What is Skin Cycling?

Skin Cycling is a skincare regimen designed by Dr. Bowe, a board-certified dermatologist. This routine practices a 4 day cycle. For each cycle, you alternate using active ingredient days and rest /recovery days.


Active ingredients are the ingredients in your skincare products that are doing the actual “work.” Alternating between active and rest days helps reduce irritation and lets your skin recover from the active steps. Only use these steps at night!


The Four Days


Night One: Exfoliation

There are multiple methods of exfoliation, such as toners and serums. Examples of exfoliators: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, lactic acid, glycolic acid, mandelic acid, etc.

For the best results, use in between your cleanse and moisturizer.


Night Two: Retinol

Retinol is available as a prescription or over the counter. Retinol is vitamin A, which corrects hyperpigmentation, helps acne, acne scars, and anti-aging. It’s the holy-grail of skincare. For the least amount of irritation, we recommend “sandwiching” the retinol in between two moisterizer applications. So, you apply your moisturizer, then the retinol, and then the same or thicker moisturizer after. Do not use “slugging” petrolatum based products on this night. For those who can’t use retinol, a good alternative is azelaic acid.

On retinol nights, make sure to wash off the product the next morning.


Night Three: Recovery

Recovery night is all about hydration. You want to use products that will repair the skin overnight. At the end of your skincare routine, use petrolatum products to “slug” your skin to lock in moisture. Petrolatum products are petroleum based products, like Vaseline, Aquaphor, etc.


Night Four: Recovery

Repeat steps from Night Three.


Just like with any kind of cycle, once you finish night four, start on night one again! If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to Leah on Instagram or at your next appointment!



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