What is Skin Cycling and What Does it Mean for Your Ritual?

What is Skin Cycling and What Does it Mean for Your Ritual? I Mirra Skincare

Photo by Nuno Ricardo on Unsplash

Recently I was flying home from a long trip abroad and the airline lost my luggage. Although not shocking during these times, my immediate reaction to hearing this news was: How am I going to keep my skin healthy without all of my 10-minute skincare routine products! So I started to do research on how I could take care of my skin with very minimal products (to avoid repurchasing everything) and ended up stumbling upon a genius skincare concept: Skin cycling. 


1. How does the concept of skin cycling work?

2. Dr. Whitney Bowe's skin cycling regimen

3. How do you implement skin cycling

4. Should you skin cycle your morning routine?

5. Final Thoughts

Key Points

  • Dr. Whitney Bowe created the concept of skin cycling where you strategically use certain products on different nights of the cycle. 
  • Skin cycling starts with one or two days of exfoliating and ends with gentle products to help repair the skin.
  • Make sure to use at least a cleaner and moisturizer twice a day, if not anything else in your morning skincare routine.

How does the concept of skin cycling work?

Via Giphy

So you know how many personal trainers and fitness influencers harp on switching up the types of workouts you do throughout the week? Well, this is because switching up your routine allows you to target different parts of your body and also keeps you from getting tired and worn out from the same thing every day. Your skin needs the same type of treatment!

Over-exhausting your skin with too many products, especially exfoliants, can cause your skin to appear and feel dry and damaged. Spreading your products out throughout the week and giving your skin time to soak everything in and heal is the main point of this revolutionary concept.

Skin cycling is a skincare practice that involves rotating through certain products on specific days of the week. A dermatologist named Whitney Bowe came up with this regiment during the height of Covid-19.

Dr. Bowe claims it takes your nighttime skincare to the next level and delivers amazing results. It’s all about using certain products and then allowing your skin to breathe and heal by not overdoing it every night. There are different types of skin cycling for certain skin types and also available products. Dr. Whitney Bowe openly reveals her own skin cycling routine, as well as other kinds.

Dr. Whitney Bowe's skin cycling regimen 

Since Dr. Bowe has what she claims is “sensitive skin,” she opts for a four-day skin cycling routine. This is how her nightly skin routine goes:

Via Giphy

Night one: Exfoliation

On Dr. Bowe’s first night, she goes all in. This is the night she exfoliates to get rid of her dead skin. She states that there are many different types of exfoliants people can use, but she opts for a chemical exfoliant over a physical scrub. One of her favorites is the Shani Darden Lactic Acid AHA Exfoliating Serum ($88).

Recommended exfoliants:  

Night two: Retinoid

The next night, Dr. Bowe uses retinol, which is another version of an exfoliant. Retinol helps to increase new cell production, as well as stimulate collagen synthesis. People make the mistake of applying retinol on their face too often, which can result in inflammation and redness. Cycling this in your routine one to two times a week can produce the amazing anti-aging benefits that retinol has been known to offer.

Recommended retinols (from Dr. Bowe’s shopping shelf):

Night three and four: Recovery

These two nights are all about letting your skin rest and repair. This is when you don’t even want to look at exfoliants or anything harsh. On recovery nights, Dr. Whitney Bowe likes to use products that give her skin moisture and hydration. Products such as microbiomes, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin on your recovery nights are the best. 

Best recovery products:

Via Giphy

How do you implement skin cycling

Depending on your skin type and its needs, you can definitely start skin cycling as soon as possible. There are many sources to help you find a cycling routine for skin types such as dry or oily skin, and even rosacea. Most of these techniques, however, are still very similar to the standard Dr. Bowe cycle, but may just be longer in length to give the skin more time to repair.

The best thing about it is that it will make your products last twice as long as they normally last. Even if you don’t want to follow Dr. Bowes exact regimen, you can come up with your own while still implementing the same idea.

You want to start with harsher products in the first one or two days to really strip away the dead skin parts. Then move on to lighter products for moisture and hydration to give your skin a break and heal it. Once you finish your four-day cycle, or however many days you choose to cycle, make sure to immediately restart the process

Should you skin cycle your morning routine?

Having a morning skin routine is extremely important for maintaining healthy and youthful skin. However, this is when you should only be applying light and nourishing products – NOT the heavy ones. So when it comes to skin cycling in the morning, it’s not really necessary since you aren’t using any harsh exfoliants.

Many dermatologists recommend using just a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen in the mornings. If you want to go further with your morning skin routine, you can add a light serum such as vitamin C and an eye cream to really jazz it up.

Final Thoughts

Maybe you’ve been wanting to try a new type of skin care routine lately. Maybe you've been feeling bored with your constantly repeated regimen. This is your opportunity to start skin cycling. Dr. Bowe has created a genius technique that allows the skin to repair itself on a weekly basis by just rotating products in and out. 

Written by Emma Carlson

5 Nervous System Regulation Techniques to Stay Grounded

Yep, You Need Eyeliner Stickers in Your Beauty Collection. Here's Why


  1. https://www.popsugar.com/beauty/skin-cycling-48858304
  2. https://www.the-well.com/editorial/what-is-skin-cycling
  3. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/skin-cycling-for-rosacea
  4. https://www.instagram.com/p/CO-v645paAg/?utm_medium=share_sheet&hl=en
  5. https://www.glam.com/stories/what-is-skin-cycling-and-does-it-work/


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Self Care 101: The 6 Different Types of Self-Care
0 Comment
Too often, we feel swept up in day-to-day tasks, suffocated by our long-term goals, and stumped by the opposition tha ...
How to Have Good Sleep Hygiene For a Good Night’s Rest
0 Comment
Although brushing your teeth, showering, or washing your face seem like no-brainers in some of our bedtime routines, ...
Myth Busted! Do Skin Care Ingredients in Hair Care Products Work?
0 Comment
It feels like nothing is simple these days. We’ve gone from picking up the cheapest, best-scented drugstore hair prod ...