Things that pill: sweaters, Neely O'Hara, my face in the winter. You know the tiny worms of product that can ball up between your fingers when you apply moisturizer or makeup? That’s skin pillage. Products pill when they have incompatible ingredients, like water-based makeup and silicone-based primer—or when you have an excess of dead skin. The latter is my problem, and it’s a very sexy problem to have.
The answer seems obvious: exfoliate! Which brings me to Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel, a product Arabelle Sicardi championed for pulling “noodles” of oil out of your pores and into your palms. That description a) stopped me in my tracks and b) scared the shit out of me, so I filed it away for a while. Then winter came, the pilling began, and I caved and bought it on Amazon.
Here’s how it works: Rub a healthy amount over wet skin after cleansing, and then just keep rubbing it. Tiny pills (or noodles, if you're nasty) of dead skin will start to roll themselves between your fingers and on your face. Continue rubbing, maybe for about five minutes. I put some extra time in on my chin, next to my nose, and above my eyebrows to really pull the dirt out where it seems to accumulate in my pores. You may suspect this these pills are just the product itself, but it’s not—it’s dead skin, and it’s coming off of your face. Do not do this over your laptop or any other surface outside your bathroom, unless you want to leave bits of your face everywhere.
Now rinse, and admire your reborn skin. Afterwards I saw zero product pilling, and the results lasted for days. I wish I could use this gel more than once a week, but you have to give your face time to collect a new layer of grime to expunge. Rest assured, you will be rewarded for your patience.
Photographed by Tom Newton.