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How to Build a Skin Cycling Routine for More Glowing Skin

How to Build a Skin Cycling Routine for More Glowing Skin

In the fast-paced realm of beauty and wellness, trends are as transient as the seasons. Enter the latest buzz: “skin cycling,” a refreshing approach to your skincare routine. Dr. Whitney Bowe, a New York-based board-certified dermatologist, coined the term “skin cycling” and has been promoting the method across her social media channels for years.

The skin cycling steps begin after cleansing the face. It is a four-night cycle: a night dedicated to exfoliation and a night dedicated to retinoids. The subsequent two nights are devoted to recovery, and then you repeat the cycle.

At the heart of this regimen lie two ingredients: exfoliants and retinoids. These powerhouses seamlessly meld into your routine (on isolated nights) to help enhance skin tone, texture and vibrancy. Plus, the novel inclusion of rest days in your skin cycling regimen serves as a safeguard against potential irritating effects that excessive product use may bring about.

Nightly Routine and Recommended Products

Night One: Exfoliate

Begin with cleansing and gentle drying of your skin, followed by exfoliating. Opt for a gentle physical exfoliant or a chemical exfoliant, such as lactic acid or glycolic acid, to tailor the experience to your preference. This step helps remove dead skin cells, which can help other products to penetrate more effectively and refine skin texture.

OSEA Seaglow Overnight Serum AHA Treatment

Tatcha The Deep Cleanse Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

Tula Pro-Glycolic® 10% Resurfacing Treatment Toner

Youth To The People Kombucha + 10% AHA Power Exfoliant

Night Two: Apply Retinoids

Embrace retinoids on this evening to help visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This ingredient can be irritating on the first use or if you have sensitive skin. Seeking something gentler? Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A similar to retinoids, offers a milder over-the-counter option that gradually enhances skin texture. For a more natural alternative, consider the L’Occitane en Provence Immortelle Divine Serum.

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni™ Retinol Cream

L’Occitane en Provence Immortelle Divine Serum

Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Retinol Serum

Peach & Lily Retinal For All Renewing Serum

Nights Three and Four: Hydrate and Repair

The final step is the recovery phase, which occurs on the third and fourth nights. On this restorative step, avoid the application of exfoliating agents and retinoids, offering your skin the grace to mend. Redirect your focus toward nourishing your skin by prioritizing hydration and moisture.

Origins GINZING™ Ultra Hydrating, Energy-Boosting Cream

Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty Bowe Glowe Microbiome Nourishing Cream

Versed Skin Soak Rich Moisture Cream

Paula’s Choice Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50

While skin cycling offers a personalized and intuitive approach to skincare, it’s essential to recognize that it might not be suitable for all skin types or lifestyles. You can embrace these nightly steps for as long as you need and modify your routine over time. The guidance of a dermatologist or skincare expert is key to deciphering whether this method aligns with your needs.

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