There has been a trend going around on TikTok called Skin Cycling.  It essentially is a four-night skin care regimen that repeats to simplify your routine and reduce inflammation from active ingredients. Many are claiming it truly works, so let’s dive into what skin cycling is and if my 30 years in the field can back it up. 

What Is Skin Cycling?

Skin cycling is a skin care routine that allows for “rest days” so that your skin can heal and repair after the usual conventionally active ingredients. This can help prevent irritation and inflammation. Skin cycling calls for an exfoliator with glycolic or salicylic acid, a conventional retinoid, and a light moisturizer. 

Now if you’ve read my posts before or heard me talk about any of these ingredients or products, you know this is already a no-no. 

The conventional classic skin cycling regiment calls for:

  • An exfoliant
  • A retinoid
  • A light moisturizer

Skin cycling is a four-night cycle. The first night is exfoliation, the second night is a retinoid, and the third and fourth days are recovery nights, and then you repeat.  I will say this is a step in the right direction, but the truth is, if your skin needs rest from the products you’re using, then they probably aren’t good for you to be using at ALL. 

The Routine

  • Night 1: Exfoliation

The first night calls for exfoliating your skin. The reason they say this step comes first, is that your other products will be able to penetrate more deeply into the skin. If you exfoliate too much, though, it can lead to irritation and inflammation. 

Skin Harmonics Tip: Use Revive⎜Exfoliating Pack, which is an enzyme exfoliant and is better at hitting the mark of perfect exfoliation without going overboard.  It is important that we avoid going overboard as this causes many problems including accelerated aging.

  • Night 2: Traditional Retinoids

This night calls for retinoids, which have been conventionally agreed to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. They often cause chronic inflammation and a very low ability to actually increase new skin cell production and when they do it is because of irritation.  This is the worst way to pay for new skin cells as this strategy takes a serious long term toll on our skin. Anyone that has sensitive skin cannot use conventional retinoids at all. 

Skin Harmonics Tip: Don’t use traditional retinoids at all. Rather, use stabilized liposomal delivery retinaldehyde (Dermal Nutrients) which gives our skin an abundance of new skin cells without the undesirable irritation or sun sensitivity component.  Think of giving your skin a slow drip of constant usable Dermal Nutrients that increase the production of new skin cells (real wrinkle reduction) for glow and tremendous health without having to rest it from the torture of inflammation or sun-sensitivity.

  • Nights 3 & 4: Recovery Period

Nights three and four are typically the recovery times and are the final steps. On these nights, you’ll want to hold back on exfoliating and using retinoids to give your skin a chance to recover. It’s all about lip service for “nourishing your skin and repairing your skin’s natural barrier.”  A light moisturizer is entirely inadequate to restore the barrier.  And nourishment can only come from something our skin can directly metabolize into new skin cells without agony which is why Dermal Nutrients are the only thing that qualifies itself as “nourishment” in my book.

Skin Harmonics Tip: Use Lamina, Trinity, Unity, Truce or Nomad which are amazing true barrier repair butters that Skin Harmonics offers.

The Benefits Of Skin Cycling

While skin cycling may be a step in the right direction, it still isn’t enough. The bottom line is we shouldn’t have to give our skin a break from using products that are inherently disadvantageous for our skin. This is like eating fast food for every meal for two days and then taking a break for two days. The damage is already done. The two nights of recovery are simply not enough, especially to go back and damage it again in two days. 

What if we never used these obsolete ingredients that incur unnecessary trauma to begin with, and swapped them out for the real thing that profoundly satiates and abundantly creates new skin cells for our skin instead?

The Bottom Line On Skin Cycling

Skin cycling is a new concept that just started taking over. People are starting to realize that using more acids, traditional retinoids, and barbaric exfoliation products does not provide healthier skin. It is giving people a regimen that makes sense within the conventional skin industry, but it is still a coping strategy to the much bigger issue.  Our skin simply cannot heal in this old way of abusive and short-sided dead end protocols that will eventually send our skin off a cliff of decline.

If you’re using the right products in the first place, then you wouldn’t need recovery days at all.  One would only need to meter and adjust Dermal Nutrient dosages and enjoy thriving and supremely satisfied skin.  Harmonized and resourced skin gets plenty of rest, enjoys nutritious meals every day, enjoys optimal exercise, and is never subjected to being overworked..never needing a day off as every day is balanced.