Skin Cycling: The TikTok Trend Dermatologists Love and Use

by John Griffith

Skincare can sometimes be a real mystery. Even if you have all the right products, it just seems like nothing is working. The shining skin you were promised from buying all this expensive products just doesn’t seem to come? And while there is nothing wrong in treating yourself to different skincare products, constantly layering serum over actives, creams over oils and so on can make your skin worse, rather than better. Using too much skin care, the wrong type and at the wrong time can lead to more break-outs, dry skin, increased sensitivity and even accelerate the aging process. Yikes! So, what can you do about it? The new TikTok trend skin cycling is all about treating your skin while still giving it enough time to repair itself. Here is all you need to know.

Using too much skin care can lead to more skin problems

skin care products on a tray

What Is Skin Cycling?

So, what is skin cycling? According to Dr. Whitney Bowe this is a strategic method for your nighttime skin routine in which you cycle through your skincare products every four days. This means you go through your active ingredients, including retinoids, exfoliants, and barrier creams in a certain order. This way your skin can benefit from each one, driving the best results while minimizing the chances of irritation.

According to Dr. Whitney Bowe this is a strategic method for your nighttime skin routine

three women with heads stacked on one another

Dr. Bowe compares this process to when you are trying to build more strength in a particular muscle group. You don’t load the muscle group you are trying to build every day with only heavy weights, as this leads to injury rather than strength. “You may focus on your upper body one day and your lower body the next, deliberately building in time for those muscle fibers to repair and grow stronger between sessions.” This also goes for your skin. Using acids and retinoids everyday leads to more harm than good.



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Публикация, споделена от Dr. Whitney Bowe (@drwhitneybowe)

Benefits of Skin Cycling

This method helps to keep over-exfoliating from damaging the skin and promotes healthy skin recovery. There are a ton of benefits to skin cycling. While this method may not be in line with many of the instructions on your skin care bottles, it’s a great way to accomplish your long-term skin goals. According to Dr. Bowe not only will you be able to tolerate different ingredients much better, you’ll also reach more skin milestones! Your skin will start to feel and look much better. Who doesn’t want healthy, smooth, and radiant skin?! However, keep in mind that as with every skincare routine, patient is key! It takes time for products to work and achieve the results you so truly desire.

This method helps to keep over-exfoliating from damaging the skin

skin cycling womans face in half with green eye

Skin Cycling Routine

Okay, now that we know what skin cycling is and what benefits we can enjoy (like having beautiful skin), let’s see how to create a routine and what the best steps are when starting skin cycling.

Let’s see how to create a routine

skin cycling woman with white cream on face


Skin cycling mainly focuses on the nighttime routine, it’s good to have a general idea of what your morning routine should look like as well. Dr. Bowe shares that she actually doesn’t skin cycle in the morning and that she likes to keep her morning routine predictable. All you need to do is cleanse, pat dry, apply your vitamin C product, then your antioxidant, moisturize and finish off with some SPF. “This all protects your skin from the stressors of the day.” Yep, that’s all. You don’t really need too much to achieve great results.

Skin cycling mainly focuses on the nighttime routine

woman with clear skin and black hair


The nighttime routine is where the real magic happens though. Since Dr. Bowe has sensitive skin she shares that she does a four-day cycle.

The nighttime routine is where the real magic happens

how to wash your face the right way

Night one is for exfoliation, with Dr. Bowe recommending chemical exfoliants rather than physical ones. You can use a gentle at-home peel in order to provide even exfoliation. First, cleanse with a gentle cleanser, then exfoliate and finally follow with a moisturizer. And that’s it. This will help to clear away any dead skin, it will make your skin smoother, and it will prep it to absorb the products from the next day better.

Night one is for exfoliation

woman peeling off face mask

The second night starts out the same as the first. Cleanse with a gentle cleanser, pat dry, then use a small amount of retinol and then once again finish off with a moisturizer. Simple, right?

The second night is time for moisturizer

woman applying serum to face

Third and fourth night it’s time for some skin recovery. After exfoliation and retinol, it’s time to focus on letting the skin rest and rejuvenate. On these two night all you have to do is cleanse your skin and moisturize it with a simple moisturizer. If you feel like your skin doesn’t get enough hydration you can also use hyaluronic acid before the moisturizer. Once you’ve finished your second recover night, the cycle repeats itself.

Third and fourth night it’s time for some skin recovery

skin cycling person with cream in their hands

Dr. Bowe suggests that if you are someone who doesn’t use a ton of skincare to start slowly. This technique helps you to gradually introduce stronger products down the line. Plus, if you have reactive skin it’s not a good idea to add a strong active product. You can check out Dr. Whitney Bowe’s TikTok and Instagram for suggestions, tips and reccomendatoions.

@drwhitneybowe Skin cycling for beginners: how to get started. And how to layer with Bowe Glowe #skincycling #thatboweglow #dermatologist #skintok ♬ original sound – Dr. Whitney Bowe

This was your ultimate guide to skin cycling. We hope you found this article useful. Now you can go on and upgrade your skincare routine and reap the benefits. Enjoy your soon-to-be clear and perfect skin!

This was your ultimate guide to skin cycling

woman with clear skin and blonde hair


John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.