Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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    Skin Cycling: The Step-by-Step Guide to Exfoliation, Retinoids, and Recovery

    A new day, a new skincare craze. And what is the latest buzzword? Cycling on the skin. At the height of the epidemic, dermatologist Whitney Bowe created and popularised the viral skincare routine. During this period, there was a change in emphasis from make-up to skincare, with individuals frequently choosing the more is more approach for fast fix results. We’re all guilty of it: utilising too many products and active ingredients at once. Excessive exfoliation and usage of active substances might do more harm than good. People who overuse actives frequently exhibit indicators of inflammation, including as stinging, burning, redness, irritation, and hyperpigmentation,” says Dr. Muneeb Shah, a board-certified dermatologist and the internet’s resident dermatologist, also known as Derm Doctor. It is also known to weaken the skin’s barrier, hasten the ageing process, and aggravate pigmentation. Rest days, which most people were and still are missing in their routines, allow your skin to rebuild and recuperate.

    Then there’s skin cycling. Just like one needs rest days when exercising to heal, your skin need some downtime to aid skin repair. “Skin cycling is a concept used to describe a certain skincare practise that has recently gone viral,” Dr Shah adds. “It’s the same as any other skincare routine, except it has a name.

    What is Skin Cycling?

    Skin cycling is a skincare practise or procedure that is intended to prevent over-exfoliation and the damage that it produces. Dr. Bowe recommends a four-day cycle with one day of exfoliation, however this programme may vary depending on skin type. Those with oily skin, for example, may need to exfoliate more frequently. Skin cycling is confined to your evening skincare routine, while your morning routine can include the conventional phases of wash, treat, and protect.


    Limiting exfoliating to once every four days, cleanse your skin and then use an exfoliator. Physical exfoliation, which can cause damage, is preferable over chemical exfoliation using AHA/BHA or exfoliating pads. After that, apply a moisturiser. Day 1 attempts to prepare your skin by removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface to allow for improved product penetration.

    Because tretinoin is not recommended after an exfoliating agent, apply retinol or retinoid the next day. Begin with cleaning, then apply retinol or retinoid, followed by moisturiser.


    The third and fourth days are devoted to hydration and rebalancing. Set aside the active substances in favour of those that focus on intensive moisturisation. Dr. Shah recommends looking for substances that nourish, moisturise, and preserve the skin barrier. Ceramides, allantoin, bisabolol, aloe vera, shea butter, squalane, turmeric, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and other ingredients are included. The recovery nights will rebuild the skin’s barrier, pH, and microbiota, preparing your skin for when you return to actives.

    Is skin Cycling Recommended?

    Skin cycling, which adheres to the less is more school of thinking, might be good for skincare newbies. “This is great for folks who have sensitive skin or are just starting a skincare programme,” Dr. Shah says. “It’s also a terrific routine for anyone who is experiencing aggravation from their current skincare routine or those who struggle to stay to a routine to have a specific regimen to follow.” Not only will your skin accept the products better if they are applied in stages, but you will also receive the advantages of each component, optimising your regimen. “The actives in this programme, retinol and exfoliation, aid with ageing, pigmentation, and texture,” Dr. Shah explains. “However, when retinol is taken seldom, you will not reap the full advantages of it.”

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