Have Acne-Prone Skin? Here's How You Can Tweak The Viral Skin Cycling Routine

Many of us believed that we would only suffer from breakouts and blackheads when we were going through puberty. However, many of us are still battling our temperamental skin. This has forced us to look for remedies on the internet and social media. Recently, social sites like Instagram and TikTok have exploded with skincare content and, more specifically, skincare routine advice. Anything from helping remove blackheads to facilitating face hydration has had its place on social media. Not all advice given by influencers and fledgling dermatologists is good advice, however. We have to be weary and research to know if what we're being told is actually beneficial or just another fad that will disappear as quickly as it emerged.

However, there is a TikTok trend that has made its way to the vanities of many and has been shown to be effective when fighting acne. Made famous by dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, 3.5 million views on TikTok prove that there might be some legitimacy to cycling your skincare. We've learned about the benefits of skin cycling, but there are some tricks you can apply to specifically address acne-prone skin.

What is skin cycling for acne?

Skin cycling is a creative way to name what many dermatologists have recommended doing to keep our skin happy. The idea behind skin cycling is that you space out ingredients in your routine to give your skin time to adjust and heal from irritants that may be negatively impacting your skin, says Oprah Daily. In addition, in order to gain optimal results from your skincare routine, Dr. Whitney Bowe recommends trying skin cycling for at least two weeks to reap the benefits. However, if your skin is already prone to blackheads and breakouts, you may need to make adjustments to the cycle to keep your skin healthy and happy.

The traditional order to appropriately skin cycle involves night one of exfoliation with a gentle moisturizer. Night two includes using a product with retinol and vitamin C. Nights three and four require your skin to recover with a moisturizer, and night five you start over with exfoliation, according to Elite Daily. In order to zero in on acne-prone skin specifically, you may need to cut out harsher products and skip using them every other cycle to keep your skin from breaking out (via Huda Beauty). In addition, retinoids generally shouldn't cause acne long-term, but the skin purge that comes from the initial two weeks of using these products may cause acne at first. However, taking steps to alter the skin cycling routine a bit should take care of these concerns.

How to adjust for acne

Skin cycling is really for every skin type, age, and budget. As long as you pay attention to what your skin is telling you, you can feel good knowing that it's beneficial for nearly anyone's skin (via Oprah Daily). However, if you have sensitive skin and find that the exfoliant routine is too harsh or the retinol night is too much for you, feel free to change to what suits your skin (via Stylist). What's more, Christa Evelyn recommends in a YouTube video tweaking the routine a bit by listening to your skin. She suggests that even though the routine may call for exfoliation, if your skin is super irritated, you might want to listen to it and give it more moisture. 

If some of the products are on the pricier side, there are plenty of department-store oils, retinoids, and exfoliants. Many dermatologists encourage their patients who are suffering from chronic acne to add in an acid like salicylic acid. People who are looking for quick results may see some improvements initially, but the real benefits come from being consistent with your practice (via Elite Daily). Overall, skin cycling is a social media trend that has proven the test of time and has proven to be incredibly beneficial for acne-prone skin.