Skin-cycling has been circling the internet lately, from TikTok to Instagram, picking up clout wherever it goes. This, rather old technique has been around for quite a while now but has been claimed by the new generation of social media.
It is easy to presume that skin-cycling is a complicated routine that only people with no kids and very few responsibilities are able to do. We are here to tell you that on the contrary, it is trend that simplifies your routine by limiting the number of products that you use per day. It’s just a matter of understanding the cycle, then understanding the ingredients in your products.
So, what exactly is skin-cycling? Debra Wittenberg MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York, describes this detoxing technique as one that implements breaks or “rest days” between assigned vitamins and/or minerals that are to be used sequentially for two days with the third and fourth day being your skin’s day off.
Lucky you, we created a cheat sheet to easily jumpstart your skin-cycling journey.
Night 1: Exfoliation
It is recommended on the first night that you start with strictly cleansing, drying and exfoliating, followed by a light moisturizer. According to Dr. Bowe, scrubbing off the dead skin cells on your face does not only leave your skin feeling fresh and smooth but also allows for the products used afterward to penetrate the skin better and thus, allowing for better absorption.
Don’t forget to exfoliate gently and only on the days that call for it. Although it may look good, over-exfoliating may damage your skin barrier - something we want to avoid at all costs!
But exfoliation on night 1 doesn’t end at cleansing – this is also the ONLY night that you will use a product with ingredients that help exfoliate your skin.
After cleansing, use Wild Algae Super Skin Tonic and Wild Algae Glow Up Serum to prep skin. Then apply Wild Algae Quench Crème infused with Centella Asiatica and Red Seaweed, both gentle exfoliants within a light hydrating facial lotion.
Night 2: Renewal (Retinol)
This night is specifically made for renewing the collagen in your skin by introducing retinoids. As intimidating as it sounds, retinoids, when used correctly, are some of the highest performing actives when it comes to encouraging cellular turnover for smooth, supple skin.
It is important to note that there many different types of retinods from different sources, undergoing different processes and with varying effects. Retioniods are definitely not made equal.
Healthline illustrated the different types: from retinyl palmitate which is the least potent over-the-counter retionoid; Retinol, the standard ingredient in OTC products; Retinaldehyde, a stronger OTC retinoid; all the way to Tazarotene, the most powerful, prescription-only retinoid.
Our main issue with retinoids and retinol from the get-go, is the use of BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and parabens to preserve the raw material. BHT has been associated with toxicity in lung tissue and is a part of our Heck No Checklist – ingredients we will never use in our products.
All this makes the subject of retionoids so confusing and complex, which is why we are so ecstatic to have launch Bulgarian Rose Everything Elixir because it uses Clean or BHT-Free Retinol, derived from sweet potatoes and has undergone encapsulation technology for optimal stability.
Since the absorption rate of your skin will be at an all time high due to exfoliating the previous night, applying retinol on night 2 will allow for the product to work better and sink deeper into your skin and thus, allow for more collagen production reducing your fine lines and wrinkles!
Night 3 and 4: Rest and Recovery by Moisturizing
These nights will be the most simple – all you have to do is cleanse as you usually would, hydrate and moisturize. Remember to hold off on the retinoids and exfoliating acids to permit your skin to recover. Instead, think hydration and nourishment.
Despite the obvious benefits of skin-cycling, such as detoxing and cleansing, here are a few more to encourage you a little bit more to try this technique
- Repairs skin barrier
We’ve talked about the importance of your skin barrier multiple times. Not only does this protective layer of your skin keep your skin looking healthy and plump but it actually keeps it looking healthy and plump.It stops allergens and viruses from penetrating your skin and possibly causing infection.
Skin-cycling, with its recovery days, allows your skin to take a break from all the product packed on to it within the first two days. Exfoliating and using retinoids, when used in excess, may harm the skin barrier but with the schedule skin-cycling follows, it allows for both to work in harmony by incorporating a sense of balance.
- Helps protect skin against seasonal issues
Once again, recovery nights work to your advantage, especially throughout the drier seasons. According to Whitney Bowe MD, another board certified dermatologist from New York City, says that giving your skin a break after packing on all its fortifying ingredients decreases the risk of dryness and irritation.
- Reduces negative product side effects
Think links with the actual objective of skin-cycling: lessening the use of ingredient rich products. The point of doing so is to lessen the risk of side effects from these powerful products by off-setting them with rest days.