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Getting Started with Skin Cycling
Posted by Dr. Robert Levine

Getting Started with Skin Cycling

Skin cycling is a trend that went viral thanks to TikTok, but does it really work? Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology, PC, first coined “skin cycling” when she explained her method on social media.

The most exciting part about this skincare trend is that it is a complete reversal to the twelve-step routines that had us buying dozens and dozens of skin care products for nightly use. You only need three skin care products to complete your nightly routine with skin cycling.

What is Skin Cycling?

Skin cycling is a four-night cycle designed to provide skin with the treatment it needs, along with a rest and re-moisturizing period. The routine is always performed at night and in a specific order. The routine calls for one night of exfoliation, followed by a night of retinol, followed by two nights of “skin rest” or moisturizing.

The idea is that by rotating active ingredient nights with moisture-protecting nights, the skin’s natural barrier can be maintained. Moreover, it gives people some real clarity after years of trying to incorporate every skin care product under the sun on any given night.

What’s better, skin cycling can be appropriate for anyone, at any age, with any skin type or skin concerns. However, you may need to customize the routine somewhat – some opt for a five night cycle with an extra recovery night between the exfoliation and retinol nights.

How Skin Cycling Works

After receiving 3.5 billion views for #skincycling, this skincare trend is extremely hot right now. Here is the four-night cycle, so you can give it a try.

  • Night 1: For each night, start by cleansing and drying your skin. For night one follow this with a chemical exfoliator. Ingredients like AHA, BHA, or PHA are what you should be looking for.
  • Night 2: For the second night, apply your retinoid following your cleansing. If your skin is not used to retinoids, it may take some getting used to since retinoids can be powerful. To get your skin ready for the retinoid, apply moisturizer first, especially in sensitive areas like around the eyes and the corners of the nose.
  • Nights 3-4: On the following two nights, the focus is hydration and repairing your skin barrier. After cleansing, apply serums or moisturizers with ingredients like niacinamide or hyaluronic acid.

Why Skin Cycling Is Not Just a Skin Care Trend

This skincare trend has brought softer skin to many practitioners. Skin cycling is also a great technique for keeping your skin hydrated during the drying winter months. What’s better is this program is Advanced Dermatology approved. If you are interested in doing more to protect and rejuvenate your skin, book a virtual or in-person consultation with one of our top-rated dermatologists.

“Skin Cycling is a strategic, results-driven method for cycling through your evening skincare routine. It takes a streamlined approach to skincare, minimizing irritation and keeping skin barrier health as a key focus. The beauty of skin cycling is that you can personalize it, and modify it, to meet your skin’s needs and your goals.” – Whitney Bowe, MD

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