Hello, my beloved friends! Today I came up with a particularly good topic! We will discuss the rival skin care method which is called “Skin Cycling.” Understanding your skin type and providing it with what it needs is, in my opinion, one of the most crucial things you can do. You will learn a lot about the skin cycling method from this article. I’ll start by quickly defining skin cycling and outlining its advantages. After that, I’ll quickly review what exfoliation, retinoid, and recovery are. Finally, I’ll go into great depth about the skin cycling method. I will then make product recommendations for each day cycle. Finally, I’ll address frequently asked questions and concerns. Are you super excited? Let’s begin!
What is Skin Cycling?
Dr. Bowe became viral by developing the idea of the “Skin Cycling” method on social media such as TikTok. The purpose of this viral skincare method is to deliberately space out product usage over four days so that the active elements in your products would work more effectively. And your skin barrier would have time to recover.
Skin cycling is a night time skin care routine that consists of a 4-day cycle and includes exfoliation day, retinoid day, and two rest days each week. So that your skin may heal itself after utilizing some key skincare goods. In other words, implementing a skin cycle routine is supposed to help protect the skin barrier from being weakened by overusing active ingredients.
Benefits of Skin Cycling
- Assists in skin barrier healing
- Prevents excessive exfoliation
- Reduces irritability
- Helps to balance skin tone
- Enables you to maximize the potential of your products
- Reduces the negative effects of actives
Brief Introduction to Exfoliation, Retinoid, and Recovery
If you are familiar with what exfoliation, retinoids, and recovery are for the skin, you don’t need to read the brief introduction part! Just move on to the skin cycling routine part. I will give a short summary of exfoliation, retinoids, and recovery. Then we can move on to the skin cycling routine with those who are not so familiar with these terms.
Short Introduction to Exfoliation
The exfoliation process is a kind of getting rid of dead skin. The top layer of the skin, the protective barrier, consists of dead cells and is renewed every two weeks. The renewal process; can slow down over time due to aging, diet, weather changes, or hormones. Thus, if exfoliation does not occur well on the skin, dead cells can fill the pores and cause acne, dryness, and fine wrinkles. So if you want to prevent this situation, regular peeling/ exfoliation helps a lot.
There are two kinds of exfoliation. One is chemical, the other one is physical. Physical exfoliation is granular peels. Although they are seen as safer than chemical acids, they actually seriously damage the skin barrier. Due to the particles, small scratches can occur on your skin or they can cause bacteria to spread worse. How you use them is of course important, as this can reduce or increase the damage you do to your skin. In addition, they are not as effective as chemical peels. They perform superficial processing on the upper layer of the skin. But if you have very sensitive skin and are intolerant to acidic products, I recommend choosing the gentlest physical exfoliation.
By comparison, chemical peel/exfoliation is much better in effect. They exhibit multifunctional operations. Because chemical exfoliation products contain acid, they perform exfoliation well. Some of the acids used in chemical exfoliation are AHA, BHA, PHA, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, and Lactic Acid… Of course, it is not possible to have such a perfect product. One downside of chemical exfoliation is that they tend to irritate the skin. You have to use it with extreme caution. Since they peel off the top layer, the risk of staining increases even more. For this reason, sunscreen should be applied every day but every day!
Important Points About Retinoids
In summary, retinoids boost collagen, contribute to the treatment of acne, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, remove pigmentation, and provide a young glow to the skin.
Should everyone use it? It will be the healthiest way to determine whether or not your skin requires it. You should visit a dermatologist for this, it is advised. It has numerous negative effects due to its versatility as a component. I try to avoid making generalizations like “everyone should” or “shouldn’t” use it. However, I believe you can start if your skin is prone to acne, you wish to lessen your wrinkles, and other peeling acid components are ineffective.
Absolutely, you should select the product with the lowest proportion, especially if you are just starting out. because the component retinoid is so potent. Even a little rate can have a significant impact. It will be best to raise your skin with practice. Besides, using too much of the product might also cause undesirable effects such as dryness. The recommended amount is about a pea sized amount for the entire face.
As for the negative effects, these include acne-related vomiting, dryness, skin peeling, exfoliation, and redness. Although it is possible to have no side effects, it has been found that the majority of people do. As a result, beginning with the lowest proportion is highly crucial.
With so many negative impacts, I don’t think it’s possible to overlook the ideal outcome. You begin to notice an amazing transformation after your skin becomes accustomed to this chemical. You are the only one left with almost flawless skin.
What is Skin Cycling Routine?
A moment ago I mentioned that skin cycling is a strategic 4 night cycle in which active ingredients are used and emphasizes recovery. The skin cycling schedule is like that; night one is for exfoliation, night two is for retinoid, and night three and night four is for recovery.
First Day: Exfoliation Night
Firstly, you should start your skin care by washing your face delicately and gently tapping your skin to dry up. Afterward, it is time to use exfoliating products. I highly prefer chemical exfoliants over physical exfoliating products. Chemical exfoliation helps to facilitate the skin’s elimination of dead cells and speed up cell regeneration.
After cleansing your face, apply it to your skin. Apply some toner to the cotton pad. Use the cotton pad to apply the toner to the exterior of your face, letting it soak in completely.
Second Day: Retinoid Night
Now let’s come to retinoids. Retinoids and Retinols are forms of vitamin A. It is the number one anti-aging ingredient for both exfoliation and antioxidant and collagen synthesis. Retinyl, retinal, retinol or retinoic acids from the retinoid family may be preferred. However, since these are very irritating to the skin, it is useful to start with the lowest concentration and then get used to the skin.
Third and Fourth Days: Recovery Nights
The third and fourth nights of skin cycling are for repair. Because maintaining a good skin barrier is essential for maintaining skin health. Consider the skin barrier as a shield; when it is compromised, your protection is diminished. Toxins including free radicals, pollution, and ultraviolet rays can harm the skin when it is already damaged. Although acids and retinol benefit the skin, they can harm it if taken excessively. This is another justification for cycling through your night time skincare treatments. This makes sure you’re not using items excessively and that your skin is protected.
Finally, you should utilize items that are restorative, nourishing, and hydrating. You should try to choose products with ceramides, fatty acids, glycerin/triglycerides, squalane, and emollients because these ingredients all aid in repairing the skin barrier and assisting in moisture retention. DO NOT FORGET. We want to heal our skin, not tire it.
Product Recommendations for Skin Cycling
Exfoliation Night Product Recommendations
1-Cosrx – AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner (Chemical Exfoliator)
It gently polishes the skin by putting it through a daily peeling procedure, quickly eliminating dead skin and surplus sebum from the skin by using the providers of AHA and BHA.
This product is excellent. It contains a low acid ratio, making it extremely good for the skin if you use acid for the first time since it removes dead skin and polishes the skin with acids. You can tap here to see the product.
2-Some By Mi – AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner (Chemical Exfoliator)
Tea tree tonic, which produces fantastic benefits for your skin in just 30 days, can help you get rid of your dead skin cells and provide you with smooth skin.
Highlights of the product are clearing away stubborn dead skin cells, lightening blemishes, and minimizing pore size for flawless skin. You can check the toner out from here.
3-Paula’s Choice – Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant
After Korean chemical peelings, an American brand which is called Paula’s Choice is also a good idea to use for this routine. It exfoliates dead skin cells, reduces clogged pores, smooths wrinkles, brightens, and evens up skin tone. fights against enlarged pores, redness, wrinkles, aging, and blackheads.
4-Klairs – Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish Scrub Peeling (Physical Exfoliator)
Lastly, I want to recommend physical exfoliation for those who can not use chemical ones. It is called Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Scrub. Because it contains brown sugar, it gently removes dirt and dead skin cells from the skin without causing any discomfort. It also hydrates and nourishes the skin, allowing it to glow in a healthy way. Emphasis is placed on nourishing and moisturizing the skin, as well as the gentle removal of debris and dead skin cells, all of which help the skin seem bright and smooth.
Retinoid Night Recommendations
1-By Wishtrend – Vitamin A-mazing Bakuchiol Night Cream
The night cream combines Retinal, Bakuchiol, and Niacinamide ingredients in the same team to deliver a very efficient and pleasant vitamin A experience. It also has moisturizing and anti-aging benefits. With continued usage, it helps to give the impression of skin that is more taut and smooth while first visibly preventing the appearance of large pores.
2-CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
Even once your acne is under control, acne scars and an uneven skin tone can serve as continual reminders of breakouts. Using a moderate, yet powerful resurfacing serum that works to polish your skin without sacrificing its protective barrier is an excellent technique to diminish the look of acne marks (also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) and visible pores. You can take a glance at the product from here.
3-The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane
The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane is a substance whose considerable anti-aging benefits have been established. Retinol, sometimes referred to as vitamin A, helps lessen the look of wrinkles, sun damage, and aging skin in general. This unique kind of vitamin A has been shown to ease pigment issues, revitalize skin, and give it a more youthful and fresh appearance overall. Take a look at the product from here.
Rest Days Product Suggestions
1-I’m From – Mugwort Essence
This item is a calming essence made entirely of musk grass. The hydrating liquid solution adheres to the skin and seeps into it to soothe it and stop dehydration. Musk Grass from Korea helps to rapidly refresh drained skin and dissipate heat. You can tap here to see the product. You can hydrate, calm and soothe your skin with this product.
2-Cosrx Snail Mucin 96% Power Repairing Essence
This essence regenerates and restores aged and dry skin. Minimizing dryness and calming dry skin, increases skin elasticity. Take a glance at the product from here. Repairing and healing are easy with this essence.
3-Frudia Avocado Relief Cream
It provides quick calming action and rapidly calms sensitive and irritated skin to ease problems. Furthermore, it improves the skin’s barrier, which has been weakened by external irritants, to stop moisture from draining and maintain skin balance. You can check it out here.
4-Pyunkang Yul Intensive Repair Cream
This daily cream hydrates the face without leaving it greasy, making it particularly appealing to those with sensitive and oily skin. Highlights of the product are instant absorption without leaving a greasy or sticky feeling. In addition to that, maintaining skin hydration throughout the day makes you appear young and radiant. Thus, you can moisturize and nourish your skin. Tap here to look at the product.
Should Everyone Try Skin Cycle?
I think skin cycling is a great idea for those who are already using exfoliants and retinoids for a while. They are already familiar with the ingredients and they will only schedule their skincare and give rest days for their skin. Unfortunately, people who have extremely sensitive skin, rosacea, or inflamed acne might probably not benefit from it. Moreover, please do not think that your skin can deal with using a high percentage of retinoids or chemical exfoliants, start with the low. Please consult a board certified dermatologist before trying these kinds of ingredients.
Do Everyone Need a 4 Day Cycle?
Whether you use any active ingredients that can irritate your skin such as retinoids or exfoliants, you should definitely adopt some kind of skin cycling because it is highly irritable for your skin if you apply them every day. Your skin needs to take rest and recover itself. How many days you need depends on you in my perspective. I do not think everyone should do this skin cycling method in a 4-day cycle. We’re different from each other. Our bodies and our skin are different and therefore our needs are different. Your skin may not work well in a 4 day cycling method but 5 or 6 days. Everybody’s skin is unique and has distinct needs.
Does Skin Cycling Work?
Lastly, you may wonder whether skin cycling works or not. The process of skin cycling is not a miracle. It might not instantly solve all of your issues. You might get pimples or encounter other side effects from exfoliants and retinoids during the process, but over time, these issues become less frequent. Your skin will be more radiant, moisturized, and healthy-looking after a few cycles.
However, the concept of skin cycling is also used to reduce the negative effects of exfoliating acids and retinoids by giving rest days to your skin. So basically, it reduces the potential side effects but also using exfoliants or retinoids might cause these effects. It is important to start with a very low percentage of these ingredients as I mentioned before.
Finally, I want to share a video about a real review of skin cycling. I hope you like it and it would be useful for you.
References for the Images
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