With a hashtag attached to over 3 billion video views, skin cycling is one of the biggest beauty trends on TikTok of late. So, what is skin cycling*? The method focuses on a four-night routine that rotates between universal steps proven to overcome dullness, congested pores, premature aging, and dry skin. Focusing on one active ingredient per night gives the skin time to acclimate and reduce any chances of irritation. While the trend, which offers a simple approach to skin care, is flooding social media feeds it is only one of many ways to apply and layer products. And it’s always best to check with your dermatologist or health care provider before starting any new skin care routine. Here's a closer look at skin cycling.
Skin Cycling: Night 1 - Exfoliate
After cleansing, a cream or lotion that contains a chemical exfoliant will gently remove dead skin cells. This step primes skin to better receive the active ingredient you’ll be applying the following night. Alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs, such as glycolic acid, are chemical exfoliants that slough off dead skin by breaking down the bonds that hold skin cells together. Exfoliant Forte blends glycolic and lactic acids to smooth and soften and makes the perfect exfoliation product for your first night of skin cycling.
Night 2 - Retinol
The second evening is all about retinol. The Vitamin A derivative is the gold standard ingredient for anti-aging and proven to stimulate cell turnover, boost collagen and elastin production and enhance hydration. A true multi-tasker, it’s also widely recommended for acne treatment. Retinol is a powerful active ingredient that can be irritating at first, so it’s important to choose the right retinol formula for you when starting out.
However, skin cycling was designed to simplify product application and reduce chances of irritation with actives only being applied once within the 4-night schedule. This means using a higher strength 1% retinol formula like the Retinol 1% Night Complex will be tolerable for most people and provide the fastest results. It also contains encapsulated retinol that is slowly released into skin over time, along with nourishing Vitamin E and anti-inflammatory squalene to further increase tolerability.
Night 3 & 4 - Recovery
After the intense workout provided by exfoliation and retinol, skin needs a recovery period for vital barrier repair. Any blend of skin strengthening ceramides, peptides and prebiotics, moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid and glycerin, and nourishing shea butter or squalene will help to restore skin. LEXXEL is our go-to soothing and calming moisturizer, it’s formulated with avocado oil and has the perfect light texture for all skin types.
If you’re interested in giving skin cycling a try, the new Vivier Skin Cycling bundle is the perfect place to start. This curated collection of products includes everything needed to embark on the popular skin cycling method. Deeply exfoliate, boost cellular turnover, hydrate and soothe the skin strategically for radiant, healthier, younger-looking skin.
While skin cycling is primarily focused on an evening routine, if you choose to try it your daytime skin care will need minor adjusting, too. It’s very important to use SPF every day when using retinol which can make skin more sensitive to UV exposure, regardless of the season. For the best results wear sunscreen daily.
*Skin Cycling is 4-night product rotation method originally introduced by Dr. Whitney Bowe to maximize results and minimize irritation.