your makeup, Dr Gunatheesan reveals that on occasion “a drop of face oil dabbed with a blending sponge salvages the situation”.
Main image credit: Getty
Does your skin pill after you apply product? Do you have any other techniques to help your products absorb?