How to create a skin cycling routine.

Just like a good exercise regime requires a few rest days a week, so does your skincare routine. Skin cycling is essentially a way to give your skin a break – alternating powerful active ingredients with soothing rest days to aid the growth and repair cycle of the skin. A skin cycling routine is typically a four-night rotation, consisting of one night of exfoliation with AHAs/PHAs/BHAs, one night incorporating retinoids, then two nights of R&R with a gentle, nourishing routine.

What is skin cycling?

What are the benefits of skin cycling?

The idea behind skin cycling is to let your skin reap the benefits of active ingredients, without compromising the skin barrier. Overuse of actives like exfoliating acids and retinoids can lead to signs of skin barrier damage like dryness, peeling, breakouts and increased sensitivity. Alternating two nights of actives with two nights of recovery allows your skin time to repair itself, avoiding over-exfoliation and preventing irritation.

With a consistent skin cycling routine, you should start to see results from your actives, without impacting your skin barrier.

The Moisture Barrier Is Damaged?
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How to create a skin cycling routine.

It’s super simple to follow a nightly skin cycling routine. The rotation begins with exfoliation on the first night, followed by a retinoid serum on the second night, then nights three and four are dedicated to recovery with hydrating, skin barrier-strengthening skincare. Then repeat.


There’s no denying the influence of TikTok on the beauty world. There’s new skincare and makeup trends popping up with every scroll, and while some are gimmicky, occasionally you’ll stumble upon a gamechanger. Skin cycling – a buzzy, derm-backed skincare trend with over 3.5 billion views on TikTok – falls firmly in the latter camp, and it has the potential to boost the efficacy of your skincare regime.

But let’s go back to basics. What actually is skin cycling and what can it do for your skin? Here’s everything you need to know about the viral skincare trend that actually works.

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