Skin Cycling: The TikTok Trend That is Worth the Hype

Shot of a young woman inspecting her skin in front of the bathroom mirror

By Arizona Facial Plastics

Do you ever feel like your skin needs a rest? Does it at times seem like you need to recover from the same products that are meant to rejuvenate your complexion? Well, one of the latest trends in skincare going viral on social media is ‘Skin Cycling,’ a deliberate strategy to let the skin rest and maximize the benefits of skincare products.

Today, given the complex formulations in products and the prevalence of sensitive skin disorders, the idea of cycling is to allow the skin to maximally respond to a product through rotations or rest periods. Many dermatologists are moving to recommend such cycling, and it seems to have benefits, including one on your wallet.

Skin cycling was coined by Whitney Bowe, MD, a New York City dermatologist, whose posts on TikTok accumulated 2.1 million views and garnered a lot of interest from patients and medical practices alike. The initial idea was to reduce the adverse side effects of many active ingredients. To date, several cycling regimens have become popularized across social media platforms.

The simplest form of these cycles starts with a basic exfoliation on the first night of cycling, followed by the application of retinol on the second night, and finishing with two days of rest with a light moisturizer before the cycle is repeated. The recovery period seems to work especially well this time of the year when the weather is dry and cool and damage to the skin barrier is at its highest risk, leading to chronic skin inflammation. Such inflammation is believed to accelerate skin aging, hence the periodic “time outs” to let the skin recover.

In recent years, the skin care industry has run counter to “less is more,” with each private line formulation adding more ingredients to gain an advantage over competitors. Have you noticed how many products advertise one extra ingredient as the selling point for future beauty? This trend is changing and now doctors are realizing that giving the skin time to recover as well as leaning towards more basic products may in fact lead to better long-term outcomes.

“When we created our product line we developed it based on simple ingredients,” says Dr. Farhan Taghizadeh, board-certified facial plastic surgeon at Arizona Facial Plastics. “We encourage our patients to rotate critical products and take rest periods to optimize the skincare benefits”. 

Skin Cycling may be a trend, but the idea that a rest period may be the best medicine is being reborn into the current thinking around rejuvenation.

To learn more about Arizona Facial Plastics, visit or call to schedule an appointment at 480.296.0488. Mention Arizona Foothills Magazine and receive $50 off your service.

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