TikTok is a home for viral trends and hacks. From bizarre sex hacks to quirky throwbacks, there's always something new taking over the platform.
Generally, the beauty and lifestyle hacks on TikTok – be it sleep trend mouth-taping or using calamine lotion for better skin – are not approved by experts, who often warn users against trying them.
However, there's one skincare trend that dermatologists say works well to give you healthy glowing skin, as well as help reduce acne and hyperpigmentation.
Here's what you need to know about skin-cycling on TikTok, including a step-by-step breakdown of the routine and its benefits for the skin.
What is skin-cycling?
Skin-cycling is a skincare routine that has gone viral on TikTok.
The four-day routine cycles through different skincare products each day with an aim of recovering the health of your skin between treatments.
The general skin-cycling routine involves exfoliation, retinoid, recovery, recovery and repeat.
The idea behind skin-cycling is that you are adding in recovery days between skin treatments and aren't taxing your skin with products every single day.
Skin-cycling is also specially done only at night. During the day, experts recommend keeping your routine simple with a cleanser, serum, moisturiser and sunscreen.
What are the steps of skin-cycling?
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After following a simple daytime routine for your skin, cleanse or double cleanse your skin in the evening. Then begin the skin-cycling regime as follows:
Night 1: Exfoliate
The first step of skin-cycling is to exfoliate using products that suit your skin. While products with the water-soluble Alpha Hydroxy Acid are good for most skin types, chemical exfoliation is better for acne-prone skin.
Once you've exfoliated, simply apply moisturiser – you need to moisturise even if you have acne or oily skin.
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Night 2: Retinoids
You can apply retinol or retinoid products after cleansing to help with hyperpigmentation.
The difference between retinoid and retinol is that retinoids are more potent, while retinol needs to be converted by our body into the active ingredient called retinoic acid.
If you're just starting skin-cycling it's better to go for retinol products, as these are weaker and can help avoid skin irritation.
The next step after applying retinol is to apply moisturiser again.
Night 3 & 4: Recover
After exfoliation and applying retinoids, the next two nights are recovery nights of skin-cycling.
This is when you give your skin a break from any treatments and allow it to heal from any potential irritation from the previous steps.
During recovery nights, stick to basic skincare routine that might consist of cleansing with a gentle cleanser, gentle serum and moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated.
After two skin recovery nights, start again with the exfoliating step from the first night.
What are benefits of skin cycling?
Skin-cycling can be beneficial for anyone with acne prone or oily/combination skin.
Exfoliating regularly can keep pores clean and prevent acne breakouts as well as help with the post-acne hyperpigmentation marks.
If your skin is very oily you might be able to handle extra exfoliation as well.
However, you should take things slow if notice your skin is still reddish, itching or stinging, even with the recovery days.
In case you find your skin is inflamed despite two recovery days, then extend there by one or two more days or try using weaker exfoliating products or retinol.
Skin-cycling generally suits most skin types and is mainly aimed at giving our skin a break and time to recover much like the rest of our body.
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