There’s no shortage of skincare trends in the market. From 10-step Korean Beauty routines to slugging, it’s hard not to get confused when you’re just trying to improve your skin. But whatever your skin type may be, there’s one method that claims to simplify and solve all your skincare woes: skin cycling. But what is skin cycling exactly? Is it more than another viral fad?
What is skin cycling?
Popularized by dermatologists such as Dr. Whitney Bowe, skin cycling aims to help you get more out of your routine by strategically cycling through your products. Think of it as a “less is more” approach, instead of layering several products in one go. It’s a four-night method that dedicates one night for exfoliation, followed by retinoids, and two nights for recovery. Then repeat the process.
@drwhitneybowe Skin cycling for beginners: how to get started. And how to layer with Bowe Glowe #skincycling #thatboweglow #dermatologist #skintok ♬ original sound - Dr. Whitney Bowe
After years of treating patients, Dr. Whitney created this method when she noticed that people often don’t focus on skin barrier recovery — and that’s exactly the foundation of skin cycling. By giving your skin a break from active ingredients, you help prevent irritation, redness, and peeling, while boosting your skin’s overall health.
The best part about a skin cycling routine is that it’s relatively simple and easy to follow. Plus, the best products for skin cycling are probably already in your vanity. True enough, on TikTok alone, the #skincycling hashtag has amassed 135.1 million views (and counting). Meanwhile, skincare fans around the world are singing its praises. Some users state that this method has finally helped them achieve clear skin, combat dryness, maximize their products, and so much more.
Skin cycling tips
Night 1: Exfoliation
On your first night, it’s good to start with exfoliation to slough off dead skin cells and allow your other skin cycling products to penetrate better. Opt for a gentle chemical exfoliant like our Ease Up Watery PHA Oil Cleanser, which deep-cleanses and visibly clarifies skin in one wash. Don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizer to restore hydration and keep skin supple.
Night 2: Retinoids
Retinoids are a powerhouse ingredient. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, retinoids can prevent signs of aging, boost collagen, and even clear acne. However, you need to be very careful when incorporating them into your routine, as they can cause irritation when used too frequently or combined with other clashing ingredients. It’s best to use it on its own, and follow with a rich moisturizer to prevent dryness.
Nights 3 and 4: Recovery
The last two nights are all about giving your skin a reset. You’ll want to focus on nourishing and repairing your skin barrier through hydrating and moisturizing products. Some ingredients to look out for are hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides. Remember, all skin types need hydration — even if you’re oily!
What about skin cycling morning routine?
At this point, you might be wondering, what should you do in the morning after? Is there another skin cycling AM and PM routine you should follow? Ideally, your morning routine shouldn’t change too often. But keep in mind that basic skincare principles apply. Don’t mix clashing ingredients, and go easy on actives as much as possible! However, one product remains non-negotiable in any daytime regimen: sunscreen.
Never forget daily sunscreen
In skin cycling, you’re still exposing skin to active ingredients that increase your sensitivity to the sun. So if you want to maximize the benefits of skin cycling and prevent sun damage, you need to be extra diligent with wearing everyday sunscreen.
At Everyday Humans, we’ve got you covered! Our Resting Beach Face is the best everyday sunscreen, since it also doubles as a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. Its unique SPF serum formula is incredibly lightweight and hydrating, and it works well under make-up too. Don’t worry, it’s not just sunscreen for dry skin — everyone can use it!
For your body, look no further than Oh My Bod!, our lightweight lotion and SPF in one. This sunscreen without whitecast also contains skin-loving ingredients like cucumber, green tea, and hyaluronic acid. It’s great as an everyday lotion and protection for the outdoors.
Bottom line: whether you’re skin cycling or sticking with good old ‘cleanse-tone-moisturize,’ SPF is non-negotiable in any routine.
Shop your SPF essentials now on Everyday Humans.