Sunscreen Pilling: Why It Happens and How to Prevent It

Sunscreen is a crucial part of any skincare routine, especially when it comes to protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. However, one common issue that many people face is sunscreen pilling. This occurs when the sunscreen you’ve applied forms small, unsightly particles or balls instead of creating a smooth and protective layer on your skin.

In case you missed it, I’ve been trying different sunscreen lotions and sharing the videos on TikTok and Instagram over the past few weeks. One of the first set of sunscreen lotions I’ve tried so far from the sephora sun safety kit is the the cay skin isle glow face lotion spf 45 and you guessed right, I experienced pilling after using it.

Check out the video here:


Trying different sunscreen lotions for dark skin, so you don’t have to – part 1 I quite like the tinted glow by this sunscreen lotion – cay skin isle glow face lotion spf 45. It didn’t burn/sting my eyes either but that pilling is a no for me! ? #sunscreenforoilyskin #sunscreenrecommend #sunscreenforblackgirls #sunscreenfordarkskin #sunscreenlotion

? The Champion – Lux-Inspira

So, in this blog post, let’s explore what causes sunscreen pilling and practical tips on how to prevent it, ensuring that you get the best sun protection possible.

What Causes Sunscreen Pilling?

Before we look into prevention, let’s understand the reasons behind it:

  1. Product Incompatibility: Mixing sunscreen with certain skincare products can lead to pilling. Some moisturizers, for example, may not interact well with specific sunscreen formulations.
  2. Overapplication: Using too much sunscreen can make it more prone to pilling. It’s important to apply an adequate but not excessive amount.
  3. Rubbing or Touching: Aggressively rubbing or touching your skin after applying sunscreen can disrupt the even layer you’ve created, causing pilling.

Tips to Prevent Sunscreen Pilling:

  1. Choose Compatible Products: Select a sunscreen that is designed to be worn with your other skincare products. Search for terms such as “non-comedogenic” or “designed for layering”. If you’re using a moisturizer, make sure it’s water-based or gel-based, which tends to work well with most sunscreens.
  2. Allow Products to Absorb: Give your skincare products, especially your moisturizer, time to fully absorb into your skin before applying sunscreen. Waiting a few minutes can make a significant difference.
  3. Apply Sunscreen in Thin Layers: Instead of applying a thick layer of sunscreen, use thin, even layers. This reduces the likelihood of product buildup and pilling.
  4. Dab or Pat, Don’t Rub: When applying sunscreen, use a gentle dabbing or patting motion. Avoid vigorous rubbing, which can disturb the sunscreen layer.
  5. Consider Different Sunscreen Formulations: If you consistently experience pilling with a specific sunscreen product, consider trying a different formulation. There are various types, including lotions, gels, and sprays. Explore and discover what suits your skin.

Sunscreen pilling can be a frustrating issue, but with the right approach, you can minimize it and enjoy smooth and effective sun protection. Remember to select compatible products, allow them to absorb fully, apply sunscreen in thin layers, use a gentle patting motion, and don’t hesitate to explore different sunscreen options if needed. By following these tips, you can ensure that your skin is shielded from the sun’s harmful UV rays without the hassle of pilling.

Remember that proper sun protection is essential for maintaining healthy and radiant skin, so don’t let pilling discourage you from using sunscreen daily.

Hugs and Kisses,



I’m a beauty blogger, love to write, share experiences and keep you up to date, as I embark on my fab journeys into the world of beauty, fashion and all things stylish!

Post navigation

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Decoding Beauty Products: Understanding Your Ingredients List

Top Hairstyles for Different Face Shapes in Nigeria

The Beauty Benefits of Shea Butter for African Skin