What Is Skin Cycling and How Do You Do It?

By DeAndrea Douglas
what is skin cycling

Do you want skin that looks like an Instagram filter? Of course, you do. One of the best ways to look and feel like your most beautiful self is to have clear and radiant skin. That’s what skin cycling will give you. What is skin cycling you ask? We have you covered.

How Does Skin Cycling Work?

There are innumerable skincare products and techniques on the market s so it is hard to know what really works. The biggest skincare mistakes people make are trying too many products or techniques at once and not giving their skin a break. Skin cycling works by giving your skin the treatments it needs to be its best and allowing time for your skin to take a break between treatments.

When you are skin cycling, your morning routine stays the same and you do the skin cycling treatment plan at night. If you are new to proper skin care, your morning skincare routine should include a cleanser, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and moisturizer followed by SPF. Each of those steps ensures skin cleanliness, brightness, hydration, moisturization, and sun protection. Only skip these steps if you are sick and dying. We’re kidding, but it’s that important to us.

Now for nighttime, skin cycling is done over the span of four days. Once you are done with day four you start over with day one. Cycling through treatments like this helps avoid damaging your skin barrier and causing skin irritation.

what is skin cycling and how do you do it

Night 1 – Exfoliate

  1. cleanser
  2. chemical exfoliant
  3. moisturizer

It is important that you use a chemical exfoliant rather than a physical one because they just work better. Physical exfoliants can cause tiny tears in your delicate skin that cause irritation and breakouts. Skip all of that drama by using a chemical exfoliant that will do the same job, but much, much gentler.

Night 2 – Retinol

  1. cleanser
  2. fragrance-free moisturizer
  3. retinol
  4. moisturizer with no petroleum

If you have oily skin you may be able to skip step two. Retinol is drying so that step is crucial if you have normal, combination, or dry skin. You should apply one pea-sized amount of retinol to each of the following areas: face, neck, and decolletage. Even beyond retinol, any skincare product you use should also be applied to your neck and decolletage.

Night 3 – Recovery

  1. cleanser
  2. hyaluronic acid
  3. moisturizer
  4. oil/slug

Hyaluronic acid is excellent for skin recovery and maintenance. It helps give your skin a plump and hydrated look. Putting oil or a thin layer of Vaseline over your moisturizer helps seal it in so the ingredients underneath can do their thing more effectively. Just make sure the oil you use is non-comedogenic meaning it won’t clog your pores.

Night 4 – Recovery

  1. cleanser
  2. hyaluronic acid
  3. moisturizer
  4. oil/slug

Night four is a repeat of night three to give your skin 48 hours to recover from the first two days of the cycle. Once you have finished the four-night routine repeat the cycle for radiant, smooth, and healthy skin. It’s that simple.

What Skin Cycling Products Do You Need?

You may already have more than half of the products you need. However, if you do not these are our tried and true skin cycling product recommendations.


face masks for oily skin origins out of trouble problem skin mask


Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

farmacy gentle bee cleanser


Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser


the ordinary hyaluronic serum


Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum

innisfree green tea hyaluronic serum


Green Tea Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum


the ordinary peeling serum


AHA 30% + BHA 2% Exfoliating Peeling Solution

fenty pre-show glow


Pre-Show Glow Instant Retexturizing 10% AHA Treatment + Reusable Applicator


the ordinary natural moisturizing factors with ha4


Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA Daily Moisturizer

skinfix barrier+ peptide moisturizer


Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream


the ordinary retinol


Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

paulas choice retinol


CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment




Petroleum Jelly

summer fridays face oil


Heavenly Sixteen All-In-One Face Oil

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What is Skin Cycling? | The Lady Loves Living