Why skin care products ball up and flake

Why skin care products ball up and flake

Are your skin care products piling up, balling up or flaking off, on your face? This used to be me a few years ago.

Have you spent 15 minutes, patiently applying you skin care products on and now, you have gotten to the last layer, ready to slay that face and everything is balling up or flaking off?

Maybe it’s the make up. You just realise the foundation and powder have separated on your face, leaving rough patches. It’s pretty annoying.

Well, love, your face has got a bad case of pilling.

Product Piling: What exactly is that?

When that happened to me, I thought it was my skin shedding off dead skin and wondered how. Then I realised it’s basically the products I’ve been using were not “gelling”.

Again, this basically means that not all skin care products go well together. I’m not talking Retinols + AHA = Redness. Nope, not today!!

I mean simple products not compatible with another. If you use them together, it would cause them to skin ball up or flake off the skin. No matter how you try to blend them, they’ll fall apart. Very common for me, is the primer and foundation + powder.

Reasons for product piling or flaking:

Examples: when your moisturiser and the sunscreen are not compatible or when your foundation and primer can not be used together. Possible reasons are because some products here high in oils and others, high in water. Again, you might also have products that are high in silicone or the application is too rapid, you don’t give the products ample time be soaked into the skin or dry off.

Here is a more in-depth explanation

  • Oil and Water do not mix

Ever tried to mix water and oil? Usually you’ll find two very distinct layers, sitting there, refusing to meet, except you thoroughly shake up the mixture. Even then, it would still separate except you use an emulsifier to bind them together.

That is the way MOST products are formulated to get a decent mix of Serums or lotions. Some of these products have a higher concerntration of water, or flip it, with higher concentration of oils.

You can imagine using a water based foundation with an oil based powder or primer. Hello!!!!

Quick Fix

There is one thing I always emphasise on. Know your ingredients. Always make time to look at the ingredients. If you’ve chosen oil based products, be consistent with the usage and if you’ve chosen water based products, stick with it. A mixture of both might have it balling up or your makeup looking rough and eventually separating  on your face.

Actually, silicones are nice. As in, they aid in smooth gliding and application of products on the skin, leaving the skin a silky, soft to the touch. How nice.

However, silicones are made to smoothen out the  skin’s surface. This means that they sit on the skin, making it silky to the touch. That is just the way it is designed.

In application, you have to let it fully dry into the skin before you layer the next skin care product. Otherwise, if you use products with silicone and it doesn’t dry before the next application of another product, you’ll just be rubbing it off the face and it’ll look rough (whatever you apply next).

Quick fix

Right before I realised what to do, I hated using primers. This was the biggest culprit here and after slaying the face, an hour later, my face would be in patches. The foundation would be patchy and flaky on my face. The more I try to blend, the more horrible it’d look.

I, ofcourse, would hurriedly apply the primer and quickly use the foundation, all so quickly because I would be trying to make it to the office in good time. Sigh. No more!!!!! I now wait to do the make up in the car or in the bathroom and now I’ve hit a milestone in my skin care goals, I barely use makeup so I’m good… hahaha x

For you, please avoid primers that are high in silicone or make sure it is completely dry, before applying your make up. This also applies to foundations that have silicones in them. Allow to dry on your skin and apply the next product. 

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For you skincare mavens, who love to use just Sunscreens and moisturisers because your skin is goals, what do you do?

If you are in this glorious category and notice products are balling up on your skin or flaking off, well, love, it is your skin that is interfering.

The skin’s protective barrier and surface is oil based and so, any water based product would be repelled.

Quick fix

The key word here, is exfoliation. It makes the entire difference. Again, you can do a switch to oil based products, for your skin’s sake. Alternatively, if you insist on using your best products, which are water based, try patting it on your skin, rather than rubbing it in.

In conclusion, whenever the skin feels this way or your products are balling up on your face or flaking off your face, your solution is on here.

I hope you found this insightful and useful. If you did, please share and subscribe.

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SHE is a Lawyer and Procurement advisor. With an avid interest in skincare and beauty, lifestyle, health and general well-being, I am the author and content creator of YourAurora.

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