Day after day, a new trend in skincare sinks into the social media swamp, and rise the audience’s dopamine to try hoping they reach that “Glass Skin” that actually may not exist in real life. Retinol, led light therapy, face massages, and more techniques and methods to boost collagen and enhance skin’s glow, and lately the phrase “Skin Cycling” is crushing down Instagram for months, so what’s the story?
It all began with Dr. Whitney Bowe a certified dermatologist, who created a program that organizes the skincare routine that consists of 4 days every day and has 3 steps night routine for 1st 2 days, assuming that it will maximize the results from the products used and minimize the irritation. In these couple of months, this method had gone viral on both Instagram and TikTok with more than 392 million views and every single beauty influencer and dermatologist tried it and shared her/his opinion like Dr Dray and Sarah Palmyra.
Day 1: Exfoliation Night
Assuming that you cleansed your face, you start your night routine with either an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) or a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that will mildly penetrate your skin layers and remove dead cells. This boosts skin glow and helps any hydrating product to get through the skin more easily, as an example there’s Biossance Squalene and Lactic acid for dry skin, Paula’s Choice 2% Salicylic acid for oily acne-prone skin, and the 7% Glycolic acid from The Ordinary.
Day 2: Retinoid Night
The next day, after cleansing and drying your face it’s time to use a retinoid or specifically a Vitamin A derivative whether it’s on the counter as retinol like Cerave Resurfacing Retinol serum, or adapalene as Differin, or even a prescribed tretinoin gel. All these products are derived from vitamin A the only difference is the potency of the product work on the skin, retinol is gentle especially if incorporated with hydrating ingredients, while prescribed tretinoin is harsh and the person should insert it in his routine gradually because it can be so drying and irritating. All these kinds could cause purging because the main reason to use a retinoid is to accelerate skin turnover, boost collagen production, and treat acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), retinol (retinoid), a topical form of vitamin A, can help treat and prevent inflammatory acne lesions. Dr Bowe advises using the sandwich method (moisturizer/ retinoid/moisturizer) for sensitive skin and beginners.
Days 3 and 4: Recovery Night
In the next 2 days, the person should let her/his skin recover and repair, especially after those ingredients are used on the skin on days 1 and 2. Exfoliants and retinoids are considered hard ingredients at the beginning and need time to adjust the skin, in those night hydration is a must always, also incorporating more hydrating serums such as hyaluronic acid or peptides serum would be great to replenish the dryness and redness that could be caused by retinoids like La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 or The Ordinary buffet copper peptides for more mature skins. Dr Bowe advises ending the routine with an oil such as rosehip or squalene oil to slug the skin and lock in moisture.
There’s an important idea to mark up, it is a must to use sunscreen in the morning routine and reapply it during sun exposure since the skin may be more sensitive to the sun while using exfoliants and retinoids.
After all, is this method recommended? The answer is that it depends on how skin can tolerate these hard ingredients in the 1st 2 days, sensitive skin and skin that has irritation or damaged barrier may not be suitable for it especially if they don’t use repairing ingredients to balance out the skin. It’s a simple concise method that may be great for beginners if used correctly and as said. It’s good to mention that the correct quantity for using an exfoliant is 3-4 drops maximum, and a pea-sized for a retinoid. It’s important to counsel a dermatologist if needed or when having a severe situation that skincare won’t solve.
Editor: Joan Andrew Ramadan
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