A Celebrity Aesthetician Explains Skin Cycling And Why It's Taken TikTok By Storm – Exclusive

Whether you're a beauty novice or an expert, the goal is to have healthy, glowing skin. The only difference is how much you know, how many products you're willing to use, and how much you pay for skincare treatments.

While the internet is a great source for skincare-related information — there are tons of myths floating around, such as the importance of daily exfoliation – Washington, D.C.-based dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi told Glamour, "Over-exfoliating can cause chronic skin irritation and inflammation, which can lead to accelerated aging." Therefore exfoliating your skin every day should not be on your list of things to do. 

The beauty aisles are over-saturated with products that promise you miracles, but it's fair to say that one product can't do everything. On the other hand, using too many could wreck your skin. "People love their powerhouse products–like exfoliants and retinoids–and often believe more must be better. However, their skin often tells a different story when they come into the office with irritation and inflammation," New York-based board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe told Byrdie. The more is better approach is actually damaging your skin, and to educate people on how to incorporate multiple ingredients into their routine, Dr. Bowe came up with skin cycling.

This viral TikTok skin trend has 96.5 million hashtag views to date on TikTok, so we spoke with celebrity aesthetician Amy Peterson, the founder of Miami-based medspa, Skincare by Amy Peterson, to learn why skin cycling is so popular.

Skin cycling is popular because it really works

Amy Peterson is a licensed medical aesthetician with over 16 years of experience in the skincare industry and believes it's important to learn why people have skin issues so she can tackle how to treat them. Known as the "Skincare Specialist to the Stars," we turned to Peterson to learn why skin cycling is going viral.

Peterson told The List, "Skin cycling is a trend that became popular on TikTok, but the concept has been practiced by skincare professionals for many years. It consists of a skincare routine that incorporates products with strong active ingredients on certain days and other days that involve skin repair and rest."

But what is skin cycling? "Skin cycling is a deliberate and strategic approach to skin care that involves cycling through your evening skin-care routine to drive results while minimizing irritation," said dermatologist Whitney Bowe, who coined the term in the first place (via Well+Good). This simplifies the process of knowing which ingredients to use on which night so you can take advantage of the skincare products without causing additional skin issues.

Over the last few years, social media has been the go-to resource for beauty, skincare, and aesthetics for many, and while many skincare trends go viral, they aren't all backed by science or work. Peterson told us, "I think skin cycling, in particular, became popular because this trend really works. Many have experienced the irritation that comes with using strong active ingredients too regularly."

Here's why skin cycling works

Skincare is an excellent form of self-care for many, but the overwhelming number of ingredients and products on the market can get confusing — many don't know which two ingredients shouldn't be used together or which combination might work magic on your skin. Previously, Dr. Dennis Gross told us that using vitamin C and lactic acid work well together; however, not all combinations are as compatible.

Skin cycling follows a simple four-day rotation. On night one, you use an exfoliant, night two is for retinoids, and on nights three and four, you use moisturizing ingredients to help your skin recover from using actives on the first two nights (via Well+Good). "Your muscles need recovery days, your mind needs recovery days, so it makes sense that your skin also benefits from recovery days too," dermatologist Whitney Bowe told the outlet. According to Dr. Bowe, you'll notice results after two cycles (that's only eight days of following it religiously) and added, "If you stick with skin cycling, over the next few months you'll really see that transformation — when things like fine lines, wrinkles, breakouts, and dark spots can start to improve."

Amy Peterson further told The List, "This method is supposed to help the skin build a tolerance to active ingredients." We love a skincare trend that simplifies the process of teaching us why and how to use specific ingredients, just like Peterson's approach to skincare.