Why Is Your Makeup Pilling? 8 Reasons and 7 Preventions


Makeup Pilling

Makeup pilling is the shading and balling of makeup products on the skin– but who wants that?

It’s a nightmare for many girls who spend hours doing their makeup right, but all they end up with is a flaky and pilling face in front of everyone at the office, party, or any social gathering. Reflecting on your face in the mirror, you can only think: this is not happening.

Thus, it’s become a popular and riotous question for makeup lovers: why is my makeup pilling without any warning?

The disagreement between one’s skin and the product ingredients can cause makeup to pill. Also, if your makeup ingredients include too much silicone, mica, talc, and iron oxide, your makeup will pill. Conversely, dry, rough, or uneven skin is also responsible for flaky makeup sheets.  

Hang on, as our post will cover some of the innate reasons why your makeup is pilling, followed by some preventive measures for avoiding this makeup blunder.

8 Reasons of Makeup Pilling

1.  Your Product Ingredients are Fragmenting

One of the primary reasons for makeup pilling is that the bond between many makeup ingredients on your skin breaks within a short time of makeup. As a result, your skin is unable to hold them together, and the pilling occurs.

Most dermatologists and makeup experts hold silicone as the responsible ingredient in skincare and makeup products. Dimethicone is the heaviest silicone, which is sometimes abundant in makeup products. Silicone is found in primer, and many makeup lovers unknowingly apply too much of it on their face before foundation and other items. Being heavy as it is, silicone compels a makeup pilling.

“Talc, iron oxide, mica, and fluorphlogopite are other ingredients that can cause pilling,” says Sadick, a New Yorker dermatologist.

2.  Your Skincare and Makeup Products aren’t Complementing Each Other

The chemistry between your skincare and makeup products should be perfect. Otherwise, it can result in makeup pilling.

One of the common scenarios is that the primer and moisturizer aren’t adhering to the skin properly, causing the foundation and concealer to break out.

3.  You’re Doing the Foundation Wrong

Makeup Pilling
You’re Doing the Foundation Wrong

You’re doing your foundation wrong in 2 ways:

  1. Primer and Foundation Mismatch: You can’t allow a foundation that’s quite the opposite in its formation to the primer on your face. Always apply a foundation that goes with your primer evenly. It’s easier to get a makeup pilling if you apply an oil-based foundation on an oil-free primer. The same goes with a silicone-based foundation for a silicone-based primer.
  2. Heavy Foundation: Be miser to prudent as you’re applying your foundation on your face. Too much foundation may not be suitable for the time you’re wearing your makeup or the other makeup products you’ve painted on your face.

4.  Water and Oil-Based Layering May Not Stay Put on Your Skin

Why would they? The basic chemistry works on your facial makeup as well.

Make sure you choose the evenly measured products for your makeup. If you’re applying an oil-based primer, go for the oil-based liquid or creamy foundation. The same goes for the skincare products that dry out quickly.

5.  Heavy Layers of Products May Not Agree with Your Skin

Too much moisturizer or foundation would break off easily on your skin. The same problem will occur if your skincare products are heavy on your skin.

Besides, applying these skincare and makeup products heavily on your face without proper exfoliation would always come out as shelly and sheety. So, apply your skincare products, moisturizer, and foundation thinly on your face to see if your pilling problem is pulled off.

6.  You Rush Your Skincare and Makeup

You’re busy these days, and your daily routine hardly lets you stay put in one place steadily. Hence, your makeup routine fails.

You might’ve taken care of your exfoliation and other skincare activities without giving them enough time. Then it comes to your rushing primer and foundation schedule, which might’ve failed to set on your skin. Afterward, allowing your makeup shades, concealer, eyeshadow, etc., cramming onto your skin would only bring out the insidious dry and scaly skin, clinging gruesomely.

7.  Your Application of Skincare and Primer is Shallow

There’s a new thing, and it’s called ‘dabbing.’ And you forget to follow this step mostly during your skincare and primer times.

Skincare products like oxygenating, hydrating, acne care, pilling, clay, etc., are supposed to be set precisely onto your skin, and skipping it may result in rejection, meaning your skin would start separating them from itself.

Since primer is the surface coating for your skin and a base for the next product application line, you must apply it gently yet deeply.

8.  You Skip Exfoliation of Your Skin before Makeup

It should’ve been in the initial positions of our reasons, but it’s a common problem that most women overlook nowadays. However, dermatologists opine that dry skin cells are among the top reasons behind makeup pilling due to having dead cells over the face canvas.

The solution is exfoliation. It’s imperative to wring your skin to take out the dead cells and dirt off your skin to turn it smoother. Therefore, once or twice a week exfoliation could be the best solution to prepare your skin for a smooth and lasting makeup.

What Your Skin Type Says about Makeup Pilling

Makeup Pilling
What Your Skin Type Says about Makeup Pilling

You’re good to go with your makeup if you know your skin type. Let’s see how the makeup pilling affects different skin types:

  1. Dry Skin: Dry skin is the most vulnerable skin type to makeup pilling. Since dry skin contains dead cells and tends to lose moisture quicker, your makeup products should always stay on guard to avoid pilling. Using a good primer and liquid foundation may work well with dry skin for lasting makeup.
  2. Oily Skin: Oily skin might react differently compared to dry skin, but there’s a risk of catching dirt, dust, and germs easily. If you’re applying makeup on a not-so-clean facial skin, it’s most likely that your skin would protest and let the products hang on for the life of your skin. Applying a water-based foundation could be a solution for makeup pilling on oily skin.
  3. Normal Skin: Normal skin is an ideal canvas for every makeup, yet you must be careful about the products you’re applying. Like we’ve said before, avoid silicone-based or paraben-based products if that’s possible for you, keep doing the regular skincare, and maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid makeup pilling.

Can Your Diet and Lifestyle be Responsible for Makeup Pilling?

Sure, they can. Because your diet and lifestyle nourish your skin from the inside, they definitely lay the canvas as a deciding factor for makeup.

“A healthy, balanced diet including all food groups is an essential prerequisite for glowing, younger-looking skin. In addition to this, there are also a few foods that can improve your skin,” says Luke Coutinho, a Holistic Lifestyle Coach at Doctor NDTV.

According to Luke, eating fiber and vitamin-C-based foods, ensuring fresh oxygen, and doing exercises and yoga can uplift your mood while improving your skin condition.

On the other hand, a carefree and shabby lifestyle will only worsen your skin’s health and surface, leading to makeup pilling.

7 Ways to Prevent Makeup Pilling

As you’re now a bit more aware of makeup pilling, let’s get you equipped with the preventive measures to keep your makeup pilling at bay.

Following are the 7 ways to prevent makeup pilling:

1.  Nourish Your Dry Skin to Prevent Makeup Pilling

Naturally, a rough canvas wouldn’t allow your painting to set and last. Similarly, your skin needs proper smoothening preparations before you can rest assured of your makeup stands out.

  • Hydrate and oxygenate your skin by experts if your skin is too dry or sensitive.
  • Exfoliation is necessary too.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, so your body releases happy hormones and keeps your skin lively.

2.  Avoid Silicone in Your Skincare and Makeup Products

The one thing that modern makeup and skincare products heavily contain, and that doesn’t peer with most other ingredients, is silicone.

Various types of silicones are available on makeup products, such as dimethicone, amodimethicone, or Cyclomethicone, but the makeup and skincare experts suggest avoiding them. These ingredients may be good for your skincare in other applicable ways, but applying them through makeup can only make your skin more slippery, which isn’t suitable for lasting makeup.

3.  Apply ‘Less is More’ while Doing Skincare and Makeup

‘Too much of a good thing’ isn’t good for your skin as well. If your application of primer, moisturizer, or foundation is heavy, it’s more likely that your makeup would pill.

Because it’s about balancing the touch of your makeup products on your skin, you must develop an idea of product quantity to apply on your skin. Every skin is different, so you’re only wiser about it.

You would act smart if you start applying a little foundation and then move on to add more as needed.

4.  Be Patient before the Next Layering

Be ready to pull your bridle while executing the various steps of makeup on your face. It means you have to wait enough after applying your primer, so it sets onto your skin before you can apply the foundation.

Rushing your makeup is responsible for the products rolling down the skin and building up residue balls. Thus, let your skin absorb each makeup item you’re putting on before going for the next one.

5.  Follow the Right Order of Blending Foundation

Liquid or powder, applying the foundation in the right order and direction, is required for a perfect base.

  • Step-1: Always start from the center of your cheeks.
  • Step-2: Play your brush outward to blend the foundation.
  • Step-3: Keep working it out as far as the neck and hairline (Don’t be too close to the hairline as it can cause pilling).

6.  It’s Good to be Damp

Surprised? Don’t be.

Being damp means making a way in your skin to absorb the primer, moisturizer, and foundation deeply. You can always use a damp makeup sponge to dab the applied products on your skin, making it last longer and avoid pilling.

7.  Apply Moisturizer Thinly to Avoid Pilling

Thinning the moisturizer is a wise move to let your foundation sit evenly on your skin. Heavy moisturizing can ruin your makeup by deflecting the foundation, hence, makeup pilling.

Heavy moisturizing could be a solution for your skin if you’re doing it at night, followed by a light day cream before makeup.

How to Correct Your Makeup Pilling Instantly?

Makeup Pilling
How to Correct Your Makeup Pilling Instantly

There’s only one way to get away with the makeup pilling, and it follows:

  • Step-1: Wet a makeup sponge.
  • Step-2: Dab the areas where the makeup pilling has occurred. Don’t rub.
  • Step-3: Apply a loose powder to balance the makeup on the skin.
  • Step-4: Let it stay for 10 minutes, but don’t touch your skin or apply anything else.

This way, you’re good to go.

Bottom Line

Makeup products go through tests and trials for pilling before hitting the market. Still, there remains a chance of makeup pilling provided carelessness about skin, choosing wrong products, indisciplined makeup routine, skin types, etc.

If you follow the reasons and preventions we’ve mentioned in this blog, we hope our content would benefit you from your makeup pilling. We encourage you to enlighten us with your experience in the comment section after following these regimens and share if we’ve missed out on touching anything essential on our part regarding this problem.

Mohammad Anique

Mohammad Anique is the editor at WomenMinds who writes informative and helpful blogs on various topics, including beauty, skincare, parenting, etc. He's a bookworm, an animal lover, and an aspiring writer.

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