The Viral Skin Cycling Trend: A Beginner’s Guide

While the concept of skin cycling may seem intimidating to beginners, it is actually a simple and effective way to achieve glowing, healthy skin. This blog post is a guide to the viral Skin Cycling trend, covering everything from what it is to how to incorporate it into your skincare routine.

The hashtag #skincycling has over 250 million views on TikTok, and unlike most other fads, dermatologists actually approve – but what exactly is it?

Skin Cycling refers to a nighttime skincare regimen that you repeatedly cycle through. You use active ingredients only on certain days, following them with ‘rest days’. A 4-day cycle is the most popular, where you use active ingredients for two nights, followed by two nights rest – and then repeat the cycle.

How to get started with skin cycling?

  • Night One – AHA/BHA/PHA Exfoliation (lactic, salicylic or glycolic acid exfoliant depending on your skin concerns)
  • Night Two – Retinoid (Superstar night oil)
  • Nights Three & Four – Rest. repair, recover – use a nourishing cleanser (Erase/Renew), hydrating serum (Pure HA Serum), gentle eye cream (Recover) and soothing moisturiser (Hydrate)


night 1

On the first night, start with a deep cleanse and follow up with a leave-on exfoliator. Choose an exfoliating acid like lactic acid, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid, depending on your particular skin concern.

night 2

On the second night, it’s time to go in with your retinol. After cleansing, pat skin dry and apply your retinoid night oil to face, neck and decolletage.

night 3 & 4

These nights are about rest and repair – giving your skin a break from active ingredients, and building up the skin barrier with effective hydration. You want to use products enriched with deeply hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane. 

Use a gentle cleanser, leave skin damp, and then apply a hyaluronic serum. Follow through with a nourishing moisturiser that contains ingredients like squalane and peptides to support the skin barrier.

The idea behind skin cycling is to simplify your routine and potentially reduce inflammation from active ingredients. By adjusting your routine to match your skin’s natural cycle of regeneration and renewal, you can achieve better results with less product, and minimise the risk of damage to the skin barrier.

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