Social media these days, namely TikTok, is a hotspot for new beauty fads, from skincare tips to makeup hacks. The newest viral video? a skin-cycle. While some skincare techniques may be less reliable than others, this one has the credentials to support it—likely because it was recommended by an authority.
Skin cycling, a term created by dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, of New York City, is a technique for using cosmetics that gives skin the advantages of several active components without overworking it.
Skin Cycling: What Is It?
Not familiar with it? In a skin cycling skincare routine, you alternate using a new product every night for a certain number of nights before repeating.
The notion is not new, but the phrase is. According to board-certified dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD of New York City, “it’s been recommended by dermatologists for years, based on the fact that most skin types cannot tolerate certain ingredients every single night of the week and may require recovery nights to allow their skin barrier to improve.”
She observes that it frequently applies to substances like retinoids and exfoliants that have the propensity to irritate. Seven nights a week, she claims, “those are the elements that are less likely to be tolerated.” These are spaced out during the course of the cycle and are buffed by hydrated goods.
How Does It Function?
For each individual, a different skin cycling regimen will be appropriate. According to Dr. Narazian, “some people may withstand additional nights of retinoids, or even exfoliation.” Additionally, certain steps can undoubtedly be combined. Depending on the requirements of your skin, you can select a three- or four-night cycle.
Your cleanser is one of the components that won’t change. Here is a sample of a four-day cycle to get you started with that in mind (pro-tip: you can repeat the third and fourth night for a longer cycle, or start from the beginning, depending on your skin and its needs).
Day 1: Scrub
Because it helps the other items in the cycle to penetrate more effectively, the first night of the cycle should be an exfoliation night (think scrubs or chemical exfoliants). Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, allow the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin to shed by dislodging them from their adhesion to the skin. Glycolic acid and lactic acid are two examples of AHAs. The Party Peel by THE ROUTE BEAUTY contains a secret combination. Salicylic acid, also known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA), is an exfoliating acid that is oil-soluble and may penetrate pores to clear them from the inside out, making it ideal for oily or acne-prone skin.
Day 2: Drink Water
A soothing moisturizer should be used during your recovery days to keep your skin barrier healthy. A decent one? THEN I MET YOU Calming Tide Gel CreamTM, which supports the skin barrier by combining ceramides, niacinamide, and peptides. Try applying it atop a humectant, such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin, which is made to draw water into skin, for optimum benefits.
Day 3: Retinoid
Your retinol cream or serum is now necessary. Now is the perfect time to start utilizing a retinoid, which is the word used to describe both prescription-only retinoids and over-the-counter retinol. This type of vitamin A aids in accelerating cell turnover, which helps to balance out skin tone, lessen dark spots and hyperpigmentation, promote collagen formation, and diminish fine lines and wrinkles.
Having said that, start with a pea-sized amount because a little goes a long way. THE BOTANICALS OF CLARK To maintain skin equilibrium, Retinol Rescue Overnight Cream even combines it with vitamin E.
Day 4: Drink water (Again)
The following evening, return to your recovery regimen to maintain the integrity of your skin barrier because retinoids can be drying or irritant.
What Advantages Does Skin Cycling Offer?
It is soft. According to Dr. Nazarian, “it enables your skin to avoid reaching a threshold of irritation while yet exposing it to the entire diversity of components that are frequently challenging to tolerate but nonetheless useful and desirable.” That implies that those with sensitive or dry skin can still benefit from potent active substances without experiencing a burning sensation.
Skin becomes more tough as a result. A skin cycle regimen often includes strengthening nights with chemicals that are concentrated on enhancing the skin barrier, reducing inflammation, and hydrating, according to the expert. This makes it easier for our skin to tolerate the following components in the routine.
It enables products to perform better. In order to increase the penetration of later-applied products, exfoliants might be employed at the start of a skin cycling routine, according to the expert. The other items in your cycle will work harder because you started the cycle with an exfoliating product specifically designed for that purpose.
Is there anything you want me to watch out for?
In the realm of skincare, consistency rules supreme. Skin cycling can fall short in that regard. The biggest issue with skin cycling, according to Dr. Nazarian, is that some treatments and substances must be used more regularly—that is, daily—to reap the benefits. If used inconsistently, they will not properly create effective outcomes. On the other hand, skin cycling is unquestionably advantageous if it enables you to continue using retinoids over the long run.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your nightly routine benefits from skin cycling. Since the sun doesn’t take days off, you should use your daytime skincare products every single day, such as sunscreen and antioxidants that contain vitamin C.