By Sarwat Asim
There is a whole range of skincare techniques that you can follow this year. But where’s the guarantee that it will actually show some solid results? This year, how about you look into the dynamics of what is skin cycling? This is actually what we consider a strategic method for cycling through your evening skincare products to maximize results and minimize irritation. While many popular skincare methods require upwards of 10 products, skin cycling prefers to keep it simple and who wouldn’t want that? Essentially, skin cycling is a skincare routine that requires rest days in between your active ingredient-laced treatment products to allow your skin’s microbiome to recover. You can consider it as following a “flexible framework.” That means you will customize the regimen to treat your skin’s specific needs. The more traditional way of establishing skincare routines is linear— which means don’t use an exfoliating serum more than one to two times per week. Then other elements are introduced, for instance, gradually introducing a retinoid, but start out slow.
For the basic method of skin cycling, you will be needing:
An exfoliator- this can come in the form of glycolic acid or salicylic acid
A retinoid works well too
And finally comes the moisturizer. Another major tip to know is you should be opting for a fragrance-free ointment or cream
These will be giving you major results when you know how to go about it. Now let’s see how you can break it into a 4-night cycle which gives you some really major results:
The first night you will be cleansing and then pat dry. After which you will exfoliate, which takes off the dead skin cells from the surface layer of your skin. On the second night, you will focus on retinoids, which are vitamin A derivatives that can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinoids are one of the powerful ingredients to include in your skin cycling routine.
Nights 3 and 4 are what we consider the recovery period. The recovery period, typically nights three and four, is the final step. On recovery nights, you hold off on the exfoliating acids and retinoids and give your skin a chance to recover. You focus on nourishing your skin microbiome and repairing your skin barrier, so think: about hydration and moisture, and avoid any irritating ingredients.
Advantages of Skin Cycling
Skin cycling helps in repairing your skin barrier. A healthy skin barrier is essential, not just from a cosmetic standpoint, but from a health standpoint as well. It protects you from infection, harsh chemicals, and allergens. Indeed, research suggests a compromised skin barrier can play a role in symptoms of a range of skin conditions, from acne to eczema, or atopic dermatitis.
It also reduces the negative product side effects which you might get otherwise. The point of skin cycling is to decrease the side effects of many of the active ingredients — the less often you use a product, the less chance for a side effect. And finally, skin cycling actually helps in protecting your skin against some serious seasonal issues. Recovery nights become especially beneficial in fall as the air becomes increasingly dry and cool. Cold, windy, and dry climates can cause dry skin and worsen certain skin conditions such as eczema. Skin cycling may help prevent your skin from getting dry in the first place so that your skin can potentially handle the elements better. The concept of skin cycling isn’t new. Still, there’s a reason why skin cycling has become so popular now, as people have begun to realize that using more products doesn’t always equate to better or healthier skin. This is a less-is-more approach that works and gives you a structured schedule that makes intuitive sense.