The fear that there might be a right way and a wrong way to take care of your skin keeps many ladies from picking up a serum or moisturizer. It’s also no easy task to create an entire routine from scratch. From scrubs to face masks, the market is crowded. Perhaps that’s why skin cycling has taken the beauty scene by storm in the past year. This technique has helped countless younger and older women start, revise and optimize their skincare routine because it literally takes it one step at a time.
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What is Skin Cycling?
The term “skin cycling” was coined by US dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe. Bowe spent over a year developing skin cycling routines for her patients before first sharing them on social media – but what is it?
Skin cycling involves swapping out active ingredients on a three- to four-day cycle to avoid irritation. This is especially helpful for those who haven’t experienced chemical peels or retinol, or for those who tend to overdo it with a product (we’ve all been there). With Skin Cycling, everything is very simple and the best part is that it is very customizable.
How long should you use this beauty method?
When it comes to how long you should use it, you can repeat or change your skincare regimen over time. Skin cycling can also be used continuously, depending on how your skin reacts to the active ingredients applied.
Who should try the skin cycling trend?
If you’re looking to add retinol, an exfoliant, or another potentially irritating product to your beauty routine, skin cycling might be worth considering. Another group that could benefit? Younger and older ladies with sensitive skin may also benefit from this beauty trend. Combining multiple active ingredients runs the risk of causing skin irritation, so switching products daily can make them more tolerable.
If you suffer from a skin condition such as acne or rosacea, talk to your dermatologist to customize your skin care regimen, especially if you take prescription medications for your skin. The typical skin cycling routine may also not be ideal for someone who already uses an exfoliating product every day without causing irritation (which could be the case for someone with oily or acne-prone skin).
Skin Cycling – Benefits
Skin cycling can be very effective because it gives your face a chance to rest between treatments. Allowing your skin “rest days” can help you achieve improvements without causing irritation or damage to the skin barrier. Skin Cycling is an easy-to-use routine that is especially suitable for women who are sensitive and cannot tolerate harsh ingredients in their daily routine.
Follow the treatment steps
You should alternate the following treatment steps in your routine. Each night, cleansing and moisturizing are a must regardless. This will only change one step in your nightly skincare routine.
- Night 1 – Exfoliation
This is the night of the peel – so get ready to cleanse your pores and slough off dead, dull skin. First, cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser and pat your skin dry. Then, Dr. Bowe recommends a chemical peel that stays on your skin, such as a serum containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids. You should avoid mechanical exfoliation with abrasive particles, as it tends to be aggressive when applied to the face. Peels should not cause a painful burning sensation or immediate inflammation. If this happens to you, wash it off as soon as possible. Finish everything off with a moisturizer before bed.
- Night 2 – Retinoid
Retinoids, which speed up skin cell turnover, are vitamin A-based skin care products that can help treat mild acne, fade hyperpigmentation and scarring, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Retinoids are among the most effective ingredients to include in your skin care routine. Cleanse your face first and make sure it is 100% dry before applying the retinoid. A pea-sized amount of product is sufficient for your entire face. If you have never used a retinoid before, first apply a light layer of a simple moisturizer to sensitive areas (under the eyes, around the corners of the mouth, at the base of the nostrils, and on the neck). Then apply your retinoid and finish your facial routine with another layer of moisturizer.
- Night 3 and 4 – moisturizing serums and creams.
Now you should take your recovery nights slowly. You can simply cleanse your face and apply moisturizing serums or moisturizers that don’t contain active ingredients like the ones mentioned above. Look for fragrance-free products that contain skin-repairing additives like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides. In this case, it’s okay if your skin is a little damp.