What does skin cycling mean?
Skin cycling is a term used to describe the process of rotating or switching between different skincare products on a regular basis. Some people rotate their products seasonally, while others switch up their routine every few weeks or months. It is important to note that skin cycling should be done under the guidance of a skin expert to ensure that the products you are using are appropriate for your skin type and that the rotation schedule is safe for your skin.
Most importantly, a consistent skincare routine which includes thorough yet gentle cleansing, exfoliation, moisturizing and sun protection, regardless of the products you are using, is the focus of skin cycling.
In Part I of this series, we discuss skin cycling for winter care.
Skin cycling for winter care
During the winter, the skin is exposed to the changes from warm central heating to cold harsh, dry weather conditions that can cause dryness, flaking, and irritation. As a result, skin cycling for winter care may involve using different products or adjusting the frequency of use to provide extra protection and help keep your skin feeling hydrated, plump, and healthy.
Layering skin care products
One way to skin cycle for winter care is to treat the skin like you do your clothing, in layers. A correct order is as follows: cleanse, tone (acid/ mist or both), serum, moisturizer (oil/ balm/ cream), and SPF. Start with less and if your skin is still absorbing products, keep going. However, be mindful of products that contain silicone, as they don’t always play well with other products and have the potential to feel grim and result in makeup piling. Also, avoid alcohol-heavy products where the main ingredient is alcohol.
Cleansing tips while skin cycling
Another tip is not to over-cleanse the skin till it’s squeaky clean and to reduce using electronic facial cleansing brushes as overuse tends to damage the delicate skin barrier over time. Damaged skin barrier from overuse of electronic cleansing brushes tend to increase susceptibility to redness in lighter skin tones and pigmentation on medium or darker skin tones. If you love a foaming face wash, try to change to a cleansing milk, a cleansing cream, or a cleansing balm for acne/psoriasis/rosacea/reactive skin conditions when the weather is cold. You’ll feel a difference in your skin immediately where it feels more hydrated, calm, and supple; as healthy skin should be.
Skin cycling and exfoliating with acidic toners
Exfoliating can also be incorporated into your face and body care routine during the winter, as the skin tends to be more delicate and sensitive yet dull looking. Therefore, topical acidic exfoliants in liquid form are far more effective for face care than scrubs. Topical liquid exfoliants tend to be acidic formulas primarily consisting of hydroxy acids, because the healthy state of the skin barrier is acidic and acid-based toners are crucial for keeping mature skin exfoliated, smooth, dewy, and because it reduces trans epidermal water loss on skin, further improves penetration of serums and moisturizers. Here at KOKOBÉRNA, we believe less impact to aging skin is paramount and recommend using topical acidic exfoliants in liquid form every night for the first seven days and cycling it into your routine every other night for superb winter care.
With frequent use, you will notice the effects of UV photoaging are reversed, wrinkles are improved, skin elasticity is dewy and plump, skin surface is smooth as glass, skin tone begins to appear more even, and hydration is restored.
Skin cycling, body care, and exfoliating without acids
Not everyone can use or wants to use liquid acids. For those of you that prefer a physical exfoliant for face care, we suggest gentle, naturally sourced, and finely ground granular scrubs and polishes that do not cause microscopic tears on sensitive skin barrier. Similarly, for whole body care, the best exfoliation results work with gentle, naturally sourced, and finely ground granular scrubs and polishes.
The best serums and moisturizers for skin cycling and healthy skin barrier
Another way to skin cycle for winter care is to incorporate a hydrating serum or facial oil into your routine. These types of products can help to provide an extra boost of hydration to the skin, which is especially important during the winter when the skin can become dry, dehydrated, and dull looking.
Another way is to switch to a heavier moisturizer during the colder months. A thicker, more emollient moisturizer can provide a barrier to protect the skin from the dry air, while also helping to seal in moisture. However, if your skin is particularly dry and itchy, a heavy balm may actually be stripping much needed lipids from your skin, so go easy and use a face oil such as our HEALER’S GOLD™ Oil.
The importance of sunscreen in skin care
It's also important to remember to protect the skin from the sun, even in the winter, as the sun's UV rays can still penetrate through clouds and cause skin damage. So, using sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and UVA protection is important to slow down premature aging. Most especially, when using leave-on acidic peels, retinols, and liquid exfoliants.
Vitamin D on inner skin health
Lastly, Vitamin D is crucial for overall skin + health. People with darker skin tones make less vitamin D that those with lighter skin tones. Also, aging skin makes 75 percent less vitamin D than when we were younger. Vitamin D comes from three sources: sunlight, specific foods, and supplements. It is a group of fat-soluble vitamins which help support your:
- immune system
- cellular function
- blood sugar regulation
- skin and bone health
- calcium absorption and circulation
- normal blood pressure
As a general guideline, the ideal and best way to get Vitamin D is from approximately 10-20 minutes of midday sun exposure. Some people may need more sun and at certain times of the year (i.e., winter) the sun may not be strong enough to provide the required Vitamin D. For others, sun exposure may not be appropriate, such as burn or skin cancer survivors.
Some food sources richest in Vitamin D can be found here. The best form of Vitamin D is D3 which is superior at optimizing and maintaining Vitamin D levels long-term and if you prefer a plant-based option, Vitamin D2 derived from yeast or mushrooms could be a best alternative. Taking vitamin D when you’re not deficient will have little to no benefit— and may even cause harm. Make sure you confirm a suspected vitamin D deficiency with a blood test, obtained through your doctor.
Book a consultation if you have any questions on skin cycling
It is important to keep in mind that everyone's skin is different, so it's best to consult with a KOKOBÉRNA skin expert to determine the best approach to skin cycling for winter care.
kokoberna skin cycling winter skin care routines by season