The Benefits of Skin Cycling

Skin cycling is the process of defining an optimal skin regime that works best for your skin type. Optimal skin cycling is all about replacing dead skin cells with healthy new skin cells. The body is pretty amazing as it automatically replaces skin cells. New skin cells are created naturally within the deeper layers of the epidermis, after which they move towards the surface of the skin.

The skin renews itself every 28 days by shedding dead cells and replacing them with fresh ones. So if our bodies automatically do this why upset the apple cart? Because as we age our skin cycle slows to about 45-60 days in our 40’s and 50’s and to 60-90 days when we are in our late 50’s and 60’s. Skin cycling as you age helps to keep the new, fresh skin cells coming to the surface more regularly. Skin cycling is especially good for people with sensitive skin. The practice of skin cycling allows you to reap the benefits of your exfoliants and retinoids without overdoing it and causing irritation. There are so many good facial products in the market but you can get too much of a good thing. 

So now that you know what skin cycling is and why it can be helpful let’s get into the specifics. Experts recommend a cycle that involves the following:

  1. Exfoliation

Exfoliation is the process of gently removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. The benefit of exfoliation is that you remove dry or dull skin, increase blood circulation, and brightening and improving your skin’s overall appearance. If you’re not sure what exfoliant is best for you we like this post from We like the way they make recommendations based on your skin type as well as budget. Tip: I have very sensitive skin so I recommend you use something organic or natural. It’s also important not to scrub too hard as you can cause irritation and redness.

2. Retinol (treatment)

It’s important to define the difference between retinol and retinoids. Retinol is actually a type of retinoid. The term retinoid describes a more powerful prescription product vs retinol which are weaker over-the-counter (OTC) formulas. Retinol and retinoids are still one of the best things for aging skin. The benefit of retinoids is that they reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which helps improves skin color and brightness. Retinol can also help to fade age spots, soften rough patches of skin and regulate oily skin thus minimize breakouts. So what’s the downside of Retinol treatments? They often lead to peeling skin and irritation. It is recommended that you begin with over the counter treatments first and see how your skin reacts. Once your in your 40’s you should speak with a dermatologist about getting a stronger solution. Prescription retinol comes in multiple strengths; the most common are 1%, 0.5%, . 0.3% and 0.25%.If you see a product that does not define the retinol strength then it means the concentration is weaker.

3. Recovery (2 Days)

Recovery does not mean you do nothing to you face. It does mean that you do not exfoliate or use retinol. Recovery typically involves using ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin at night. Hyaluronic acid has become super popular over the past few years. It’s become popular because it is great at holding water and giving skin resilience and firmness. If you’r not sure what to buy we like this post from Ceramides are beneficial because they hold skin cells firmly together in the uppermost skin layer. The combination of hyaluronic acid and ceramides will keep your skin moisturized and plump. Lastly, we have glycerin. Glycerin helps to increase skin hydration, relieve dryness, and refreshes the skin’s surface. Additionally, it is an emollient, which means it can soften skin. If you can find a product with all of these ingredients you will really boost your skins health the most.

So that’s it! You can buy a fancy calendar to remind you of the cycle or create your own and see what makes your skin the healthiest. 

In summary, designing and following a custom skin cycle can do wonders for aging skin. It’s a gentle and effective way to use the products you need to hydrate, exfoliate and reduce fine lines while increasing skin elasticity.

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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