Skin Cycling | Secret Routine for Beginners

If you're guilty of spending hours on TikTok, or just a sucker for all things skin and beauty - you’ve most likely heard of Skin cycling, a skincare trend that blew up in 2022. Approved and recommended by dermatologists around the world, to protect and support your skin's barrier. 

So, What is it?

Skin Cycling is simply a beginners guide to introducing Vitamin A/Retinoids into your skincare routine. The benefits of Vitamin A for the skin are endless (read more below), and is an ingredient everyone should be using in their routine. 

Skin cycling is nothing new to The Secret, in fact, it has always been at the core of our treatment recommendations. If you’ve been around for a while, you will know we ask you to begin your Night Cream every second to third night in the beginning phases. 

This is because we utilise a prescription-strength Vitamin A in our Night Creams. Like most things in life, the best things don't always come easy. This is why we use a Skin Cycling method - to help people slowly introduce their Vitamin A, and allow the skin to adjust. Slow, consistent application is the most important takeaway! 

The Hero - Vitamin A/Retinoids 

The hero ingredient for Skin Cycling to be successful, are retinoids, which are Vitamin A derivatives. This ingredient increases collagen and elastin production in the skin, cell turnover, and reduces inflammation. We’ve listed just a few of its benefits - we told you they were endless! 

Increased Cell Turnover - Retinoids will encourage the cell turnover process to mimic the behaviour of younger skin that turns over at a rapid rate.

  • Dead skin cells are removed from the pores
  • Skin texture is smoothed with the appearance of younger cells
  • Built up melanin is removed to reduce the appearance of pigmentation or melasma
  • Skins ability to heal itself is greatened

    Increased production of Collagen and Elastin - Proteins found in the skin responsible for its shape and structure. 

  • Fine lines and wrinkles are decreased
  • Skin becomes tighter and smoother
  • Skin becomes stronger and even-toned
  • Improved elasticity assists in the prevention of sagging

    Reduced Inflammation

  • Effective for treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Assists in the treatment of inflammatory acne
  • Reduced sensitivity in the skin
  • Help to treat inflammatory concerns such as rosacea and dermatitis 

    The second most important step in a skin cycling routine is to ensure you have nourishing, hydrating products to help support the skin on the off nights. Now, let's get into how it actually works.

    Getting Started - What you will need

    Night 1 - Night Cream / Vitamin A

    On your first night, double cleanse your skin with a gentle, oil-based cleanser to remove built up bacteria from the day. Ensure your skin is completely dry (pat with a towel, no rubbing) and evenly apply a pea-sized amount across your face. We recommend bringing the excess down your neck. An extra pea-sized amount can be brought across your decolletage - remember, wherever Vitamin A is applied, SPF50 needs to be applied the following day. 

    Night 2 - Gentle Moisturiser & Face Serum or Oil 

    Time to hydrate and recover. This is a crucial time to ensure you are giving your skin essential moisture, and time to rest. Double cleanse as normal and apply a gentle, hydrating moisturiser, serum or oil. Look out for ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide and ceramides. 

    Night 3 - Enzyme Exfoliation 

    On your third night, a gentle enzyme exfoliant can be used if you are experiencing some flaking or dryness. This is a normal adjusting side effect, as the Vitamin A works to remove dead skin cells on the outermost layer of the skin. At The Secret, we feel as though this step is not 100% necessary for everyone. 

    Who is Skin Cycling for?

    While a skin cycling routine can be used for everyone, it is recommended mainly for beginners who have just started incorporating Vitamin A. The ultimate goal is to be able to use your Vitamin A product nightly, as this will have the best, long term effect on your skin. 

    Remember that slow introduction, and consistency is key. Moving too fast, or applying too much product, can compromise your skin's lipid barrier - where it can’t do its job properly (to retain moisture in the skin). This can unfortunately lead to a number of issues like breakouts and inflammation, which can sometimes take a very long time to heal.

    So trust us on this one, if you’re a beginner - take note! (Or stick this step by step below on your bathroom mirror - we understand the urge to lather on your products in the hope they will fix your skin overnight. We promise you - it won’t!

    skin cycling step to step from day one to day three