What Is Skin Cycling?

Sometimes, things don’t move as quickly as we would like them to. While not everything can be attained with instant gratification, when it comes to your skincare routine, there are several methods to try. As everyone’s skin is different, so will their regimens. If you’re not seeing desired results as fast as you would prefer, you might want to give skin cycling a chance. There are numerous benefits to skin cycling as opposed to performing a traditional skincare routine. You might just get the results you’ve been anticipating!

What is Skin Cycling? 

More and more people are shifting to skin cycling, particularly since the initial months of the pandemic when millions resorted to TikTok to stay sane. When you’re putting your skincare routine through a cycle, it solely involves cycling your PM skincare routine. You should always be cleansing your face in the AM and applying sunscreen before you start your day.

While many of those who seek to cycle their routines want the benefits and results, those with sensitive skin also tend to try this method. Skin cycling can also help to minimize skin irritation since the skin can have adverse reactions to retinoids and certain products being used daily rather than being cycled through.

When starting a skin cycling routine, the first night is going to involve exfoliation. Night two utilizes the benefits of retinoids, with nights three and four being your rest days. Think of it like working out when you’re trying to build muscle or get in shape. Your body needs adequate time to rest just as much as it needs the extra aid from skincare products. By giving your body ample time to recuperate, it has more time to get used to the products that your skin might not be familiar with.

learn how to skin cycle : skin cycling routine

Night One: Exfoliation

You’re going to want to cleanse your face as always, whether it’s before starting your day or starting your skincare routine. This initial step ensures you are getting all the dirt and grime off your face, readying it for skincare.

Products that operate as chemical exfoliants are going to be your best friend in this process. “Chemical” is often a connotation, but our body already has natural chemicals that all serve a vital function. That is also the case for many skincare products. These products contain acids which dissolve debris that clogs the pores and keeps dead skin cells from being removed. Once applied, they leave you with a more even skin complexion and improved texture overall.

Common chemical exfoliants that are found in skincare products include AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids). While AHAs are used more to treat anti-aging and skin texture concerns, BHAs are a great resource for those who suffer from acne and scarring.

AHAs are derived from plants and help to exfoliate excess skin cells that are no longer needed. Glycolic acid is a popular AHA that is found in many chemical exfoliants and skincare products.

When BHAs are present in products, salicylic acid is going to be a common ingredient found on labels, especially for acne products. BHAs work to fight acne and scarring as a result by reducing the excess oils that build up on the face, unclogging the pores.

After using a chemical exfoliant on cleansed skin, you should always end with a moisturizing product. This helps the skin to retain all the hard work you have performed and you will see the best results by taking this extra step. You’re going to want to save the retinoids for day two. They should never be used together as this can have the opposite effects of what you are searching for

Night Two: Retinoids

Derived from Vitamin A, the main purpose of retinoids is to increase skin cell turnover, increase collagen support, fade away signs of aging, and to treat acne issues. While “retinol” is a commonly tossed around term, retinol is actually just one form of retinoid.

Retinol, perhaps the most well-known retinoid, are found over-the-counter in many pharmacies and markets, containing a lower potency than a product that requires prescription. These forms of retinoids are recommended for those with more sensitive skin or those who are new to retinoids and still adjusting to the effects.

A type of retinoid that works faster than retinol is retinal, which is more potent and bioavailable to the skin than retinol. You’ll see faster benefits with this type when it comes to treating wrinkles and fine lines.

Requiring a doctor’s prescription, tretinoin contains a higher potency than the previous types. There is often an initial adjustment period with any form of retinoid, so you should always listen to your skin or consult a dermatologist if you have issues.

Another over-the-counter option is adapalene, which is typically used to treat acne with its anti-inflammatory properties. Any type of retinoid should always be used on clean, dry skin and should only be applied at night. If used during the day, your skin will be more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays, causing further unwanted damage.

A perk to retinoids is that you can moisturize prior, layering your skin with your preferred retinoid product. They shouldn’t be mixed with a chemical exfoliant, thus why they each are given their own designated day in the cycle to be applied to the skin.

Nights Three & Four: Rest Days

Your skin needs time to repair and recover, just like when your body is getting used to a new workout routine. However, you don’t have to sit around and wait for results on your rest days. These days can still be useful for action by focusing on hydrating and nourishing the skin.

Hydrating serums are a great resource post-cleanse on rest nights. Matrixyl 3000 Collagen Serum is not only formulated to focus on hydrating the skin, but it also contains properties such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. These ingredients work to retain moisture in the skin by digging deep below the skin’s surface. Apart from hydration, this serum aids in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and creating a firmer, more youthful appearance overall.

There are many ingredients that can help propel the skincare routine in a faster direction, so be sure to look out for these when researching labels on products.

  • Naturally occurring in the body, hyaluronic acid is found in many products. When it is topically applied, it ensures the skin is retaining necessary moistures that contribute to your skin cycling.
  • Containing essential amino acids that work to repair the skin, peptides are instrumental in the skincare process. Products with these acids not only keep the skin healthy and strong, but assist with improved skin texture and overall complexion.
  • Glycerin is another helpful ingredient to utilize on rest days. Not only is this already a naturally occurring substance in the body, but it acts as a humectant, ultimately attracting further moisture to the skin.
  • A moisturizer containing properties similar to natural oils found in the skin, squalene increases hydration in the skin. Simultaneously, it works to reduce damage done by free radicals and external factors.


Benefits of Skin Cycling?

An attractive benefit to skin cycling is that it often only takes about two cycles (or eight days) to start noticing your desired results. Over the course of maintaining the skin cycle, your skin will start to transform and all those fine lines, wrinkles, acne breakouts, and dark spots that you don’t want in your life will begin to fade and significantly improve.

Be wary to try too many products at once, especially retinoids that are stronger than others which can be found OTC. This can make the skin more prone to irritation, giving you the opposite of your desired results. Often times, it can be helpful to keep a log of your skincare routine, especially when just starting out. This way, you can look back on how it was affecting your skin and make appropriate adjustments if necessary.

For those with excessively oily skin, they may benefit from a three-day regimen instead. This involves one day of recovery rather than two. If your skin builds up more oil than others, this could require further treatment than those who don’t have this skincare concern. For many, it’s going to take trial and error to get the most out of their routines.

Conclusion : Does Skin Cycling work?

Everyone's routines will differ because everyone's skin is unique. Give skin cycling a try if alternative methods are not working as well as you would prefer. Skin cycling has a number of advantages over following a conventional skincare routine. No matter what type of routine you decide to embark upon, be sure to never forget to cleanse first and apply sunscreen after!