Sometimes people use skin products incorrectly that are causing skincare products to pill or ball up.
By pilling and balling up, we mean that when you put a skincare product down on your skin a few minutes later, you start to notice little balls rolling up like filling on a sweater.
Here are seven tips on how how to avoid this:
1. Using too much of the product
One reason that this can happen is that you are applying a too large volume of a particular skincare product, and it’s really just heaping up on the skin.
You really only need a very thin layer in order for active ingredients to get into the skin and to be effective. You don’t need a big glob, and you need exactly one fingertip unit of the product to apply to all surfaces of your face and neck.
What is a fingertip unit? If you take your finger and you squeeze out a line of the product from the line on your finger phalange to the tip, that will be one fingertip unit, and that really should cover your face and neck.
However, that’s really only useful for appointments. You need even less when you get to things that are a lot more watery like creams, lotions, and then down to serums. If you read the instructions on many of your watery serums, it’ll tell you, “just a few drops is all that you need.”
What happens when you use more, all of the active ingredients don’t absorb, they just sit there on the skin and then fall off in that annoying little ball.
What about sunscreen? In this case, the situation is the opposite, because of consumers under applying the sunscreen. To protect your skin from the sun, you have to apply sunscreen in the density of two milligrams per centimeter square of surface area. But people do not really get out how to measure it. They do not know much to apply in order to achieve the SPF that’s stated on the label, and most people apply about a third of that.
So how do you apply enough sunscreen so that you’re getting your protection, but you’re not humming the product pill and ball up?
The key with putting sunscreen on is how much time you spend putting it on. Studies show that the longer, the greater the amount of time a person spends putting sunscreen on, the more likely they are to have better protection. It’s more important than focusing on the volume.
The volume obviously is important, but it’s not something that you can really reproduce with every product that you use.
So take your time putting sunscreen on all surfaces including around the eyes, on the ears, the neck, the upper lip, the forehead – all areas and make sure that you are spreading it out onto the skin and not just blabbing it on.
Allow it to dry and then put another layer on top. This will help you to avoid skip areas that can occur from the uneven application. And that should prevent pilling by making sure that you’re spreading it out onto the surface of the skin.
2. Too many products
Another major reason for pilling is that you are using too many skincare products that are not compatible with one another. Or seeking to incorporate different ingredients into your skincare routine. Or try and take advantage of products that combine those ingredients rather than using multiple different products.
For example, a lot of people want to use niacinamide in their skincare products, but it’s already present in many moisturizers. A lot of people will be trying to use a niacinamide serum and then layering stuff on top of it, and they’re getting peeling and balling.
If you use different products and you layer them on top, especially from different manufacturers, you can get a lot of incompatibility with the inactive ingredients on top of each other, which can lead to pumping and bawling.
Potentially you can also get incompatibility with the active ingredients as well. So try and minimize the number of products that you use and take advantage of products that combine multiple ingredients.
3. Oils and H2O-based products
If you are using oils that can lead to a lot of incompatibility with other products that can set you up for pilling. For example, if you put oil on your face and then layer products that are water-based on top, they’re not going to mix.
4. Oily skin
If you haven’t had naturally very oily skin, you may find even if you keep your skincare routine minimal and you’re not using big globs of things – you still get a lot of pilling.
In this case, we suggest considering washing your face as part of your skincare routine with a cleanser that has salicylic acid in it.
This will help in breaking up some of that excess oil that you naturally make removing it, and that will allow your products to sit on the skin better. It will also help remove any kind of built-up dead skin cells and smooth out the skin’s surface; therefore, allow the products you go on to the skin better.
The frequency of washing your face is an individual kind of thing, but in the case of people who have oily skin, it can be beneficial to wash your face not only at night time but in the morning.
You may find that doing that helps the skin not look, but it also allows your products to go on better and not have this issue of pilling and bowing.
5. Layering non-silicone and silicone-based products
Another source of product pilling is layering water-based or even oil-based products with products that have silicone.
Silicones are synthetic oils that are wonderful in skincare products. They create a nice barrier to water loss out of the skin. They’re great for keeping your skin hydrated, but they also feel nice on oily skin. They’re not very heavy, but they’re pretty incompatible with many other products.
If you are laying products on top of silicon-based moisturizers, makeup or sunscreen, you will likely find that the products slip right off of those the silicone-based products.
So pay attention to the presence of silicones in your skincare. If you have a skincare product or a sunscreen that you really like, that doesn’t have silicones in it, and you’re using another product, you may find that the two are incompatible. You may want to replace that silicone-containing product with something else.
It’s not because you should be strictly avoiding silicones, they’re intended to serve as a barrier, similar to mineral oil in really occlusive products. So be aware of that issue and just pay attention to the ingredients in terms of building your skincare routine.
6. Applying water-resistant SPF on water-based products or dump skin
If you use sunscreen not as water-resistant and you attempt to layer it on top of water-based products as you can imagine, the sunscreen filters are suspended in a background of ingredients that intended to form a film that resists water. As that film is attempting to form the top of those water-based ingredients, it’s gonna create a lot of being compatibility that will lead to pilling and balling.
So if you use water-based products prior to applying sunscreen, that’s okay, just allow them to fully absorb and to dry.
7. Too hurried
The final tip is you don’t want to apply products too quickly. You want to allow some products to absorb fully, because if you don’t, then you can get this incompatibility between products similar to what we just described with water-resistant sunscreen.
Take your time, and after you apply a product, it’s okay to let it set sink into the skin before moving on to the next product.