There are a bunch of beauty hacks you can find on TikTok—some are questionable, but others are surprisingly useful and effective. Enter skin cycling, the latest trend that dermatologists like Dr. Vicki Belo swear by! As of writing, the hashtag #skincycling has over 145 million views on the app, with people raving about how "clear" and "glowing" their skin looks after trying out this skincare method.
What is skin cycling?
Skin cycling isn't as complicated as it sounds! Popularized by New York-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, it involves repeating a four-night cycle of using active ingredients and letting your skin rest.
"In about two weeks, you'll notice how glowing your skin is," Dr. Belo shared in an Instagram post.
How does skin cycling work?
"The first night is all about exfoliation—taking off the dead skin," Dr. Belo explained. According to the renowned dermatologist, you can use exfoliating products that contain alpha-hydroxy acid (Think: glycolic acid and lactic acid) and beta-hydroxy acid or enzymatic peels to slough off dead skin cells.
The next night, you apply a retinoid. This popular anti-aging ingredient is a derivative of vitamin A that increases cell turnover, which is why it works wonders in preventing wrinkles and fading dark spots. Retinol is one of the most common types of retinoids that's available over the counter.
After cleansing and patting your skin dry, "apply a pea-sized amount [of the retinoid]," Dr. Belo said. "Massage into your skin for at least three minutes so that it really penetrates." You can apply a moisturizer afterward to prevent irritation and skin dryness. P.S. Don't forget to apply sunscreen during the day!
Night 3 and 4
Time for a break! The third and fourth nights are dedicated to letting your skin rest, which is key to protecting your skin barrier. "You don't apply anything," she noted. "Just wash your face and let your face recover and then repeat the cycle all over again." Easy, right?
JSYK, exfoliating the skin twice a week can be too much for some people, especially for those with sensitive skin types. That said, before making changes in your skincare routine, it's always best to consult your dermatologist!
*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.