You’ve probably seen all over social media the benefits of skin cycling as the new anti-aging secret to glowing and more radiant skin.
Coined by New York City dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, videos with the hashtag #skincycling have 3.5 billion views on TikTok alone and have sparked the interest of beauty enthusiasts all over the world.
But just what is skin cycling and is it really the fountain of youth for skincare?
At its core, the concept of skin cycling is to vary your skincare routine with different active ingredients based on a four-night cycle that includes two nights of treatments and two nights of recovery.
To put the routine into practice, it would look something like this:
Night 1: Apply a cleanser, exfoliate, and moisturize.
Night 2: Apply a cleanser, add in a retinoid cream, then moisturize.
Nights 3 and 4: Recover with just a cleanser and moisturizer.
Because chemical exfoliants like AHA and BHA and retinoids tend to dry out your skin over prolonged use, it makes sense that giving yourself a couple days of recovery time using just a hydrating moisturizer could combat the flakiness.
Advocates of this skincare practice claim skin cycling leads to healthier, younger looking skin. Even, Dr. Bowe has discussed in the media that she plans on starting a clinical trial to support the theory.
However, the concept of skin cycling fails to address the true cause of aging skin. Over time, it's natural for our skin to lose elasticity and begin to show signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Many people turn to topical skincare products in an attempt to combat these signs, but unfortunately, many of these products are often ineffective.
There are several reasons why topical skincare products are not effective in combating wrinkles and aging. First and foremost, the skin is a complex organ, and its health and appearance are affected by many factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors such as pollution and sun exposure. While topical skincare products can help improve the appearance of the skin to some extent, they cannot address these underlying factors.
Secondly, the majority of topical skincare products on the market contain ingredients that are simply not capable of penetrating the skin deeply enough to have a significant impact on wrinkles and aging. For example, many products contain collagen, a protein that is important for maintaining skin elasticity. However, collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the skin and cannot be absorbed by the body in this form.
Similarly, many skincare products contain antioxidants, which are believed to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. While antioxidants can be beneficial for overall skin health, they are not effective at addressing the underlying causes of wrinkles and aging.
So what can you do to address some underlying causes?
Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are all important for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. While topical skincare products can be a useful addition to a skincare routine, they simply cannot make up for poor lifestyle choices.
Also, look at an inside-out approach to skincare. If you haven’t heard of the gut-skin axis, it’s the bi-directional relationship between the gut and your skin. Emerging science is starting to document the importance of balancing the microbiome to support overall skin health. While the approach is being
targeted toward several topical diseases, radiant more youthful looking skin is an unexpected side benefit. A benefit that anyone can enjoy!
In summary, while topical skincare products may provide some benefits for the skin, they are not the magic bullet for combating wrinkles and aging. Rather than relying solely on skincare products, it's important to take a holistic approach to skin health, focusing on lifestyle habits and environmental factors in addition to balancing your microbiome.
When diet-alone falls short of your nutrient goals, look to enhance with a supplement regimen that supports your skin from within, like Gut to Glow, with its combination of microbiome-supporting ingredients of Lactobacillus reuteri LRDR™, hyaluronic acid, marine collagen, and astaxanthin.
More radiant skin is within your reach, but it’s going to take a little more than just a TikTok trend to get there!