A skincare routine can be a time you spend on yourself, and something you may look forward to doing that relaxes you. It shouldn’t be something that confuses you or makes you anxious. If your routine is too complicated, skin cycling may be a routine you could consider adopting. 

Dermatologist invented the term skin cycling, and its method rotates skin products so your skin does not become overly sensitive to active ingredients like retinol, for example. 

Skin Cycling adjusts your regular nighttime routine into a four-night cycle in which you try:

Night 1:

After cleansing the skin, use a chemical exfoliator: that dissolves dead skin cells to renew the skin. 

Some examples of exfoliators are: 

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s)-like glycolic, lactic, and malic. 

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s)-Salicylic 

An exfoliator before retinol improves the ability of the product to sink into the skin better. 

 Night 2:

 Retinoid Application

 Retinol and tretinoin are retinoids that come from vitamin A with tretinoin being the most concentrated. If you are a new retinol user, applying a small amount a few times a week to start is advised for less irritation. At night, use retinol on freshly cleansed but dry skin. The following two nights, replenishing and hydrating moisturizers protect the skin barrier. 

Night 3 & 4

 Replenish, Hydrate, Recover

These are good nights to apply a gentle cleanser or a double cleanse if needed, starting with a balmy cleanser and ending with a gentle fash wash. 

A hyaluronic acid serum or face oil is an excellent step to use before your moisturizer. 

Using these products will heal the skin barrier and reduce any signs of irritation or inflammation that you may or may not have experienced in the past. 

You might ask why the need to try this at all. Not everyone can use these gold standard products every day, and it’s a shame when they are the best anti-aging and skin rejuvenation products. Adjusting your routine can set your skin up to tolerate these anti-aging gold star products. 

Skin cycling is a perfect routine for anyone with sensitive skin or a compromised skin barrier. 

It gives your skin a chance to repair itself, and you get the benefits of using active ingredients regularly. 

If a reaction occurs, you don’t always know what caused it. With skin cycling, you can isolate the products to understand better if something reacts with your skin incorrectly. 

Another way to look at Skin Cycling is a typical weight lifting routine that allows your muscles to rest in one area and focus on another group. Skin Cycling works similarly, allowing your skin to rejuvenate and benefit from the active ingredients that did the work and then resting with your hydrating products. 

Your morning skincare routine will include a cleanser, vitamin c serum, moisturizer, and SPF. SPF will be vital to protecting your skin while using active ingredients. 

Your skin cycling routine is fully customizable depending on your skin’s unique needs. Talk with your skin therapist to determine whether this is the proper skincare routine for your skin type. 


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