WHY YOUR SUNSCREEN IS PILLING (And How To Prevent It)
When sunscreen develops tiny clumps on the skin's surface instead of a smooth, even coating, this is known as "pilling" and is a typical complaint. There are a number of causes for this issue:
Incompatible Ingredients: Sunscreen products contain a combination of active and inactive ingredients, such as UV filters, emollients, and thickeners. Sometimes, these ingredients can interact in a way that leads to pilling. For instance, certain emollients may not fully blend with the active UV filters, causing them to ball up on the skin.
Layering with Other Products: When sunscreen is applied over other skincare products like moisturizers or serums that have not completely absorbed, it can create a barrier that prevents the sunscreen from adhering properly to the skin, leading to pilling.
Incorrect Application: Rubbing or excessive friction during application can also cause pilling. Sunscreen should be gently applied and patted onto the skin to avoid disrupting the product's film-forming ability.
Water or Sweat: Some sunscreens may not be water-resistant or sweat-resistant, causing them to break down and pill when exposed to water or perspiration.
To prevent sunscreen pilling, consider the following tips:
Allow Absorption Time: Make sure to apply skincare products, such as moisturizers or serums, well in advance and allow them enough time to fully absorb into the skin before applying sunscreen.
Apply in Sections: Apply sunscreen in small sections and pat it gently onto the skin instead of rubbing it vigorously. This method allows better adherence and minimizes pilling.
Water-Resistant Formulas: If you anticipate sweating or swimming, choose a water-resistant sunscreen formula to maintain its effectiveness during such activities.
Consider Alternate Formulations: If you frequently experience pilling with one sunscreen product, try switching to a different formulation, such as a gel-based or silicone-based sunscreen, as they may be less prone to pilling.
By being mindful of the products you use and the way you apply sunscreen, you can significantly reduce the occurrence of pilling and ensure effective sun protection for your skin.