HOw to Skin Cycle

August 25, 2023

_LEARN

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REFERENCE LAB

How to Skin Cycle: A Guide to Optimize Your Skin Care Routine
If you’re looking to get the most out of your topical skin care products, you might want to consider implementing skin cycling into your routine. Skin cycling offers an effective way of harnessing the benefits from your skin care ingredients without overdoing it, but the process requires strategic thought and consistency. The following is a quick guide on how to use skin cycling to help optimize results from skin products.
HOw to Skin Cycle

_LEARN

/

REFERENCE LAB

August 25, 2023

How to Skin Cycle: A Guide to Optimize Your Skin Care Routine
If you’re looking to get the most out of your topical skin care products, you might want to consider implementing skin cycling into your routine. Skin cycling offers an effective way of harnessing the benefits from your skin care ingredients without overdoing it, but the process requires strategic thought and consistency. The following is a quick guide on how to use skin cycling to help optimize results from skin products.
How Skin Cycling Works
What is skin cycling? Also known as skin fasting or skin detoxing, skin cycling is an approach to skin care that has gained popularity in recent years, mainly due to social media. The concept behind skin cycling is simple yet powerful – it involves cycling the products that you use in your skin care routine over a period of days to introduce powerful ingredients on some nights, then allow your skin time to recover, rest and reset.
How Skin Cycling Works
What is skin cycling? Also known as skin fasting or skin detoxing, skin cycling is an approach to skin care that has gained popularity in recent years, mainly due to social media. The concept behind skin cycling is simple yet powerful – it involves cycling the products that you use in your skin care routine over a period of days to introduce powerful ingredients on some nights, then allow your skin time to recover, rest and reset.
How to Create a Skin Cycle Routine
Most traditional skin cycling routines consist of three to four nights. Each night serves a specific function. The following is an example of a typical skin cycling routine.

Night 1: Exfoliation

The first night of skin cycling hones in on ridding skin of dead skin cells and impurities. On this night, the focus is exfoliation to support the skin's natural regenerative processes using either a gentle chemical exfoliant or a physical exfoliant.
A chemical exfoliant is formulated with AHAs or BHAs like salicylic acid, which stimulate skin cell turnover, accelerating the process of cell replacement. A physical exfoliant, on the other hand, uses an abrasive component — like microparticles — to aid in the removal of dead skin cells on the top layer of skin and impurities on the surface of the skin, coaxing younger skin cells to resurface. 1

Night 2: Retinol

The second night is reserved for the use of a powerful active ingredient like retinol or retinol-like products. While these products are proven to be effective, they can also be harsh, especially when used too frequently. Because such skin care products can cause skin inflammation and redness, the next nights are vital to skin cycling.

Night 3 and 4: Recovery (Resting)

Lastly, the third and fourth nights involve holding off on any harsh active ingredient or exfoliating. On recovery nights, the goal is to build up the skin barrier and allow the cells to rest and recover. During these nights, nothing more strenuous than gentle cleansing, hydration, and moisturizing should occur. This is the perfect time to utilize OS-01 FACE and OS-01 EYE, as the OS-01 peptide has been shown to improve skin’s collagen and hyaluronic acid biosynthesis, epidermal thickness, and skin barrier function.**Shown in lab studies on human skin samples (Zonari, et al., 2023)As simple as the concept of skin cycling is, every person is different, and the length of the cycle along with the products used in each phase can vary. For example, people who use active ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, or retinol may see improvements using skin cycling, but the ideal length of breaks to take from each product may differ. In any case, trial and error may be required to develop an effective skin cycling routine, and the advice of a skin health professional may be useful in strategizing product usage and frequency effectively. Those with a sensitive skin type or a dry skin type may require longer breaks from mechanical and chemical exfoliation and harsh skin ingredients like retinol. Additionally, if you have a specific skin condition or are using products with prescribed frequency, you should consult your skin health professional to determine whether skin cycling can work with your routine.
How to Create a Skin Cycle Routine
Most traditional skin cycling routines consist of three to four nights. Each night serves a specific function. The following is an example of a typical skin cycling routine.

Night 1: Exfoliation

The first night of skin cycling hones in on ridding skin of dead skin cells and impurities. On this night, the focus is exfoliation to support the skin's natural regenerative processes using either a gentle chemical exfoliant or a physical exfoliant.
A chemical exfoliant is formulated with AHAs or BHAs like salicylic acid, which stimulate skin cell turnover, accelerating the process of cell replacement. A physical exfoliant, on the other hand, uses an abrasive component — like microparticles — to aid in the removal of dead skin cells on the top layer of skin and impurities on the surface of the skin, coaxing younger skin cells to resurface. 1

Night 2: Retinol

The second night is reserved for the use of a powerful active ingredient like retinol or retinol-like products. While these products are proven to be effective, they can also be harsh, especially when used too frequently. Because such skin care products can cause skin inflammation and redness, the next nights are vital to skin cycling.

Night 3 and 4: Recovery (Resting)

Lastly, the third and fourth nights involve holding off on any harsh active ingredient or exfoliating. On recovery nights, the goal is to build up the skin barrier and allow the cells to rest and recover. During these nights, nothing more strenuous than gentle cleansing, hydration, and moisturizing should occur. This is the perfect time to utilize OS-01 FACE and OS-01 EYE, as the OS-01 peptide has been shown to improve skin’s collagen and hyaluronic acid biosynthesis, epidermal thickness, and skin barrier function.**Shown in lab studies on human skin samples (Zonari, et al., 2023)As simple as the concept of skin cycling is, every person is different, and the length of the cycle along with the products used in each phase can vary. For example, people who use active ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, or retinol may see improvements using skin cycling, but the ideal length of breaks to take from each product may differ. In any case, trial and error may be required to develop an effective skin cycling routine, and the advice of a skin health professional may be useful in strategizing product usage and frequency effectively. Those with a sensitive skin type or a dry skin type may require longer breaks from mechanical and chemical exfoliation and harsh skin ingredients like retinol. Additionally, if you have a specific skin condition or are using products with prescribed frequency, you should consult your skin health professional to determine whether skin cycling can work with your routine.
What Products Do You Use for Skin Cycling?
Though the optimal products for each person’s skin cycling routine will vary depending on skin type, skin concern, and lifestyle factors, here are some essential products to consider when introducing skin cycling.
  • Gentle Cleanser: A
  • daily gentle cleanser
    is a must whether you’re skin cycling or not. It helps remove dirt and excess oil without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Look for a cleanser that won't disrupt your skin's protective barrier, like OneSkin’s PREP.
  • Moisturizer: Moisturizing should be done daily whether or not you’re skin cycling. OS-01 FACE is a lightweight daily
  • peptide moisturizer that has been proven to improve barrier function and hydration, making it ideal for any day of skin cycling. In determining the order in which you apply products on each night, keep in mind that the earlier you apply a product like a peptide eye cream
    , in your routine, the better the ingredients in that product will be absorbed by your skin. With this in mind, you may choose to apply OS-01 EYE and OS-01 FACE after retinol on the nights that you use retinol, and before heavy night creams on recovery nights of your skin cycle.
  • Retinol Serums and Topicals: Retinoid/retinol products are not for everyone, and they can induce redness, sun sensitivity, and irritation for many users. Because of their potency, skin cycling reserves retinol use for one day rather than daily use. If you have never used retinol, be sure to do a patch test prior to use, and introduce your retinol product at a low concentration to begin with.
  • Sunscreen: There are several
  • benefits of sunscreen
    , which is why it is essential each and every day, whether you choose to skin cycle or not because it helps protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the sun. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Additionally, retinol increases sun sensitivity. By applying sunscreen regularly, especially around times of retinol use, you can significantly reduce these risks and maintain healthier skin. 2 Just be sure to double-check
    how much sunscreen to use on your face
    and body before incorporating it into your routine.
  • Exfoliators: While some people can tolerate daily exfoliation, most do well with less frequent exfoliation in order to give skin time to recover from any damage. Gentle chemical exfoliants can be less irritating than physical exfoliants, but use what works best for you and your skin.
  • What Products Do You Use for Skin Cycling?
    Though the optimal products for each person’s skin cycling routine will vary depending on skin type, skin concern, and lifestyle factors, here are some essential products to consider when introducing skin cycling.
    • Gentle Cleanser: A
    • daily gentle cleanser
      is a must whether you’re skin cycling or not. It helps remove dirt and excess oil without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Look for a cleanser that won't disrupt your skin's protective barrier, like OneSkin’s PREP.
    • Moisturizer: Moisturizing should be done daily whether or not you’re skin cycling. OS-01 FACE is a lightweight daily
    • peptide moisturizer that has been proven to improve barrier function and hydration, making it ideal for any day of skin cycling. In determining the order in which you apply products on each night, keep in mind that the earlier you apply a product like a peptide eye cream
      , in your routine, the better the ingredients in that product will be absorbed by your skin. With this in mind, you may choose to apply OS-01 EYE and OS-01 FACE after retinol on the nights that you use retinol, and before heavy night creams on recovery nights of your skin cycle.
    • Retinol Serums and Topicals: Retinoid/retinol products are not for everyone, and they can induce redness, sun sensitivity, and irritation for many users. Because of their potency, skin cycling reserves retinol use for one day rather than daily use. If you have never used retinol, be sure to do a patch test prior to use, and introduce your retinol product at a low concentration to begin with.
    • Sunscreen: There are several
    • benefits of sunscreen
      , which is why it is essential each and every day, whether you choose to skin cycle or not because it helps protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the sun. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Additionally, retinol increases sun sensitivity. By applying sunscreen regularly, especially around times of retinol use, you can significantly reduce these risks and maintain healthier skin. 2 Just be sure to double-check
      how much sunscreen to use on your face
      and body before incorporating it into your routine.
    • Exfoliators: While some people can tolerate daily exfoliation, most do well with less frequent exfoliation in order to give skin time to recover from any damage. Gentle chemical exfoliants can be less irritating than physical exfoliants, but use what works best for you and your skin.
    • Are There Side Effects to Skin Cycling?
      While beneficial for many, skin cycling may not be suitable for everyone. If you have a specific skin condition that requires consistent treatment, skin cycling could reduce the effectiveness of your products.Furthermore, numerous skin cycling advocates recommend retinol during the second night of cycling. However, retinol products can induce skin irritation, especially in those with dry or sensitive skin types. If your skin does not tolerate retinol, you can swap it for an alternative, like a potent serum with antioxidants, on the retinol night of skin cycling. Additionally, OS-01 FACE has been shown to provide many of the same benefits as retinol without the drawbacks. OS-01 FACE is gentle enough to use on a daily basis and can therefore be used on all nights of skin cycling. Learn more about their similarities and differences hereto learn more about peptides vs retinol is one better for increasing skin longevity
      . 3
      While the classic routine of skin cycling involves exfoliating and retinol over a four-day cycle period, skin cycling can be adapted for individuals with varying frequencies and products.
      Are There Side Effects to Skin Cycling?
      While beneficial for many, skin cycling may not be suitable for everyone. If you have a specific skin condition that requires consistent treatment, skin cycling could reduce the effectiveness of your products.Furthermore, numerous skin cycling advocates recommend retinol during the second night of cycling. However, retinol products can induce skin irritation, especially in those with dry or sensitive skin types. If your skin does not tolerate retinol, you can swap it for an alternative, like a potent serum with antioxidants, on the retinol night of skin cycling. Additionally, OS-01 FACE has been shown to provide many of the same benefits as retinol without the drawbacks. OS-01 FACE is gentle enough to use on a daily basis and can therefore be used on all nights of skin cycling. Learn more about their similarities and differences hereto learn more about peptides vs retinol is one better for increasing skin longevity
      . 3
      While the classic routine of skin cycling involves exfoliating and retinol over a four-day cycle period, skin cycling can be adapted for individuals with varying frequencies and products.
      Is Skin Cycling Right for You?
      Does skin cycling work? Absolutely! But if you’re asking, is skin cycling for me? The answer is not as cut and dry. Everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Observing your skin's response and adjusting the cycling schedule or products accordingly is crucial in developing the right skin cycling approach for your skin.Skin cycling may not be for you if you are utilizing dermatologist-recommended products that require consistent daily use. Additionally, if your skin is sensitive to exfoliation and/or retinol, you may need to adapt the skin cycling routine to your specific skin goals and needs. As always, if you’re in doubt about your skin’s needs, it’s best to consult a skin health professional. Additionally, we recommend patch-testing any new skin products before introducing them into your routine.
      Is Skin Cycling Right for You?
      Does skin cycling work? Absolutely! But if you’re asking, is skin cycling for me? The answer is not as cut and dry. Everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Observing your skin's response and adjusting the cycling schedule or products accordingly is crucial in developing the right skin cycling approach for your skin.Skin cycling may not be for you if you are utilizing dermatologist-recommended products that require consistent daily use. Additionally, if your skin is sensitive to exfoliation and/or retinol, you may need to adapt the skin cycling routine to your specific skin goals and needs. As always, if you’re in doubt about your skin’s needs, it’s best to consult a skin health professional. Additionally, we recommend patch-testing any new skin products before introducing them into your routine.
      OneSkin Products for Skin Cycling
      Wondering how to incorporate OneSkin’s products into your skin cycling routine? Cleansing your skin with a gentle cleanser should be a core part of your daily skin care routine regardless of whether you’re skin cycling. PREP can be used daily on skin cycling days, or on other days, and is safe to use with exfoliation and with other products. OS-01 EYE and OS-01 FACE are gentle enough to be used daily. They can be especially useful on “recovery” days of skin cycling, as they have been shown to improve collagen levels in skin* and increase skin hydration**, making them optimal for recovering from harsh products such as retinol or other potent serums. Additionally, if you’re sensitive to retinol, OS-01 FACE is a great alternative, as it provides many of the same benefits without the drawbacks. Learn more about how OS-01 FACE compares to retinol, hereto learn more about peptides vs retinol is one better for increasing skin longevity. *Shown in lab studies on human skin samples **Shown in 12-week clinical studies performed by third-party research organizations
      OneSkin Products for Skin Cycling
      Wondering how to incorporate OneSkin’s products into your skin cycling routine? Cleansing your skin with a gentle cleanser should be a core part of your daily skin care routine regardless of whether you’re skin cycling. PREP can be used daily on skin cycling days, or on other days, and is safe to use with exfoliation and with other products. OS-01 EYE and OS-01 FACE are gentle enough to be used daily. They can be especially useful on “recovery” days of skin cycling, as they have been shown to improve collagen levels in skin* and increase skin hydration**, making them optimal for recovering from harsh products such as retinol or other potent serums. Additionally, if you’re sensitive to retinol, OS-01 FACE is a great alternative, as it provides many of the same benefits without the drawbacks. Learn more about how OS-01 FACE compares to retinol, hereto learn more about peptides vs retinol is one better for increasing skin longevity. *Shown in lab studies on human skin samples **Shown in 12-week clinical studies performed by third-party research organizations
      Key Takeaways
      • Skin cycling is a skincare process that spans three to four nights:
      • Night 1: Exfoliation
      • Night 2: Retinol Serums or Topicals
      • Night 3 and 4: Recovery (Resting)
      • Skin Cycle experts often recommend retinol for the maintenance phase, but retinoids can injure and irritate the skin.
      • Skin cycling can be adapted in terms of length, frequency, and products used depending on individual circumstances.
      • OneSkin’s products are excellent for use during skin cycling. PREP is a gentle daily cleanser that can be used on each day of skin cycling. Similarly, OS-01 EYE and OS-01 FACE are gentle and lightweight enough to be used on each day of skin cycling, but will be especially useful in helping skin recover from harsh ingredients on recovery nights of skin cycling.
      Key Takeaways
      • Skin cycling is a skincare process that spans three to four nights:
      • Night 1: Exfoliation
      • Night 2: Retinol Serums or Topicals
      • Night 3 and 4: Recovery (Resting)
      • Skin Cycle experts often recommend retinol for the maintenance phase, but retinoids can injure and irritate the skin.
      • Skin cycling can be adapted in terms of length, frequency, and products used depending on individual circumstances.
      • OneSkin’s products are excellent for use during skin cycling. PREP is a gentle daily cleanser that can be used on each day of skin cycling. Similarly, OS-01 EYE and OS-01 FACE are gentle and lightweight enough to be used on each day of skin cycling, but will be especially useful in helping skin recover from harsh ingredients on recovery nights of skin cycling.

      Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

      Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

      Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

      Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

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