While you won’t see us telling you to jump on the latest skincare trends, there are some things that catch fire on social that we can get behind. Not because they’re new and buzzy, but because they just make sense. Skin cycling, coined by dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, is one of those skincare suggestions.
While we aren’t huge proponents of aggressive actives, everyone’s skin is different. If you are using exfoliants and retinols, then skin cycling might be helpful for those of us with sensitive skin.
So what is skin cycling and what are its benefits?
What Is Skin Cycling?
Skin cycling is a method of rotating your skincare routine regularly. This involves using different products with different active ingredients on different days, and allowing your skin “rest days.” This helps to prevent irritation that can be caused by regular use of strong actives. By alternating between different products, your skin can get the benefits of different active ingredients, and also get a break.
How does Skin Cycling work?
Skin cycling is a four day night time routine. It works like this:
Night 1: Exfoliate
Night 2: Retinoid
Night 3: Recovery
Night 4: Recovery
Let us elaborate:
Night 1: Exfoliate - On this first night, it’s recommended you exfoliate. Many dermatologists recommend using a chemical exfoliant (something containing an exfoliating acid like an AHA, BHA, Lactic Acid, etc.). If you prefer to use a physical exfoliant, just make sure you don’t have an active breakout as this can spread bacteria on the skin and exacerbate the acne.
Night 2: Retinoid - If you’re using a retinoid, then tonight is the night to use it. Retinoids can be irritating when used too frequently, or if paired with exfoliants, so skin cycling has it used on its own. Make sure you apply retinoids with cleansed skin (we recommend Le Cleanser).
Nights 3 and 4: Recovery - On these two nights, the focus is on hydration. We recommend using a rich moisturizer like La Crème on perfectly cleansed skin, and touching up with Le Baume for any added surges of hydration.
From there, you just repeat the routine. Voila! Not too complicated, and not too trendy - just some skincare common sense.