A Black woman applying Palmer's Skin Therapy Face Oil, a key skin cycling product, as part of her skin cycling routine

Developing a Skin Cycling Routine: The Essential Skin Cycling Products

We all know that taking care of our skin is vital for maintaining a healthy-looking, youthful complexion. But have you heard of skin cycling? Skin cycling is a skincare concept that has gone viral on social media for its potential to optimize your skincare routine for better results. Let’s explore the skin cycling steps and delve into the essential skin cycling products to help you achieve glowing, radiant skin.


What is Skin Cycling?


Skin cycling is a skincare strategy that was developed by dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe to help patients use their products more strategically so that they reap the most benefits rather than layering all their skin care products at once and hoping for the best.


Typically done as part of your evening skin care regimen, a skin cycling routine consists of 4 nights: exfoliation, retinol, and two nights of recovery. Let’s dive deeper into each of those steps:


·  The first night in your skin cycling routine focuses on exfoliation. Starting with exfoliation ensures that dead skin cells and other impurities on the surface of the skin are removed. This step leaves your skin glowing and ready for the rest of your skin cycling routine.

·  The second night centers on retinol. Retinol is a powerhouse ingredient that should be in everyone’s skin care arsenal if their goal is healthier and younger looking skin. Retinol helps speed up cell turnover to address everything from aging to acne. It can be irritating if you have not used it before, so using it one night during the skin cycling routine can help mitigate side effects that can come with using it for the first time – particularly for those with sensitive skin!

·  The third and fourth nights of your skin cycling routine are all about recovery or hydration. This gives your skin a break from the stronger ingredients that are used on the first two nights and readies your skin to start the cycle again.


Now that you know the skin cycling schedule and have a better understanding how to do skin cycling, let’s discuss your skin cycling products.



Skin Cycling 101: Choosing Your Skin Cycling Products


Now that we’ve answered “Retinol or exfoliant first?”, it’s time to choose products! When choosing the best skin cycling products for your skin cycling routine, it is important to consider your particular skin type. Is your skin dry, oily, sensitive or a combination? Knowing your skin type will allow you to choose the products that are formulated specifically for that skin type, which in turn will help give you that glowing skin of your dreams. Remember skin cycling for acne is different than skin cycling for aging.


Night 1: Exfoliation

While your mind may go to your favorite sugar scrub when you think exfoliation, the best exfoliants to use in your skin cycling routine are chemical exfoliants. After cleansing with a nourishing cleanser, try the Skin Success Complexion Toner, which contains natural exfoliants Beta Hydroxy and Tea Tree Oil to remove dulling impurities without stripping skin’s moisture barrier.



Night 2: Retinol

Retinol is the cornerstone of the skin cycling routine, so it is key to find a retinol product that works for your skin type. While the retinol and exfoliation schedule of the skin cycling routine seek to minimize potential side effects that can be caused by using these ingredients on a daily basis, it is still possible to experience irritation if you choose a retinol product that is too high a concentration for your skin. Retinols come in a large variety of strengths and formulas from oils to serums to creams, so make sure to take in your skin type and tolerance when choosing one.


Prefer an oil? We recommend the Skin Therapy Face Oil, which blends retinol with pure Cocoa Butter and 10 pure oils that moisturize to help keep skin hydrated, minimizing potential side effects. Apply after cleansing with the Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil for best skin cycling results.

A caucasian woman applying key skin cycling product, Palmer's Skin Therapy Face Oil during her skin cycling routine

Pro Tip: Sensitive skin? Try the retinol sandwich method. After cleansing, layer moisturizer on damp skin, allowing it to dry completely. Then layer your retinol, followed by another layer of moisturizer after the retinol product has absorbed. This allows the retinol to be slightly diluted, so it is less harsh. And always talk to your dermatologist before adding new products if you are concerned about how your skin will react, particularly with sensitive skin.


Don’t love a facial oil? We understand that. Try the Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night Cream during your skin cycling routine, which combines retinol with natural cocoa butter and Vitamin E for softer, more youthful and radiant looking skin in the morning.


Looking to correct discoloration? Try the Skin Success Fade Cream or Dark Spot Corrector to help say goodbye to dark spots. Combining retinol with niacinamide, vitamin C and other key discoloration fighting ingredients, these products help brighten and correct skin tone. The Fade Cream is available in All Skin Type, Oily and Night options too!


Palmer's Skin Success skin cycling products on table near window

Nights 3 & 4: Recovery
Much like resting and rehydrating after a hard workout, your skin has done the hard work with exfoliation and retinols during the first two days of your skin cycling routine and now it’s time to rehydrate. Remember when we talked about determining your skin type to choose products? That’ll come in handy in your recovery phase – you want to make sure to choose a moisturizer that works for your skin type or all your work on days 1 and 2 of your skin cycling routine could be for naught. We love the Coconut Hydrate Facial Moisturizer for a recovery night. It drenches skin with coconut water and hyaluronic acids, leaving it dewy and radiant. Need more moisture? Try applying the Coconut Hydrate Facial Oil after your Facial Moisturizer to lock in that hydration.


Also, show your skin love by treating it to a hydrating and nourishing facial mask during your recovery nights – you deserve it!

Core skin cycling products for recovery nights, Palmer's Coconut Hydrate Moisturizer and Face Oil on bathroom vanity

Developing Your Skin Cycling Routine


Any skin care routine can and should be tailored to you and your needs and your skin cycling routine is no different! Want to amplify your skin cycling results? For those without sensitive skin or just beginning their skin cycling journey, try increasing the number of active nights (i.e. Exfoliation and Retinol) by decreasing the recovery days. Skin more sensitive and prone to side effects? Increase the number of recovery days. While the four-day cycle is a great place to start, adjusting it to your skin’s needs is key to success.


While your skin cycling routine might be a nighttime ritual, don’t forget to take care of your skin during the day by applying a sunscreen as the final step of your morning routine to protect skin from damaging UV rays. Chemical exfoliants and retinol can both make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so sunscreen is important to keep your skin looking healthy.


A well-crafted skin cycling routine can help you reach your skin care goals of healthier-looking and more radiant skin in time. Don’t be afraid to explore different skin cycling products as part of your routine – after all winter skin can have different needs than summer skin, so your winter skin cycling routine can differ from your summer skin cycling routine. Finding your best skin cycling products can take time and trial and error, but don’t be discouraged if a product doesn’t work for you.


By using the right skin cycling products, you can optimize the effectiveness of your skin cycling routine. Remember to be patient and consistent, as achieving the best results often takes time. Invest in your skin's health and enjoy the benefits of a well-planned skin cycling routine.


So, stop asking “Does skin cycling actually work?” and explore all of Palmer’s Face Care products to find the perfect products – from cleanser to moisturizer – for your skin cycling routine.