I tried 'Skin Cycling' for the first time and it's saved my complexion

If your skincare products aren't working as you'd like them to, you have to try this routine

skin cycling
(Image credit: HONEY_AND_MILK / Getty Images)

At the moment, the internet seems to be full of new skincare trends. Whether it's taking collagen, using a Gua Sha or trying out an LED face mask, the different products and methods are endless. It's hard enough knowing what your skin type is let alone the right kind of device to incorporate into a routine. I'm quite good at knowing what products work for my skin, but I've always struggled with knowing how I should be using them and how often. That's why the latest skincare trend, known as 'Skin Cycling', immediately caught my interest. 

The ‘Skin Cycling’ trend is  a 4-day routine that incorporates ‘rest days' during the week, ensuring your skin is given the time to repair itself. It prevents irritation and inflammation, which results in your products working more effectively. Wildsmith Skin has developed the ideal skin cycling routine, where instead of layering more products, it encourages the strategic use of skincare and ensuring the products complement one another rather than overwhelming the skin.

After a busy few months, my skin had really been feeling the effects. I was breaking out more than usual and my face constantly looked dull and tired. I wanted to try out Skin Cycling to see if the routine would change anything, and the results blew me away. 

Keep reading to find out how Skin Cycling works, and what happened to my skin when I tried it...

Night One: Exfoliation 

You're going to want to start off your Skin Cycling routine by exfoliating. It's a good place to begin because it will rid your skin of any nasty impurities, leaving it ready to reap the benefits of any subsequent products you use. However, it's important to only do this on night one as over-exfoliation can lead to redness, irritation and may even make your skin worse than how it was before. 

I just washed my face using my daily cleansers (Micellar Water followed by Wildsmith Skin's Energising B5 Gel Cleanser)  and then followed with the Dual Action Exfoliating Treatment. It's a gorgeous scrub that you leave on for 5-10 minutes to remove dead skin cells, and it leaves your skin feeling so soft once washing it off. 

Make sure to follow exfoliation with a soothing moisturiser as your skin may feel a little sensitive after. 

Night Two: Retinoids 

Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives, known for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. After cleansing, apply some kind of serum to aid the removal dead skin cells. I tried the Time-Release Pre-Serum Drops which are microdosed with AHAs to help do exactly this, and followed it up with the Active Repair Copper Peptide Serum which combines anti-ageing peptides with retinol alternative bioactive plant oils and moisture magnet Hyaluronic Acid. 

The reason why you should only be using Retinoids once every few days is because they can initially be drying, especially if you have sensitive skin. They can also be irritating so it's a good idea to give your skin some time to adjust to the change in your routine. 

Night Three and Four: Recovery 

During the recovery phase, you should refrain from using exfoliating acids and retinoids. Instead, focus on nurturing your skin's microbiome and restoring the skin barrier. Prioritise hydration and moisture, avoiding any potentially irritating elements. 

I did this by generously applying the Active Repair Copper Peptide Cream after cleansing to help regenerate and protect my skin from cellular damage. It's a silky smooth moisturiser that made my skin feel incredible, and it smelt amazing too. You could also opt for the Active Repair Platinum Booster  which combines hyaluronic acid and Moss Culture to plump wrinkles and improve the hydration barrier.

It's important to allow your skin the time to regenerate after treating it earlier in the routine, and this is often a step missed by many. If you want your skin to acheive that glowy, healthy look, then the recovery process is a must. 


I tried Skin Cycling for two weeks, following the routine three times in total. By the end of the two weeks, the breakouts and irritation I was experiencing had disappeared. My skin's glow had come back and I really noticed a difference in how much more awake I looked. 

It was almost like my skin had been given a reset, and I was over the moon. I'd fully recommend anyone giving the routine a go, especially if you feel like your skincare products aren't working as they should. 

Before you give it a go, have you ever heard of Skin Streaming? It's a trend that encourages you to streamline your skincare routine by using fewer products that carry out multiple functions. Skin Cycling fits nicely into this, ensuring you're using your skincare products in the correct way and not too often.

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.