Thursday 28 September 2023

A Guide To Skin Cycling

Although the concept has been around for a while, skin cycling is a new term coined by New York dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe. It is a minimalist skincare routine that allows skin 'rest days' after using certain active ingredients.

The four-day technique starts with an evening of exfoliation, followed by an evening of retinol. It ends with two evenings of recovery and hydration, and, once the cycle is complete, the process is then repeated. Skin cycling offers a balanced approach to skin rejuvenation, ensuring skin gets the treatment it needs while also allowing for crucial recovery time.

“My favourite thing about skin cycling is that it acknowledges that your skin needs time to recover in-between what can be powerful active ingredients" says Charlotte Knight, founder of Skin Proud. "Those recovery evenings are just as effective as the retinol or exfoliation evening in creating healthy looking skin."

Charlotte continues, "The only disadvantages I see with the trend are that you don't want results to plateau with the products you are using, which can happen. I would advise to always start on a lower concentration retinol if you are new to retinoid treatments and build up to a stronger one if you feel that your skin needs further enhancement."

By adopting the skin cycling technique, you can simplify your skincare routine and, most importantly, enable your skin to receive all the benefits of powerhouse ingredients without risking damage or irritation. For those interested in giving skin cycling a go, below are some great products worth introducing...

Night One | Exfoliation

You can't go wrong with the SKINWORK Homework AHA BHA Exfoliating Peel (£46 It is an exfoliating treatment formulated with salicylic acid, lactic acid, sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, and allantoin to gently exfoliate, cleanse, hydrate, brighten, and smooth the skin. Designed to stay on the skin, the Homework AHA BHA Exfoliating Peel comes with two handy reusable cotton applicator pads, helping to save the environment and your bank balance.

For a more affordable exfoliator option, try the Skin Proud Detox Tonic (£14.95 Designed for daily use, both morning or night, the Detox Tonic is formulated with a delicate balance of AHAs, alongside apple extract, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and cooling aloe vera. These ingredients work together to gently unclog pores, treat blemishes, improve texture, and brighten skin tone.

Night Two | Retinol

I've been loving the Skin Proud Recharge Overnight Retinol Serum (£13.95 Designed to work through the night, this weightless serum blends hyaluronic acid, bakuchiol, and 0.5% retinol together to even skin tone and promote surface cell removal.

For something a little stronger, I recommend the Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum (£70 Combining 5% retinoid ester blend, 1% liposomal-encapsulated retinol blend, and 0.5% blue-green algae with natural, retinoid-alternative activity, this serum is ideal for those wanting serious results without the unwanted side effects of traditional retinol formulations.

Night Three & Four | Recovery & Hydration

For masking, try the Sisley Hydra-Flash (£169 Formulated to work on super dry skin, this ultra-hydrating face mask, described as an 'intensive bath of moisture', hydrates, tones and soothes, and protects the skin's defensive barrier. It is packed full of natural plant extracts and essential oils, including gingko bilboa, red vine, sesame, marjoram essential oil, and provitamin B5.

For repairing the skin, I recommend La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Dermallergo Fluid (£21 With a lightweight gentle formula, the Toleriane Dermallergo Fluid reinforces and protects the skin barrier in just 1 hour, all while providing up to 48h hydration and helping reduce redness and itchiness.

For a direct hydration hit, try the IMAGE Skincare Ageless Total Pure Hyaluronic6 Filler (£101 Formulated with six forms of hyaluronic acid, with varying molecular weights, IMAGE Skincare's hero hyaluronic acid serum boosts hydration, plumps skin, and smooths and softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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