Skin cycling is the latest beauty trend that is taking Tik Tok by storm. Dr. Whitney Bowe has created the practice “skin cycling” that involves strategically using certain skincare products on certain nights for your skincare regimen.
“Skin cycling is a deliberate and strategic way to bring your night-time skincare routine to the next level” said Dr. Whitney Bowe, NYC dermatologist and creator of Dr. Whitney Bowe beauty.
The routine is essentially a 4-night cycle that involves one night for exfoliating, the next for retinol, and two nights of recovery. The idea of the cycle is to avoid layering on products every night and simplifying your skincare routine to focus on one key element each night.
Skin Cycling Breakdown:
Night One – Exfoliation
Dr. Bowe dedicates the first night to exfoliation, applying moisturiser after as per usual.
Our Glow Lab brightening exfoliator with natural rosehip seed is perfect for exfoliating night and is gentle of more sensitive skin too.
Alternatively, our Age Renew resurfacing cleanser is a dual action AHA cleanser that resurfaces skin without the use of rough exfoliants. Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids, Citric Acid and Salicylic Acid, remove dead skin cells for a smoother, brighter complexion.
Night Two – Retinol
Night two can begin as usual with cleansing the skin and patting dry. Dr. Bowe explains that having damp skin is not ideal for applying retinol as it can case irritation, therefore it is best to have completely dry skin.
Applying a retinoid can be harsh sensitive skin and therefore it is recommended to use a very small amount and to moisturise underneath eyes, on the neck and corners of mouth before application, to prevent irritation and dryness.
Our Age Renew Retinol Booster oil is a naturally derived Bakuchiol, scientifically shown to mimic the effects of Retinol, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation. Bakuchiol is not only a gentler option for those with sensitive skin, but also a vegan alternative, because some Vitamin A’s are derived from animal products. Bakuchiol can also work simultaneously with other skincare ingredients such as vitamin C, compared to the extra caution needed when using Retinol that cannot be combined with other skincare ingredients.
This oil can be incorporated into your skin cycling without worrying about any irritation or prescriptions for retinoids.
Night three and four – Recovery
Your recovery nights allow your skin to recover from harsher exfoliants and actives used in the first two nights of the cycle.
“On recovery nights, you want to focus on nourishing your skin microbiome and repairing your skin barrier,” Dr. Bowe says. Therefore, these nights are all about using hydrating and moisturising products after cleansing. Dr Howe recommends using products with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, and squalene.
Our hydrating booster with hyaluronic acid and squalene will achieve intense hydration. Dr. Howe recommends applying on damp skin so using our toner as a base for application will allow the product to sink into damp skin and leave you extra glowy!
Applying this booster or the Rosehip oil before a nourishing night cream such as our Vitamin c night cream or Age Renew Recovery night cream, will help repair the skin’s barrier and result in soft, glowy skin the following morning.
Pro-tip from our own Dr. Gillian Worth is to keep in mind what you are doing during the day when following the Skin Cycling routine. If your skin is going to be exposed to lots of sun and wind the next day, then it is best to avoid having your exfoliation/retinol the night prior. Adjusting the cycle to better suit the weather conditions is recommended by our head chemist.
Both Dr. Gillian Worth and Dr. Whitney Bowe emphasize the importance of listening to your skin's needs, even if this means changing the routine to have the two recovery nights in between exfoliation and retinol night, for more sensitive skin for example.