How to Skin Cycle to Get Clear Skin

Skin cycling
has been the latest viral trend on the video-sharing platform, Tiktok. However, unlike other skincare trends, this seems to work for a number of people to get clear skin.

  • What is Skin Cycling?
  • Benefits of Skin Cycling
  • Skin Cycling Steps
  • Skin Cycling Routine: Morning Routine
  • Skin Cycling Routine: Evening Routine
  • Skincare Products Recommendations for Skin Cycling

What is Skin Cycling?

Skin Cycling is a simple method or regimen created by Dr. Whitney Bowe, a board-certified dermatologist, and scientist based in New York. The concept of the method is easy to follow and remember.

It is a four-night regimen of exfoliation, retinoid, rest, rest, and repeat. One cycle refers to the completion of exfoliation to the second rest night. Many who have followed this regimen have achieved amazing results in getting their ideal skin. They have clear healthy and glowing skin.

A typical Skin Cycle will look something like this.

Monday- Exfoliation Night
Tuesday- Retinoid Night
Wednesday- Rest Night
Thursday- Rest Night

Friday- Exfoliation Night
Saturday- Retinoid Night
Sunday- Rest Night
Monday #2- Rest Night

Benefits of Skin Cycling

Easy to follow, Easy to Remember

The concept of skin cycling is so simple and easy. Anyone can do it and may start anytime. The focus of your routine is not only on the products and ingredients but also on the routine schedule and skin healing.

Good for Sensitive Skin

Several people with sensitive skin will claim that a lot of popular products do not work for their skin type. This is where skin cycling comes in because it allows time for the products to work and the skin to heal. The result is healthy and happy clear skin.

Great Results

This is possibly the greatest Tiktok trend out there because it isn't really a trend. It is something that really works and is sustainable to include in your journey to clear skin.

Customizable Regimen

The typical skin cycle is composed of four nights but depending on your needs, lifestyle, and skin type, your skin cycling regimen may be a bit different. You may need to rest your skin for more than 2 nights depending on the strength of the active ingredients you use as well.

That is the beauty of skin cycling. You can customize it according to what you need and what works for you but the concept of skin healing is still there.


In skin cycling, you typically will only need the basic skincare products: a good cleanser, chemical exfoliant, retinoid, and moisturizer. Given that you will not be using all these products every night, you will be saving a lot of money and spending less on skincare. 

You may have to add an oil cleanser/cleansing balm and some spot treatments or serums to your routine but skin cycling is not expensive at all.

Skin Cycling Steps

What are the Steps in Skin Cycling?

The First Night

The First Night will be focused on exfoliation. Chemical exfoliants will work best for this as we should already realize. Physical exfoliation is something you can do for your body but on the face, the more effective choice is chemical exfoliation.

The Second Night

On Night #2, you should use your favorite retinoid. Whether that is tretinoin or over-the-counter retinol, use the product that works well for you and for your routine.

The Third & Fourth Night

The next two nights will focus on skin healing. During these nights, you will not be using any active ingredients but use a lot of nourishing and moisturizing products to help your skin heal.

Skin Cycling Routine: Morning Routine

Do you need to skin cycle in the morning?

There is no need to skin cycle in the morning. Keep your morning skincare routine basic. In the morning, use a gentle cleanser, a good vitamin C serum, moisturizer and your favorite sunscreen.


Skincare Product Recommendations for Skin Cycling





Photo Credits: Karolina Grabowska

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