Skin Cycling – the skin-care trend worth trying

man doing facecare

Not so long ago social media was shaken by a new skin-care trend called skin cycling and now, tried by many, it’s here to stay and definitely worth trying.

Is there anything that makes you feel better than a great skincare routine? It feels wonderful to remove your makeup and apply your favorite moisturizers and serums after a long day, right? Because there are so many skincare products available, it can be difficult to know which ones are best for your skin. Then, if you have skincare products, it might be difficult to know which ones to apply and when. But we are sure, that taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be difficult.

What is skin cycling?

The newest skincare trend hitting TikTok, called “skin cycling,” may have lasting value. Skin cycling, a term created by dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, is a way to alternate your skincare products throughout the week to prevent over-exfoliating your skin.

Exfoliants and retinol can have some powerful benefits. These products can be useful in your routine, helping to unclog pores and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. You can have too much of a good thing when it comes to skincare, so more isn’t always better.

Exfoliation, retinol, and recovery are the three components of the four-night skin cycling program. The skin is given time to heal and mend while still receiving the full advantages of exfoliation and retinol. You can find outstanding reviews under #skincycling on social media, as proof that this is not only trending but working and giving spectacular results.

woman looking at empty calendar

Skin Cycling Routine

As we mentioned before, Skin cycling is built on 4-day routine. It can be a handful at the beginning, but when you get ahead of things, it will get easier. So, here is the routine and everything you need to know about the products.


Skin cycling’s first night is dedicated to exfoliation. In essence, it is advised to use a product that works as a chemical exfoliant. Do not be alarmed by the phrase “chemical”; exfoliants containing chemicals can be a safe and useful complement to your skincare routine. Acids found in chemical exfoliants often remove pore-clogging debris and dead skin cells, leaving you with skin that is more even in tone and texture. These are the most popular chemical exfoliants:

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are acids generated from plants that help the body make more collagen and exfoliate extra skin cells. A typical AHA found in many skincare products is glycolic acid.

  • The acne-fighting BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids) help unclog pores by reducing the amount of excess oil in the skin. Salicylic acid, which is often present in acne products, is the most common BHA.

Keep in mind, exfoliants should be used on clean skin and followed with a moisturizer and chemical exfoliants should not be used alongside retinol.


The application of a retinoid is the main focus of the second night’s skin cycling routine. Topical products called retinoids, which are made from vitamin A, have long been researched in the skincare industry. Retinoids are excellent at treating acne, boosting collagen production, reducing age spots, and increasing the skin cell cycle. Retinoids come in a variety of forms and are available for purchase. Some of the most typical are:

  • Retinal – a type of retinoid that can cure lines and wrinkles up to 11 times faster than retinol while also being more effective and accessible to the skin.
  • Tretinoin is a prescription-only retinoid with a strength greater than that of over-the-counter products. A doctor must provide a prescription for tretinoin.
  • Adapalene popular treatment for acne because of its anti-inflammatory effects. And it can be found in a lot of over-the-counter products.

There may be an initial period of adjustment for people who are just starting to use retinoids. These products should be used only on clean and dry skin and shouldn’t be used during the day as they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. You can layer retinoids over moisturizer, if your skin is dry or sensitive, and it definitely should not be used at the same time as a chemical exfoliant. And keep in mind – when using a retinoid of any kind, make sure you use sun protection during the day.

woman looking in bathroom's mirror


The third and fourth nights of skin cycling involve giving the skin a break so it can heal and recover after exfoliating on night one and using retinol on night two. On your recovery nights, concentrate on applying skincare products containing ingredients like:

  • Hyaluronic Acid is a slippery and hydrating substance that is naturally occurring in the body. When applied it can help the skin retain moisture and keep its natural glow.
  • Peptides are products that contain amino acids that will help repair the skin, by increasing collagen production and improving overall skin texture.
  • Glycerin is another naturally occurring substance that attracts moisture to the skin.
  • Squalane is very similar to skin’s natural oils and it helps boost hydration in the skin and reduce damage from free radicals.

On recovery night, after cleansing, you can apply the hydrating serum of your choice and finish with a moisturizer. And after two nights of recovery, start over with exfoliation and keep rotating throughout the rest of the week. If your skin is extremely oily you can try a 3-day routine – just one night for recovery before going back to exfoliation.

To sum up

As the reviews claim, you may start to see the results of the skin cycling after just two full cycles, which is 8 days. Overall – getting back a natural glow, feel more hydrated, and softer touch to the skin. But what’s the main benefit of the new trend that has reached over 14.2 million views of the hashtag #skincycling? It’s a clear how-to instruction on skincare that’s easy to maintain, keeping things under control and getting into a clear routine.


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