What is Skin Cycling?

Sydney Solon

Global Marketing

2 min read

Skincare Education

Discover the power of skin cycling for your best skin yet.

Skin Cycling

Whether you are new to skincare or a product aficionado, chances are you’ve heard of skin cycling. The trend #skincycling has 187.8M views on TikTok. Fundamentally, skin cycling is a simple way to build a skincare regimen for maximum results. Not sure where to start? Let this be your guide to skin cycling the fresh way.

What is skin cycling?

Skin cycling is a way to organize your nightly skincare routine over the course of four nights, where the last two nights are ‘rest’ nights for your skin to repair itself and prevent any potential irritation and inflammation. After four nights, you repeat the cycle again. Skin cycling only changes the ‘treatment’ from night to night, you should always begin a night routine with a cleanser and end with a moisturizer, cream, or mask that locks in hydration.

Why should I do it?

It’s like cross-training for your skin. When building a workout routine and regimen, you achieve the best results through various forms of movement—endurance, cardio, and strength training. A healthy mix of movement and rest is far more effective than doing the same workout every single day. The same is true for skincare. Adopting a skin cycling routine allows the skin to soak in maximum benefits but also ‘rest’ and repair for optimal results.

Night 1: Exfoliation

On the first night, exfoliation is the name of the game. You’ll want to set up your cycle by gently removing dead skin cells from the surface layer of your skin. When skin is exfoliated, it allows for other products to perform more effectively. A great place to start is with the Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Wash. Made with real strawberries and sugar crystals, this cleanser removes dirt and dullness while providing gentle physical exfoliation. After your exfoliating step, follow with your favorite fresh serum or moisturizer.

Night 2: Targeted treatment

On night two, traditional skin cycling calls for a retinol treatment. Retinol, a vitamin-A derivative, is one of the most recognizable active ingredients for anti-aging helping improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture. If you have a retinol in your skincare routine, this would be the night to use it. Because skin is exfoliated from the previous night’s treatment, a retinol on night 2 is allowed to penetrate deeper into the skin. However, retinol can be harsh on the skin and lead to dryness, flakiness, and overall sensitivity for first timer users and those with sensitive skin. Still looking for retinol-like benefits? Our new Black Tea Anti-Aging Ceramide Moisturizer is a great alternative to correct signs of aging—such as wrinkles and loss of firmness—by a natural decline in collagen while increasing radiance. It's powered by BT MatrixTM, a naturally derived retinol-like blend* that's scientifically proven to help support lost skin structure, and is gentle on all skin types**, even sensitive skin.

Night 3 & 4: Rest days – back to the essentials

The next two nights of the cycle are considered ‘rest’ days. You’ve put your skin to work with exfoliation and a targeted treatment, and now it’s time to let your skin relax. On these days, stick to a simple regimen that does three things: cleanses, treats, hydrates. Look no further than our clinically proven treatment trio—the essential routine that incorporates fresh’s best-selling products: Soy Face Cleanser, Kombucha Essence, and Tea Elixir Serum. Just follow with your favorite fresh face moisturizer. Rest nights are also a great day to introduce a face mask tailored to your specific skin craving. Dry skin? Rose Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask delivers continuous hydration all night long to replenish moisture. Irritation from the night before? Floral Recovery Calming Mask is clinically proven to calm signs of sensitivity.

Incorporating fresh into your skin cycle

Every fresh formula undergoes an extensive toxicology evaluation to ensure we deliver the best sensorial experience possible and ignite your skin and senses. Our products are created to fold seamlessly into your routine that may already have exfoliants or dermatologist-prescribed solutions. Everyone’s skin concerns are unique and different—skin cycling may be one approach to building your routine, but it’s not the only one. We always recommend consulting your dermatologist and finding what’s best for you and your skin goals.

*ex vivo studies on BT Matrix™ ingredients; this product does not contain retinol

**normal, dry, oily, combination

Author Profile
blog author Sydney Solon

Sydney Solon

Global Marketing

Sydney is a NYC-based marketing strategist and skincare enthusiast. With experience at brands including Glow Recipe, Dr. Dennis Gross, and fresh, Sydney brings products from concept to bathroom shelf through consumer-first messaging directives and impactful campaign development.