Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Pilling vs exfoliation…how to tell the difference.

  • Pilling vs exfoliation…how to tell the difference.

    Posted by Graillotion on January 24, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    As I am putting final touches on a cream I am working on, and tweaking the starch component. One of my test subjects started to occasionally experience what I thought might be pilling.  (None of my other subjects have had this experience, but I do not ask them to do any type of friction test.)

    However, it was not consistent or repeatable.  So I began to suspect it might just be some seasonal exfoliation.

    As I am not an expert on either exfoliation or pilling… Maybe someone can help to discern between the two.

    I would describe the experience with, mild friction applied, and resulting product being similar to pencil erasing, rolled little snakes….very small.

    Again not repeatable with the same process….or even on other parts of the body.  So I am wondering if this is related to weather, timing from last shower, and previous moisturizer application timing.

    There are several ingredients in the cream that are supposed to enhance skin turnover, and pH is around 5.

    Any real simple way to confirm this is skin, and not pilling.  I guess the only thing that worries me…I recently switched from arrowroot to HP starch.  (1% swap.)

    suswang8 replied 3 years, 3 months ago 5 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Pattsi

    January 25, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Good question.
    Maybe Microscope can help with that.
    What if it’s a combination of both.

  • Faustin

    January 26, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    it looks like the answer might be in the formula, according to me even for a pH of 5 it won’t be so extreme that it exfoliates the skin. I’ve found a sunscreen product that contains silicon material and it can build up a lumpy residue like dirt when rubbed for a long time on the surface of the skin

  • helenhelen

    January 26, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    Stain the skin with something like food dye or cherry juice (wash as much residue off), and see if the pills are that colour?

  • suswang8

    January 28, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Personally, I think that there is a major difference between the two.  If, by “exfoliation”, you are saying that skin is essentially coming off the face, that would basically never happen unless someone had really dry skin or were using retinoids, or both.  My first question would be whether the person is currently on retinoids.  Next question, is the person putting sunscreen or make-up on top of the moisturizer?

Log in to reply.