Breaking down the trending “Skin-Cycling”

skin cycling

I will admit, I am a Gen X-er and not often up to date on the ever changing Instagram and Tiktok trends. But within the last few months we have been inundated with questions and comments about a recent Tik Tok trend called “skin cycling.” So of course we had to dive in and gather all of the opinions around here from the Physician’s Assistants, Dermatologists, Aestheticians and Medical Assistants. Specializing in Dermatology we found some strong, educated opinions.

This term was coined by Whitney Bowe, a New York based Dermatologist. The term is new but the concept is not. 

Skin Cycling Steps: 

Night 1: Use a chemical based exfoliant such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid to “prep” the skin.

Night 2: Use a retinoid, a form a vitamin A.

Night 3/4: Do not use any actives or correctives, simply moisturize.

Repeat weekly.

“This could be helpful if you have sensitive skin but you will get better results using a retinol as many nights as possible versus just a few nights a week. This will create more cell turnover giving better and faster results for scarring, hyperpigmentation and anti-aging.” –Allison Clark, MA at Accent Dermatology and Laser Institute

Advice From the Pros

Now as a skincare professional, I don’t hate this. But also as a skincare professional, this is nothing new and certainly not ground breaking. But I suppose to a young Tik Tok viewer, this would be “news.” This would be a very simple and easy regimen one might do if they are just dipping their toe into skincare, if they are very young, OR if they are very sensitive to active ingredients. The concept is that using active ingredients only on certain days and then having rest days helps to prevent the skin barrier from being compromised due to overuse of overly aggressive ingredients.

Many clients come to us wanting to know where to start, they are perhaps doing nothing or only cleansing and moisturizing, wanting to take it up a notch to see more result. On the flip side, we see SO many people, especially younger skincare fanatics that use WAY too much product and buy into every new social media or celebrity inspired product claiming to be amazing. Both of these two types of clients would benefit from skin cycling. The first client to get a foot in the door and start using corrective, active ingredients to start seeing results and the second to stop overusing way too many trendy, aggressive products which are most often causing more issues.

Overuse of aggressive ingredients breaks down the skin’s barrier, causing redness, dryness, irritation and even more acne sometimes as the skin’s pH is not balanced.

Using too many ingredients such as 1-2 serums, then an antioxidant, then an exfoliant, then a moisturizer, then an SPF for example is often times just a waste as many of those ingredients cannot get through all of the layers of product to the skin.

With that being said, I don’t love the idea of skin cycling for someone wanting results and as a skincare professional I would recommend someone use less concentrated or aggressive active ingredients, more often. Consistency is key when it comes to skincare. Just like going to the gym! 1-2 nights of product such as retinol and AHA/BHA are not enough to see good results. These products are going to be more effective when used regularly than sporatically.

“To get the most out of a retinol or any tretinoin product you need to use it consistently. It’s best to use something that your skin will tolerate on a nightly basis because it’s trying to regulate the skin.”  –Dr. Stephen Huang, MD, FAAD

I think the reason some people are having so much irritation from their actives is because their provider doesn’t explain how to use it so it doesn’t fry the skin or the person is buying and using something that is not from a skincare professional and they have no guidance. skin cycling skin cycling



Everything You Need to Know About Sculptra

As we get older, our face loses both bone structure and fat pad volume, which leads to a sagging, aging face rather than a lifted, youthful face. Hyaluronic acid fillers help to rebuild some of that lost volume and structure, however collagen stimulating therapies such as Sculptra Aesthetic are another popular and very natural looking option.

What is Sculptra?

Sculptra Aesthetic is a safe, synthetic, biocompatible material made of poly-L-lactic microspheres that is injected below the surface of the skin to stimulate collagen production. Think of this as fertilizer for your skin- it can be used for global volume restoration and to spot treat specific areas depending on the placement and amount of product used.

Sculptra Results

As with any biostimulating therapy, the results of Sculptra Aesthetic are not immediate. At your first treatment visit, it may appear that Sculptra Aesthetic worked immediately because of swelling from the injections and the water used to dilute the product. A few days following the treatment, when the swelling goes down and the water is absorbed by your body, you may appear similar to as you did before your treatment. Sculptra takes time, up to 6 months, to see full results. Results have been studied out for 2 years, but likely last even longer than that especially if you keep up with maintenance therapy (recommended 1-2 vials per year after initial series).


At your consult, we will discuss your specific goals to get a better idea of how many vials and sessions you may need. Up to 2 vials may be used per session, and most clients need on average 3 sessions about 6 weeks apart for best results.

After your injections, your face may appear a bit swollen/puffy and you can expect some bruising at the injection site. You will be instructed to massage the treated areas for 5 minutes, 5 times per day, for 5 days following the procedure- this is to prevent nodules from forming under the skin and to ensure even distribution of this “skin fertilizer”. You will likely be a little sore as the lidocaine used to mix the sculptra wears off after the treatment.

We will continue to assess and treat as needed until the desired results are achieved. Schedule your consult today to see if Sculptra Aesthetic is right for you!