Some of you may have heard all the hype around skin cycling and wonder, "What is this all about?" Well no more need to wonder because I'm here as your Esthetician to spill the tea. Skin cycling, which was named by Dermatologist, Dr. Whitney Bowe, is a four day cycle that's a very effective way to exfoliate the skin in a way that can help avoid the notorious irritation that can come from using exfoliants such as redness, flakiness and sensitivity (signs that you're disrupting the natural skin barrier). It can help greatly increase the glow of your skin, smooth the skin's texture, help reduce hyperpigmentation and diminish breakouts. So without further ado, here is the breakdown of how to skin cycle.
NIGHT ONE, EXFOLIATE:
Wash, treat the skin with an exfoliant, then moisturize. The key here is to use a chemical exfoliant such as an AHA or BHA based exfoliant. There are a few main different types of AHA's and BHA's which are suitable for different skin types. They are mandelic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid. We'll do a deep dive on the different types of acids on another post.
NIGHT TWO, RETINOID:
Wash, treat the skin with a retinoid, then moisturize. If you have sensitive skin and find that the retinoid is causing flakiness or redness, you can "sandwich" the retinoid by using a first layer of moisturizer, then retinoid, then another application of moisturizer. You may only have to sandwich the retinol in certain areas such as the crows feet area below the eyes and the marionette lines beside the nose and mouth. Pro tip, apply the retinol to dry skin not damp. If you apply the retinol to damp skin it can increase the chances of sensitivity.
NIGHTS THREE AND FOUR, RECOVERY:
Wash, treat the skin with a supportive serum, then moisturize. A supportive serum will include ingredients that help support and repair the skin barrier with anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, niacinamide, resveratrol, ceramides or hyaluronic acid.
As you begin the skin cycling process, you may notice a period of purging if you are inclined to breakouts. The reason for this is because it's increasing the speed of which your skin cells shed which bring the breakouts under the skin to the surface faster.
Have you jumped on the trend of skin cycling? What have your results been? I'd love to hear how it's worked for everyone. If you want to try skin cycling but don't know what products to use, I'd love to recommend some for you. Just shoot me an email or a text and I'll give you my professional recommendations for your specific skin type.
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