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GlyMed's Guide To Skin Cycling

Skin cycling is the new skincare trend circulating on social media, with skincare professionals from all over the world buzzing.


Nov 16, 2022 10:19:23 AM / by The Institute of Skin Science



Exercising the Skin & Skin Cycling

Skin cycling is the new skincare trend circulating on social media, with skincare professionals from all over the world buzzing.

Within the last few years, the natural skin trend has only become more popular, using makeup with lighter coverage to no makeup. With that emphasis, more and more people are turning to their skincare routines to create clear, even skin for a complexion that they won’t want to cover. But in the age of social media and unlimited product recommendations, the average person may not know what ingredients to use and when. Dr. Whitney Bowe, a New York-based dermatologist, would scroll through social media, noticing women and men layering active product after active product, which is irritating for the skin and can ultimately harm the skin barrier function.

That’s when she coined and popularized “skin cycling,” a rotational skincare process that alternates between active ingredients and letting the skin rest. At GlyMed Plus we refer to this as “Exercising the skin” and have been supporting this method of homecare for over 30 years! A Closer Look at Skin Cycling Skin cycling is a four-day regimen that changes night throughout four nights, with your morning routine staying the same:

  • Night one: Chemical exfoliation

  • Night two: Retinol/Retinoid

  • Night three: Rest (gentle, healing products only)

  • Night four: Rest (gentle, healing products only)

  • Repeat!

This process may not seem like anything revolutionary; after all, skincare professionals have been telling us for years not to mix chemical exfoliants and retinoids or, at the very least, not to use too many active ingredients at once. However, a skin cycling routine can be a saving grace for a skincare beginner that’s not sure how to use active ingredients without causing an irritated reaction. But what if you’re a GlyMed die-hard who wants to try skin cycling? Here’s what we recommend. Skin Cycling with GlyMed Your morning routine should stay consistent. Using the GlyMed 4-Step system, your morning routine will include a cleanse, treat, balance, and protect.

The first night of skin cycling includes an exfoliant, which will clear away dead skin cells and encourage cellular turnover, so your skin better absorbs the skincare products applied on the following days. Here is what that night’s routine can look like:

The second night’s routine uses retinol, a multi-tasking ingredient that reduces signs of premature aging and treats texture, acne, and hyperpigmentation.

  • First Cleanse – Your first cleanse will remain the same night to night.

  • Second Cleanse – Second cleanse will also remain the same night to night.

  • Retinol – Our Retinol Restart Rejuvenation Serum is micro-encapsulated to gently deliver the maximum concentration of retinol without causing an adverse reaction to the skin. You may also use a prescription-strength retinoid during this step, but it must be prescribed by a board-certified doctor familiar with your other skincare products.

  • Balance – Use the same moisturizer as the previous night.

The following two nights consist of the same products and processes where you will only use gentle and healing effects.

  • First Cleanse – Same as other nights.

  • Second Cleanse – Same as other nights.

  • Healing Treatments – You can use the same treatments as the ones used in your morning routine, or you may choose other healing products. Such as Bio Renewal Serum, Cell Protection Serum, Ultra Hydro Gel, or any other gentle serums, gels, or creams you prefer to use.

  • Balance – Use your preferred moisturizer as you have from previous nights.

Once the four-day cycle is complete, start again! Not All Skin is the Same We know that not all skin behaves the same way, so we encourage you to use your best judgment and that of your skincare provider to add flexibility to the routine. You may have sensitive or highly reactive skin, so you may want to add a third rest night to your cycle. Or is your skin more resilient and has been conditioned to these active ingredients? In this case, you may drop a rest day.

If you love using a masque (we know we do!), you can always use a masque after the cleansing step and before the treatment step one to two times a week. Perhaps you’ve become a fan of slugging. You can do this on your “rest” nights, noting that you shouldn’t add an occlusive or semi-occlusive barrier over your active ingredients because it can do more harm than good.

These are just a few ways you can adapt skin cycling to work for you, but what’s most important is that you consult with your skincare professional before making any drastic changes to your skincare routine! Remember, if you’re happy with your current routine and you’re seeing the results you want, there’s no need to change your regimen because it’s popular to do so. If you have any questions and would like to speak to one of our friendly Master Aestheticians in your area, please email support@glymedplusaustralia.com.au

Written by The Institute of Skin Science


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