What Is Skincare Pilling?

Experiencing products balling while applying your skincare? This helpful guide explains what is pilling including what are the causes and how to prevent.

Darlings, if you’ve ever experienced rounded flakes on your skin while applying your foundation or moisturiser, you’ve experienced skin pilling. This frustrating issue sees skincare products ball up during application, leading to lessened absorption. The more you rub, the more these flaky particles appear and fall off your skin.

But there are many ways to help prevent this from happening! Read on to discover what causes skincare pilling and how to address it.

Deep Skintone Magic Cream Model

What Is Pilling and What Causes It?

There are many things that cause skincare and moisturiser pilling.


You’re much more likely to experience it if you have dry skin. Oily skin is also susceptible to skincare pilling if it comes into contact with rich and creamy skincare products. To make sure you’re applying the correct products for your skin type, find out whether your skin type is DRY, OILY, COMBINATION or NORMAL so that you can tailor your supercharged skincare routine to perfection.


Using too much product can contribute to skincare piling. Discover the correct amount of product to use with this helpful guide.


It's important to allow enough time for your skincare routine, as skincare piling can occur when you don't leave enough time for formulas to absorb into your skin. Make sure each product is absorbed before going onto your next skincare step.


Not exfoliating your skin regularly can allow dead skin cells to build up on the surface, making it difficult for skincare products to soak into the skin, causing skin pilling to occur.

What is my Skin Type

How To Address Skincare Pilling

Good news! There are many tips and tricks to help reduce skincare pilling. Here are Charlotte’s MAGIC steps to help reduce skincare products from balling up during application…

MAGIC STEP 1: Find your skin type

Discovering your skin type is the secret to getting the most out of your skin type. By learning whether your skin type is DRY, OILY, COMBINATION or NORMAL, you can tailor your skincare products and routine and unlock the secrets to a flawless complexion with no pilling in sight!

Click here to find your skin type

MAGIC STEP 2: Apply your products in the correct order

When you apply your skincare products in the correct order, you get the best results. Charlotte’s guide to The Correct Order of Skincare Products For Your Routine covers both daytime and nighttime so that your skin is correctly nourished for the day ahead and fully prepared for rest and recovery come evening. If your skin is happy and healthy, skin pilling is much less likely to occur!

Read now to discover the correct order of skincare products

MAGIC STEP 3: Regularly exfoliate your skin

Every step in your skincare routine is important but when it comes to helping reduce skin pilling, exfoliation is key. For best results, exfoliate using Charlotte’s Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial twice a week. This MIRACLE 2-in-1 exfoliator gently gets rid of dead skin cells to reveal a FRESH and HEALTHY-LOOKING complexion that helps to stop these balls of product from building up and rolling off the skin. On other days, get your fix of gentle daily exfoliation from Charlotte’s Glow Toner, a hydrating, acid-free facial toner that leaves your skin looking baby soft and smooth!

MAGIC STEP 4: Take your time when applying your products

It can be tempting to skip through your skincare products as fast as you can but it’s really important to take your time. After applying one of Charlotte’s supercharged skincare products to your face, wait a minute before applying the next one. This way, all the nourishing ingredients can properly absorb into your skin for a SOFT and SUPPLE complexion. Don’t forget to apply your skincare products in the correct order for the best results, darling!

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.