Q: How can I avoid product pilling?


If there’s one thing to put a skincare and/or makeup enthusiast in a bad mood, it's finishing off your routine to find your skin isn't glowing & smooth, but scattered with little dull balls that just won't go away. This is known as pilling. So, for the good of our skin, and to save frustration, let's learn how to prevent it! Pilling is commonly caused by a few factors...


Mixing unmatched products

We all know that water and oil don't mix, but are you applying that logic to your skincare? Layering a facial oil over a water-based moisturizer before it's had a chance to properly absorb can lead to pilling, and the same goes for silicone based products too. It creates a silky smooth barrier, but any products on top of that barrier will just fail to absorb and end up pilling. Which leads me to...



Can't wait to lather your skin care on, or in a rush to leave the house? When one product hasn't absorbed properly and you layer on another, they can mix and form those tiny balls. You can by all means use a water-based serum underneath an oil, but it needs plenty of time to absorb first! Try to factor absorption time into your morning or evening routine, such as having a tea in between your serum and moisturizer application, or brushing your teeth before applying an oil. The same goes for makeup, so try to avoid putting it on in a hurry and give your skincare some time to work!


The order you layer

If you don't stick to the lightest to heaviest rule yet, consider this your plea to start! Light products, like your serum, need clear, unobstructed skin to absorb into, and have no chance if you've put on your moisturizer first. If you're still unsure of how that applies to your routine, stick to the Cleanser, Toner, Serum, Moisturizer, Oil order. Serums are often delivering actives (like Hyaluronic Acid or Peptides), whereas a moisturizer might have included active ingredients, but also thicker, barrier building ingredients (like Aloe Vera or Shea Butter) that protect your skin. Oils are generally super protective, and made to sit on your skin as a physical barrier, so they go last. Too much of something can stop it from absorbing, so make sure you're only using 1-2 drops of serums or oil, and a pea sized amount of moisturizer, particularly in the morning.



The way you apply your products is also super important! Rubbing and smearing something across your face causes unwanted friction, which can hurt your skin barrier, and pick up more product to pill with each motion. Alternatively, pat the product onto your skin, and press in gently to help it absorb.


A lack of exfoliation

If anything can obstruct your skincare from properly absorbing, it's dead skin cells. These can also cause your skin to look dull, so it's best to clear them away! The best thing you can do is incorporate a chemical exfoliator, like our Apple AHA Exfoliating Gel. The AHAs, or alpha-hydroxy acids, break down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together so that they can be easily washed away. Then simply say hello to a brighter, healthier complexion!


And that’s a wrap on pilling. Here's to smoother, flawless skin moving forward!


Hope you're well,

Amy @ Team Q+A



Amy Robson


Aspiring author, craft addict, and Q+A's eCommerce Coordinator