My skin cycled for two weeks, and my skin has never been happier.

Every skincare trend today is trying to convince you to add another product or treatment to your already extensive skincare routine. Not skin cycling. The TikTok and dermatologist-approved skin cycling trend actually encourages us to take a less-is-more approach to our skin instead.

Skin cycling is a better way to optimize your nighttime skincare regimen than trying out a new formula or technique. To get the best out of your nighttime skincare routine, you need to be deliberate when using different products. This is how the 4-night cycle works.

Night 1: Exfoliate

Exfoliators can be used with physical textures or acids, such as alpha, beta, and salicylic, to remove dead skin and open pores, revealing a smoother, more youthful complexion.

Night 2: Retinol

The skin will be ready to absorb retinol better the next night once it has been cleared and rejuvenated. Retinol and its natural alternatives help combat signs of aging and restore clarity. They also boost skin cell regeneration to treat fine wrinkles, dullness, and sun damage.

Night 3 and 4: Rest

Resting is important to allow your skin to recover. On these nights, moisture and hydration are key to nourishing your microbiome skin and repairing the skin barrier.


My combination skin loves skin cycling. For two weeks, I did nothing but the basics. I used SPF during the day. In the evening, I would add either retinol or an exfoliator. The days of eight-step skin care routines are over.

After two weeks, my skin is noticeably calmer, with a smoother surface and less milia. This means that I overdid it and exposed my skin to way too many products. My skin is proof that less is more, and rest days are as important for our skin and our bodies.

The predetermined cadence not only gave me calmer and happier skin but also eased my mind. No longer do I have to remember how many days ago I last used a particular product or treatment? This takes out the guesswork of what products work well together and if you have given enough time to certain active ingredients.

It’s okay to experiment with your skin and find out what works for you. Others may prefer to rest for an additional day or two between exfoliating the skin and applying retinol. As long as your skin is allowed to 

sleep, and you are consistent, results will be evident.

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