Skin Cycling: Dermatologist Decodes The Trendy Nighttime Routine For Healthier-Looking Skin

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Skin Cycling: Dermatologist Decodes The Trendy Nighttime Routine For Healthier-Looking Skin

Dermatologist Dr. Nivedita Dadu decodes Skin Cycling, and how to optimise this trending Nighttime Skincare Routine for your skin type.

Skin Cycling: Dermatologist Decodes The Trendy Nighttime Routine For Healthier-Looking Skin

Image Source: Dinodia

Skincare routines are like gym memberships: we know they're good for us, yet it's challenging to stick to them. And, much like working out, the more we do it, the better the results. However, with the plethora of skincare products and routines out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. This is where skin cycling comes in - a trendy nighttime routine that could be the answer to all your skincare woes. But what exactly is it, and who should consider giving it a try? 

In this article, dermatologist Dr. Nivedita Dadu guides us through each step of the popular skin cycling nighttime routine, and how it can be modified for different skin types. 

What is Skin Cycling?

Skin cycling is a nighttime skincare routine that involves a three step cycle that repeats every three to four days: exfoliation, retinoid application, and moisturising. 


Exfoliation is the first step in skin cycling, and it involves removing dead skin cells to reveal smoother, brighter skin. However, Dr. Dadu warns that exfoliation can be excessive for those with sensitive, dry, or rosacea-prone skin. As a result, she recommends that those with sensitive skin limit exfoliation to twice a month instead of twice a week.

Retinoid Application:

Retinoids are a derivative of vitamin A and are known for their anti-aging properties. They help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, and they can also help with acne. Retinoids work by increasing cell turnover in the skin, which helps to slough off dead skin cells and promote the growth of new, healthy cells.

There are several types of retinoids, each with unique properties and strengths. Some of the most commonly used retinoids in skin care include retinol, adapalene, tretinoin, and tazarotene. It's crucial to begin slowly and follow the instructions when using retinoids and always wear sunscreen during the day.

Dr. Dadu recommends using retinoids four to five times a week, depending on the tolerance of your skin. Moreover, since retinoids also have exfoliating properties, those with dry or sensitive skin can skip exfoliation in the first few weeks of the routine.


The final step in skin cycling is moisturising, which involves using a moisturiser with ceramides and peptides to help repair and protect the skin. This step is carried out on the third and fourth day of the cycle to allow the skin to rest and heal.

Ceramides help to maintain a healthy skin barrier, which is essential for protecting skin from environmental stressors and keeping it hydrated. They work by filling in the gaps between skin cells, creating a protective barrier that locks in moisture and prevents water loss. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with dry or ageing skin, as their skin barrier tends to weaken over time.

Peptides, on the other hand, are essential building blocks for the proteins in our skin, such as collagen and elastin. These proteins play a crucial role in maintaining the structure and elasticity of skin, and promote a youthful appearance. Peptides help to stimulate collagen synthesis, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improve skin texture and firmness. Additionally, peptides have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe irritated or sensitive skin.

Who Should Try Skin Cycling?

Skin cycling is perfect for beginners who are just starting their skincare journey and those interested in using retinoids. However, Dr. Dadu warns that if you already have a skincare routine that works well for you, there's no need to switch just because of a trend.

Key Takeaway:

While skin cycling can be an effective skincare routine for many, it's important to remember that every skin type is unique and has different needs. If you're unsure about whether skin cycling is right for you, consider consulting with a dermatologist who can recommend a skincare regime tailored to your skin type, goals, and concerns.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your skin cycling regimen and enjoy the benefits of smoother, brighter, and healthier-looking skin! However, remember, like any trend, it may not be a one-size-fits-all solution. Use your best judgement, and don't be afraid to seek professional advice.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.