Nov 2, 2022

The TikTok Skin Trend That’s Endorsed By Dermatologists

It should come as no surprise that there are plenty of “helpful” tips and tricks on TikTok that doctors of all persuasions would rather not go viral.

Sometimes, though, the trend gets it right – in this case, skin cycling.

This skincare method has been made popular by Dr. Whitney Bowe, a NY-based board-certified dermatologist, and it’s really been catching on.


Skin cycling for beginners: how to get started. And how to layer with Bowe Glowe #skincycling #thatboweglow #dermatologist #skintok

♬ original sound – Dr. Whitney Bowe

She thinks this could be thanks to the pandemic, in many ways.

“I noticed a shift away from makeup toward skin care. People were spending more time at home, applying less makeup, and seeing themselves during Zoom calls and FaceTimes all day long.”

She noticed that many people were using too many or the wrong kind of product and wanted to help spread the word about skin cycling.

“People were adding layer after layer onto their skin care routines and experimenting with ingredient combinations that were irritating and damaging their skin. People seemed to know more about skin care than ever before, but their skin was blotchy and sensitive and breaking out because they were taking a more-is-better approach.”

Skin cycling is simple in comparison; you’ll just need to repeat a four-night cycle.


Skin cycling = healthy skin 🤍 Learned this from @Dr. Whitney Bowe #healthyskin #skinbarrierrepair #skincycling #skincycle #barrierrepair #skinbarrier #drwhitneybowe #drwhitneybowebeauty #acnetreatment #acneskin #acneskincare #acnetips #acnetransformation #skintransformation #skincare #skincareroutine #skincaretips #skincare101 #skinpicking #skintok

♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral – WZ Beat

Night 1: Exfoliation

You’ll use a gentle cleanser and then pat your skin dry before using a leave-on chemical exfoliant – preferably that contains alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids. You should use a moisturizer when you’re finished.

Dr. Bowe notes that whatever you use, it shouldn’t cause painful burning or inflammation.

Night 2: Retinoids

Retinoids help speed up skin cell turnover and can help treat mild acne, fade hyperpigmentation and scarring, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

First you’ll clean and dry your face, then once it’s completely dry you’ll apply the retinoid – a pea-sized dab will definitely do you.

If you’re new to retinoids, Dr. Bowe says you can reduce potential irritation in the form of peeling and dryness by “sandwiching” the product between two layers of moisturizing as your skin acclimates.

Nights 3 & 4: Recovery

You’ll want to clean, dry, and moisturize your face without using products with the active ingredients mentioned above, then crawl into bed and enjoy some restorative sleep.

Dr. Bowe recommends fragrance-free products that contain skin-repairing add-ins like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, holding off on the rest for a few nights while your skin rests.

The benefits, she says, are in getting the most out of your products.


So thankful I stumbled upon your videos, #skincycling is life changing! #skincare #exfoliation #retinaldehyde #sensitiveskin #acneprone

♬ Luna, amore e no – Piero Piccioni

“Exfoliating serums and retinoids are powerful, highly effective products that I use in my skin care routine and recommend to my patients. However, they can be very irritating for many people if used too frequently.”

Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, agrees.

“When it comes to skin care, less is more. This is similar to the idea of working out different muscle groups in your weekly gym session. Giving your skin ‘work days’ and ‘rest days’ allows for improvements without causing the potential irritation or skin barrier damage you may experience from overdoing your routine every day.”

There aren’t any serious downsides to skin cycling, and Dr. Bowe believes the huge benefit of the system is how it allows for everyone to tailor it to their own specific needs.

“The beauty of skin cycling is that you can adjust your cycling schedule to meet your skin where it is. If you are experiencing sensitivity and irritation, you can increase your recovery nights. If you are seasoned and well-adjusted to your retinoid and want to dial it up, you can omit one recovery night for a three-night cycle.”

As with all at-home health regimens, you’ll need to be in tune with your body and what it needs.

If you’re taking medications or the like, or have extremely sensitive skin, you should still discuss all changes to your routine with your dermatologist.

twistedsifter on facebook The TikTok Skin Trend Thats Endorsed By Dermatologists