What is Skin Cycling and How to Do it Effectively?

Skin Cycling

One thing that is ever consistent in your life and does what it commits. Well that has to be your skin care shelf. 

Skin care has gained a lot of popularity; from glass skin to placenta infused serum to toner/moisturiser slugging, we have seen some definite crazy skin trends. 

And keeping up with the tradition of a new skincare care every now and then, the most recent hyped up trend these days is..you guessed right, ‘Skin cycling’!

Dr Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist based in the US, shared her four day skin cycling calendar and BOOM! There you have it, the famous skin cycling. 

According to the best skin specialist in Lahore, ‘Skin cycling is not something relatively new.’ It is just a new form of skin routine in which you develop rotating chemical exfoliants and retinol. What skin cycling does is that it makes understanding and using skin products easy. Previously we have heard of using retinol twice a week, but what actual day? Which days to let the skin rest and which days are for exfoliation? With skin cycling all of these questions can be finally laid to rest! 

Skin cycling is rotating between chemical exfoliants and retinol with skin recovery days in between. Here is how a typical skin cycle would look like. 

Day 1 of Skin Cycling – Exfoliation

The PM Routine

You start with double cleansing. Double cleansing means, you take off your makeup with a micellar water or a makeup dissolving balm, and follow up with a mild gentle cleanser. If you regularly use a salicylic acid based cleanser, you might want to skip that tonight and follow with a mild but good cleaning cleanser. 

Now once all of your makeup and dirt are off your skin, you have a clean skin canvas. Your next step should be using a chemical exfoliator. You can use it in a serum or toner form, but the targeted ingredients for your chemical exfoliator must be active AHAs or BHAs

Let the exfoliator sit on your face for a couple of minutes before putting on anything. The next step that follows is based on your skin and routine preference. Preferably you can start with a hydrating serum and a very thick hydrating moisturiser. You can also use a hydrating but lightweight facial oil to lock in all the moisture. 

The AM routine 

Start with a gentle cleanser, if you feel the need. You can also simply wash your face with plain water. Now use a refreshing hydrating toner that wakes up your skin instantly. Pro tip: place your toners and serums in the fridge to enhance their cooling and soothing effect on your skin. Next apply a lightweight vitamin C serum. Vitamin Cs are very very important in this routine. So make sure you have all the antioxidants you need for maximum skin cycling benefit and a good vitamin C will help you with that. Now apply a moisturiser and a good sunscreen. A GOOD SUNSCREEN. If you skip this last step, all of your hardwork will go down the drain. Reapply sunscreen through the day if you have to. 

Day 2 – Retinol

The PM routine 

Start with double cleansing, and make sure your face is squeaky clean and dry. Again, no active ingredient in your cleanser for this day as well. Take a good pea size retinol cream( If you are a beginner, then you must start with the lowest concentration, probably around 0.025%) and spread it evenly on your face. Next apply hydrating serums and moisturiser, followed by hydrating facial oils. 

The AM Routine 

Cleanse your face by all means for this step, and use a hydrating serum or toner followed by vitamin C. Also splurge on moisture, as retinol tends to dry skin very much. And of course, you have followed up with holy grails like moisturiser and lots of sunscreen. 

Word of caution; you will notice some extra dryness and peeling skin when we start with retinol, and that’s normal since retinol deeply works in getting rid of bacteria and helps majorly with skin cell turnover. 

Day 3 and 4 – Recovery

The PM Routine 

As always, start with a double cleanse. Follow Up with a hydrating toner and serum and a thick face of moisture to keep all the hydration in place. Since these two nights will be your recovery days, you must use hydrating chemicals like hyaluronic and niacinamide in your routine. 

The AM Routine 

Cleanse your skins with plain water. Follow up with a nice hydrating toner and vitamin C serum and a good moisturiser and sunscreen. If you feel extra dry, you can add extra serums and facial oils on your recovery days. 

..And Repeat!!

Given how the cycle looks and uses active ingredients, skin cycling does look like a good promising start for your skin. Apparently people are loving the skin cycling process big time! Let us know how your experience with skin cycling went!

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Liam Smith
Liam Smith is a health and fitness blogger who is passionate about helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. With over 6 years of experience in the fitness industry, Liam has worked with a wide range of clients, from beginners to professional athletes. He has written extensively on topics such as strength training, nutrition, and weight loss, and he is dedicated to providing practical and actionable advice to his readers. Liam believes that everyone has the potential to achieve their health and fitness goals, and his mission is to help them get there. When he's not writing or working with clients, Liam enjoys running, hiking, and trying out new healthy recipes.