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Skin Cycling: A Treatment-Focused Routine For Each Day Of The Week

Skin Cycling: A Treatment-Focused Routine For Each Day Of The Week

The new viral beauty trend that has been gaining popularity online actually makes many good points and should not be just a passing fad. Skin cycling is the newest skincare trend that everyone should know of, even more because of the number of products we use (or are told to use) on a daily basis thanks to social media trends and ads. Let’s face it. There are so many skincare must-haves on our wishlist, we rarely stop to consider if these products are actually working or if we are using them correctly. Truth be told, we need to give our skin a breather in between products and not overwhelm our skin with too much. This is especially true if you tend to use multiple skincare actives in your routine. Active skincare like retinol and salicylic acid is really good for your skin but these are powerful ingredients that can cause more damage than good if used incorrectly or too much too often. Skin cycling helps filter the noise and allows you to build a skincare routine that actually works instead of just following what another product advertisement is telling you to follow. Here’s all you need to know about this much-needed skincare trend.

What is Skin Cycling?


Board-certified dermatologist Dr Whitney Bowe, MD, of New York City, first introduced the practice of “skin cycling ” as she realised many people were just overwhelming their skin with too many skincare products that don’t necessarily even work well together. She saw that during the pandemic, people’s attention naturally shifted from makeup to skincare, but many of those who shared their routines on social media were using too many products on their skin. And with active ingredient products in these routines, the use of so many skincare actives all at once isn’t a good idea and is most definitely going to wreak havoc on your skin.

In order to streamline at-home skincare routines and give your skin a break between using two or more active ingredient products, Dr Bowe decided to share her approach. She introduced skincare cycling which meant spreading out the use of various skincare products over a four-night period. This way you can use skincare actives through chemical exfoliation and serums on the first two nights and then use only barrier repair and hydrating products on the last two nights so that your skin has a chance to chill and recover.

How To Try Skin Cycling?

Here’s a simple guide to practising skin cycling so that you can reap the benefits of active skincare and also keep your skin healthy and not irritated by using too many products all at once.


Night 1

According to Dr Bowe’s skin cycling regimen, you should exfoliate using a product that contains alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids on night one in order to unclog pores and get rid of dead skin cells.

Night 2

Retinol can be used on night two to tackle issues like hyperpigmentation and scarring, fine lines, wrinkles, and mild acne as well as to quicken skin cell turnover.

Night 3 & 4

The recovery routine comes in on nights three and four. Use hydrating serums or moisturisers after cleansing that contain hyaluronic acid and ceramides for skin healing but have no active components like vitamin A or C. On night five, you can start exfoliating again and continue this skin cycling routine.

Who Is It For?

Literally everyone! Skin cycling should be followed by anyone who cares for their skin and wants to achieve all their skincare goals. Especially if you are someone who is intrigued by the idea of active skincare but have found that products containing vitamin C or retinol irritate your skin – this method will change your perspective. Skin cycling will ensure your skin never reacts badly to active ingredients in skincare and will help you get the skin of your dreams. It is that ideal balance in skincare we all wish for.


Would you try skin cycling? The answer should be a definite yes. 

Featured Image: Pexels

10 Oct 2022

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