Beauty trends to know right now: Skin flooding vs skin cycling

Serums should be part of your everyday skincare routine. Picture: Pexels/@Yan Krukau.

Serums should be part of your everyday skincare routine. Picture: Pexels/@Yan Krukau.

Published Jul 5, 2023


Since 2020, there has been a rise in skincare trends. During the hard lockdown, when people were indoors, they spent most of their time trying new things, including skincare hacks.

Those who found what works for them shared tips and tricks on social media platforms such as TikTok.

While many continue to try skincare routines, there are two skincare trends currently trending: skin flooding and skin cycling. Both these trends are engineered to simplify what goes into a daily skincare routine while increasing the hydration and moisture levels in the skin.

Dr Alek Nikolic, renowned specialist in aesthetic medicine and owner of SkinMiles, breaks down these two trends and outlines how to incorporate them into your daily routine.

Skin cycling

This alternating evening regime is popularly known on TikTok as “exfoliating like a dermatologist” and continues to rise in popularity.

The process involves using exfoliants, retinoids, “recovery evenings” and other active skin ingredients to effectively cycle how the skin is treated during weekly cycles.

Not only does this routine scale back on the number of products used on the skin during daily skin care activities but it also creates an easier-to-follow regime with incredible benefits for sensitive skin.

A skin cycling routine can take about 3 to 4 days to complete.

Day 1- Exfoliation: This is when you remove dead skin cells by cleansing the skin, exfoliating and then applying a leave-on exfoliant.

Day 2- Retinoids: You cleanse the skin and apply retinoids followed by a moisturiser.

Day 3&4 - Recovery: You cleanse the skin, apply hyaluronic acid serum, moisturiser and then seal it by slugging.

Skin flooding

Skin flooding focuses less on what goes on our faces and more on how much. With increased hydration (which is always a good idea) at the core of this trend, it’s all about strategically layering products containing hyaluronic acid on to damp skin to lock in moisture in the skin before applying moisturiser to treat dryness and avoid dehydration in the skin – especially during the winter months.

Hence it’s always advisable to moisturise your skin immediately after cleansing while it is still damp and not completely dry.

Additionally, it’s advisable that you use the same brand when skin flooding instead of using many products from different brands.

Remember, no skincare routine is complete without a sunscreen, even in winter.