Prevent Makeup and Skincare Pilling Once and for All

Ever get through your skincare routine or start applying makeup only for your products to ball up like a sweater? Your skin is pilling, and there’s no worse feeling than your entire routine going to waste and having to start all over. Good news: we have five easy tips to avoid it altogether.

Let your products fully absorb

Layering your skincare products too quickly without giving them adequate time to absorb is the easiest way to cause skin pilling. We get it—it can be easy to get impatient, but it’s important to let each product absorb fully before moving on to the next. We recommend giving each product at least a few minutes.

Apply your skincare in the right order

If your skincare routine consists of multiple serums, applying lightest to heaviest is your best bet for optimal absorption. A quick guide to applying your skincare in the right order: cleanse, tone/essence, serums, eye cream, moisturizer, then any oils.

Avoid too much product

When it comes to skincare, the saying ‘less is more’ has never rang more true. When you apply beauty products in larger than necessary quantities, your skin won’t be able to absorb it all. The extra product forms another layer on the skin, leading to—you guessed it—product pilling. A foolproof method is starting with less product than you normally would and add more as needed.

Make sure your products are compatible

Consistency is key, especially when we’re talking about the base of your products. Just like oil and water don’t mix well, neither do oil-based and water-based products. Sticking to a similar base is key, especially when thinking about your base and complexion products like moisturizer, foundation, and SPF.

Exfoliate often

It may turn out that products aren’t your problem after all—a buildup of dead skin cells are just as likely to cause skin pilling. An effective exfoliation technique can help smooth and even skin texture and create the ideal canvas for skincare and makeup application—without any dreaded pilling. Just be careful not to overdo it—once or twice a week should do the trick.

Illustration by Megan Badilla