Cream Pilling

Hi everyone, I'm experiencing some pilling with my latest emulsion. It doesn't pill immediately but after application, if I keep rubbing my skin for a bit it noticeably pills. I've reformulated multiple times, including reducing solid/powder/insoluble ingredients and film formers and I'm still experiencing it. 

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Here are my ingredients:
Water
Hyaluronic Acid
Glycerin
Propanediol
Butylene Glycol
Panthenol 2%
Niacinamide 2%
Allantoin 0.3%
Disodium EDTA

Montanov L
Glyceryl Stearate Citrate
Lauryl Laurate
Coco Caprylate Caprate
Squalane
Assortment of plant oils at 9%
Butter at 2.5%
Dimethicone 350 0.65%
Polymethylsilsesquioxane 1%
Aristoflex AVC
Sodium Carbomer

Plant extract 2%
Liquid Germall Plus
Vitamin E

I had a feeling the Dimethicone was the problem, but it's still happening even after reducing Dimethicone to 0.65%, although (I think) slightly less. 

I'm thinking about switching out the Dimethicone to Cyclomethicone since it does not stay on the skin, but other than that I'm kind of out of ideas.

I absolutely love this emulsion in literally every other way, just need to correct the pilling.

Thank you.

Comments

  • Normally it's the thickeners like Aristoflex or Sodium Carbomer pilling because of the lipids. That happens when i use a lipid that is too oily like Squalane. Though i've not used Dimethicone in a long time, i can't say for sure if that also affects it, but i'd also guess that both Dimethicone & Polymethylsilsesquioxane affects it to a certain extent. 

    Normally Aristoflex or Sodium Carbomer don't really pill in my formulations without "conflicting" ingredients. 
  • Thank you! I never would have thought of the thickeners. I guess I can try reducing the Aristoflex by 0.1%.

    Thanks again.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    how much hyaluronic acid have you got, and what's the molecular weight?
    UK based cosmetic chemist with 13 years' experience at the bench. I've worked with pretty much everything apart from pressed powders, soap, solid lipstick and aerosols.
  • It's 3% of a 1% solution, 0.8-1 million Daltons 
  • Agree with @jemolian on aristoflex and sodium carbomer. I Use this combination a lot and it has never caused any problem. But I suspect it’s the ingredients in the waterphase. I would suggest doing a semi- knockout experiment and removing: hyaluronic acid, panthenol, niacinamide and allantoin. I am pretty sure that will solve the problem. Then start reintroducing them back starting with niacinamide. Btw I think that 2% of panthenol is a bad idea even if it doesn’t cause issues. It’s sticky and doesn’t add benefits.
  • I had pilling issue when I used too high high spread oil with too low fatty acid, the thickener pilled after excessive rub.
    I use aristoflex and sodium carbomer with silicone quite often, never have pilling issue.
  • Pattsi said:
    I had pilling issue when I used too high high spread oil with too low fatty acid, the thickener pilled after excessive rub.
    I use aristoflex and sodium carbomer with silicone quite often, never have pilling issue.
    Hi, I'm sorry to be a bother but I don't quite understand. I'm not sure what you mean by too high spread oil with too low fatty acids. Can you clarify? Thank you so much. 🙂
  • No worry @emma1985
    I mean for example
    if I have high liquid oil and natural butter about 18-20 with only 3 cetearyl alcohol and thicken with 0.5-1 thickener, they tend to pill more than 16-18 liquid oil and natural butter with 5 cetearyl and 0.5-1 thickener.
    It was the problem with Gums + 940, sepgel, high Mol Hya but never have pilling issue with aristoflex and sodium carbomer.


    Dimethicone 350 0.65%
    Polymethylsilsesquioxane 1%

    Maybe this form a film? I don't know I only use Dimethicone 5 and 100.
  • Thank you for clarifying 🙂 I noticed that my cream pilled less when I added 2% Cetyl Esters the other day.
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