Is Your Skin Care Causing Your Makeup to Pill? We Found Out

We’re the first ones to indulge in an extensive skin-care routine filled with a roster of our most beloved cleansers, toners, essences, serums and moisturizers. It’s our sacred me-time that we take very seriously. That being said, there’s nothing more frustrating than when we finish our morning skin-care routines, go on to apply our makeup and within seconds our foundation begins to pill. Was it a combination of the skin care and makeup used or was it certain ingredients that simply didn’t work together? Ahead, we consulted with Dr. Rocio Rivera, Vice President of L’Oréal Paris Scientific Communications, to help us get to the bottom of our pilling problems. 

What causes foundation to pill? 

The cause of your pilling can be due to a couple of different factors. To figure out which one is the culprit, Dr. Rivera recommends first asking yourself if you are using products that are actually peeling your skin. She explains that topical skin-care products with ingredients such as salicylic acid and retinol can cause the physical peeling of your skin, which is why it seems like your foundation is pilling after you apply your skin care. “It could also be that you’re applying way too much product,” she says. Applying too much product happens more often than not, especially with serums. “When you experience pilling, tone down on the amount you put on,” she continues. “If you notice you’re still pilling, then that’s when you start to look at the formula.” 

What ingredients cause pilling to happen?

If you’re applying your foundation and notice it begins to flake off of your skin, Dr. Rivera says you need to look for silicones and starches in your skin care. “Silicones and starches are safe in your skin care and on their own shouldn’t pill, but if you have other components on your skin or are using way too much product, that could be one of the reasons it happens,” she says. “Usually, some people notice pilling when they put several layers of skin-care products, then they put on primer and then they put on makeup.” Primers are known for being silicone-based as it helps to give a smooth and even canvas but when applied with one too many other products, it can wreak havoc on your makeup application. You should also watch out for powders in your SPF. “SPF can have powders that can also cause pilling when you apply skin care under your makeup,” says Dr. Rivera.

How can you avoid product pilling? 

“The first thing you should do (and probably most important) is let your products dry before you apply another layer,” says Rivera. The second? Don’t put on too much product. And if you’re still pilling after that, she then recommends looking at the formula composition and swapping out any products that contain starches, silicones or powders. Above all else, Dr. Rivera explains that our skin is constantly changing depending on our internal biology and external factors. So, like most things in skin care, what works for some may not work for others, so trial and error is key to finding out what works for your skin.


Read More: 

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Here’s What a Beauty Editor (A.K.A the Ultimate Skin-Care Enthusiast) Wants as a Holiday Gift


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