Skin Cycling: The Hot New Trend that will Transform your Skin

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday August 22, 2022
Originally published on August 10, 2022

Skin Cycling: The Hot New Trend that will Transform your Skin
  (Source:Getty Images)

It's no secret that TikTok has been responsible for trend after trend after trend. Even in the realm of skincare, products seem to go viral and sell out overnight, crazy new trends blow up overnight, and brands are relying more and more on TikTok as a viable way to attract new customers.

It's hard to cut through the noise on TikTok sometimes, especially since the app can occasionally feel like a sandbox where young teens hawk tips alongside chemists, dermatologists, and the brands themselves. In an age where trends come and go in the blink of an eye, it's worth discussing when something comes along that is *gasp* actually beneficial to the skin.

As reported by Allure, New York City dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bow is the one that came up with one trend currently blowing people's minds on TikTok: skin cycling.

The idea behind skin cycling is that you alternate between using active ingredients and letting your skin rest and recover. "It's a four-night cycling schedule," Dr. Bowe told Allure. "Exfoliation night, retinoid night, recovery night, recovery night, repeat. You will get the most out of the active ingredients in your skin-care products while minimizing irritation by building in those needed recovery nights."

Exfoliants and retinol are vital components to an effective skincare routine, but they can be harsh and cause dryness, inflammation, and other irritation, which is why Dr. Bowe has set aside two consecutive nights for recovery.

According to Allure, Dr. Bowe recommends exfoliating the skin with a chemical exfoliant on the first night of the regiment. After cleansing, something like an at-home peel is an ideal way to exfoliate the skin twice a week, just make sure you're always following it up with a moisturizer.

On the second night, after cleansing, use a pea-sized amount of retinol and top it off with a layer of your moisturizer as the final step. A powerhouse ingredient, retinol will help stimulate cell turnover as well as stimulate collagen production, which in turn will reduce the appearance of lines, dark spots, dark circles, and acne.

On the third and fourth nights of the routine, Dr. Bowe recommends focusing on hydration and repair without the addition of any kind of active ingredients. Hyaluronic acid serums are fair game, as are moisturizers and/or a face oil to seal everything in.

According to Dr. Bowe and Allure, alternating the use of a chemical exfoliant and retinol allows the skin time to build tolerances and reduces the potential of doing too much too soon. Of course, there are variations on this model, and every person's skin will respond differently to things. Personally, I've been following a similar routine at the instruction of my dermatologist and my skin has seldom looked better.

Just remember, regardless of what you try, listen to your skin, and always slather on the SPF.