How to Perfect Your P.M. Routine with Skin Cycling:
Although it sounds like something you’d find on the schedule at your local gym, skin cycling is actually a form of self care for the skincare realm. Then again, given its potential for boosting your skin’s performance, agility, and recovery times, it might just be a kind of fitness after all.
Here’s a little rundown on how it works:
So what is skin cycling and what are the benefits?
Although it’s likely been around for awhile, skin cycling has been going viral on social media channels like TikTok and Instagram recently after receiving a stamp of approval from multiple dermatologists and skincare experts.
The idea behind skin cycling is to build a routine that uses different products and/or active ingredients on alternate nights - i.e. in a cycle - in order to prevent overwhelm for your skin, and maximize the efficacy of each product.
Because certain ingredients can be too aggressive for nightly use, or even cancel out the benefits of other ingredients, skin cycling can be a great way to avoid these types of negative reactions and get even better results.
The Method: How to use skin cycling in your routine
The most common approach to skin cycling is a four-night rotation as follows:
- Night One: Exfoliation with an enzyme, alpha-hydroxy acid, or beta-hydroxy acid based formula
- Night Two: Rejuvenation with a retinol or Vitamin A
- Night Three & Night Four: Recovery with gentle ingredients that support barrier repair and moisture retention
If you’re new to skin cycling, this is usually a great place to start. The practice of exfoliating on night one tends to prepare the skin well for retinol the following night, while your recovery nights will give your skin an opportunity to repair and rebuild before the cycle begins anew.
However, you can also adjust as needed. For example, if your skin experiences irritation in the beginning, you can add more nights in a row for recovery, or follow your recovery routine every other night, between exfoliation and rejuvenation.
On the other hand, you may also be able to adapt to a three night cycle of exfoliation, rejuvenation, and recovery, if your skin tolerates cycling well and becomes more resilient over time. Other variations might also include a night to focus on brightening, or building in a night of extra pampering with your favourite facial mask and massage tool.
Lastly, as long as you're consistent and keep tabs on your skin’s progress - adjusting as necessary - there’s really no wrong way to use skin cycling.
Skin Reminder: Skincare needs are 100% individual and you can feel free to customize according to your individual needs and skin goals.