Creating a skincare routine that best suits your ever-evolving skin is no easy feat. From being bombarded by the millions of products on the shelves to a variety of “how-to” techniques circulating on social media, it can be hard to know where and how to start, especially if you experience skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis or acne.
As a beauty writer and master esthetician for 15 years, nothing excites me more than seeing the latest trend in skincare finally align with the core values and empowering education I’ve offered my clients for the past decade: a minimally designed routine will always succeed. an extensive, unintentional one.
SkinTok’s latest craze, #SkinCycling, has exploded in popularity in recent months, thanks to a dermatologist, research scientist and founder of Beauty of Dr. Whitney Bowe, Dr. Whitney Bowe, Doctor in medicine. While the concept isn’t “new” per se, it’s version 2.0 of microdosing that peaked as the biggest beauty trend of the year with the hashtag #skincycling at 75.7 million and counting, and for very good reason. .
ELLE spoke to three experts: the creator herself, Dr. Bowe, along with a master esthetician and skin care specialist in New York City, julie algiersY Dr. Marisa Garshika board-certified dermatologist based in New York to answer questions GREAT questions. Their combined knowledge takes the guesswork out of how to (properly) fit this method into your beauty routine for healthier, happier, glowing skin.
What is the skin cycle?
Skin Cycling is a four-day thoughtful strategic technique for alternating your nightly skincare products that streamlines your skincare routine in an effective and easy-to-follow way. Yes all the time minimizing irritation. According to Dr. Bowe, “You need a less-is-more approach to your routine. Instead of adding more products on top of each other, encourage the use of products in strategic and complementary ways.” While there are various explanations for why Skin Cycling is so beneficial, the analogy that connected the dots, for me, was given by Bowe herself, as she compares his coined method to something quite familiar: working out.
If you’re trying to build strength in a particular muscle group, “don’t just load those muscles every day with heavy weights, because that’s a surefire way to cause injury, not strength,” says Bowe. That’s why recovery days are vital, as the athlete in me nods. He can focus on his arms one day and his legs the next, intentionally building those muscle fibers over time to repair and strengthen them between sessions. The same thing happens with his skin. .
Should the skin cycle be done only at night?
Yes, explains Argel, and here’s why. “Night is when your skin repairs itself, so it’s the optimal time for your skin’s cycle, as it ensures you’re using active products correctly while also promoting rest, which minimizes risk. long-term irritation.
Garshick agrees. “During the night, our body naturally works to repair while defending itself during the day, so using ingredients like retinoids at night to promote cell turnover and antioxidants during the day to protect can help.”
To learn more about your skincare and how to make your products work smarter and harder for you, read on to learn more about each step of the skin cycle along with product recommendations from our experts.
The Classic Cycle of 4 Nights
Night 1: Exfoliation
Opting for chemical peels instead of mechanical peels decreases the risk of getting micro-tears in the skin that can lead to inflammation. It also gives your skin an instant glow, plus it sets you up to make the most of your second night. “After cleansing and allowing the skin to dry completely, apply your desired scrub with a cotton pad and always follow up with a moisturizer,” explains Bowe. This will rebalance the microbiome and nourish the skin.
Night 2: Retinol
Retinoids are one of the powerful ingredients to include in your skin cycling routine. Algier says that “using products like retinoids increases collagen production, smoothes skin texture and helps promote repair, which is most beneficial when done at night.” If you have sensitive skin, Garshick recommends applying a moisturizer lightly to delicate areas of the face before applying retinol “to create a buffer” and reduce irritation. A pea-sized amount of retinoid will be enough to cover your entire face. “If you feel like you’re not using enough, that’s the point,” adds Bowe.
Night 3 + Night 4: Recovery
Rest and reset are the name of the game. Algier says, “Allowing skin recovery days is helpful, especially for those with more sensitive skin.” On recovery nights, you want to focus on nourishing your microbiome and repairing your skin barrier – think hydration Y moisture, explains Bowe.
Is it safe for all skin types?
While all skin types can benefit from this method, Garshick says “it can be especially good for people with dry or sensitive skin who might not otherwise be able to tolerate a retinoid or exfoliant.” If you experience sensitivity and irritation easily, you may want to start with a low-grade retinol and increase your recovery nights to two to three days.
People with skin conditions such as chronic acne, eczema, or rosacea who are currently using prescription-grade products should always check with their dermatologist before making any changes to their skin care routine to ensure they are guiding you safely while adapts the skin cycle to your skin care needs.
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