Ever felt like your skin needed a breather from all the hustle and bustle of your skincare routine? A mini-vacation to step back from the never-ending parade of products, and let your skin reset and recharge?
That’s where skin cycling comes in. A skincare concept that involves adjusting your skincare routine to avoid the harsh side effects of actives. It’s a more intuitive form of skincare, where you listen to what your skin has to say.
The whole idea is built on a simple truth: our skin isn’t the same every day. It changes with our hormones, the weather, and how we go about our lives. By adjusting your skincare routine, you’re giving your skin exactly what it needs, when it needs it.
This usually includes skipping steps in your routine, using fewer actives, or going makeup-free.
Potential benefits include protecting the skin barrier, preventing unwanted side effects from products, and avoiding dry/irritated skin.
How To Skin Cycle
To get started, you’ll need:
- A strong commitment to use fewer products (just kidding!)
- An exfoliator (think glycolic or salicylic acid)
- A retinoid
- A lightweight moisturiser
The traditional skin cycling regimen spans over 4 days.
Night 1: Exfoliate with a mask, or an exfoliating face wash. Manjishtha Mud from 82°E is an exfoliating clay mask that clarifies the skin and helps in getting rid of excess sebum from the pores.
Night 2: Use OTC retinoids in serums or emulsions, or see your dermatologist for a spot treatment. The Minimalist Granactive Retinoid 2% and Truderma VItamin C Serum are safe bets to kickstart this new routine with.
Night 3 + 4: Recovery. Lather yourself in moisturiser and hydrating products with ceramides so your skin barrier can heal from all the abrasion. Rinse and repeat for the month. The Re’equil Ceramide & Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser is fragrance-free and perfect for all skin types.
PS: On recovery nights, you can hold off on the acids and retinoids and give your skin some space to breathe. Focus on nourishing your skin’s barrier with creams that are full of peptides and ceramides. Go in with some hyaluronic or snail mucin; hydration and moisture are your primary focus on these days.
How Often Should You Do This?
Once you’ve tried skin cycling for the first time, pay close attention to how your skin responds. This is where the real magic happens. With each cycle, your skin will communicate and tell you what it loves, and what it needs. Feel free to adjust and experiment with your routine. And remember, there’s no rigid playbook for skin cycling.
If your skin feels extra moisturised and plump after the first cycle, then you can keep at it. Alternatively, if you feel like the lack of your routine products has caused a fresh breakout or your skin feels duller and oiler than usual, strike across ‘trying skin cycling’ off your list of skincare trends to follow this year. And then go back to your regular routine.
Whether you stick to it or adjust course, the journey of discovering what truly works for your skin continues – and that’s what skincare is all about.
Note: If you haven’t been using retinoids in your daily routine, pair them with a heavy moisturiser and a good sunscreen. Read more about retinoids here.
Featured Image: Unsplash