Skin Cycling: Should You Do It?

Have you heard the buzz about skin cycling? Maybe you cycle, maybe you don’t. Either way, here’s the skinny: you use harsh ingredients (like acids and exfoliants) on certain days and then skip a few days to recover from skin barrier damage.

But if you love skincare and your skin, here’s good news: you can still get the glow you want with an effective skincare routine that promotes your skin barrier health—not damages it.

The Beauty Behind Your Skin Barrier 

Your skin is not just a pretty wrapping for your body.

The outer layer of your skin (aka skin barrier) is moisture-rich and packed with lipids—ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids—that help promote healthy, radiant-looking skin.   

It also serves a real purpose that goes beyond appearance.

Your skin barrier:

  • Protects you from pollution, harmful rays, immune threats, and other challenges. 

  • Contains specific immune cells crucial for skin repair, protection, and renewal. (1) 

  • Even makes its own neurotransmitters! (2)   

When your skin barrier is damaged, precious moisture is more easily lost, which can lead to dehydrated skin. Along with dehydration comes a weaker skin barrier less able to protect you. That can mean cranky, irritated, dull skin—you get the not-so-pretty picture. (3, 4)

The Power of Your Skin Microbiome

You may know that your gut’s microbiome is essential for healthy digestion. What you may not know is that your skin has a microbiome, too—and when you nourish it, you get healthy, glowing skin. 

A healthy skin microbiome acts like matrix of protection that:

  • Wards off unfriendly bacteria and educates your immune system to respond to bad players. (5, 6)  
  • Balances and protects through natural enzymes that help shed dull, dead skin cells and produce fatty acids and natural oils for healthy, firm skin. (7) 

Believe it or not, many common skin issues from blemishes to dryness to irritation are believed to be rooted in changes to the skin microbiome. (5) 

These are just a few reasons why your skincare ritual should nourish and protect your skin daily—not be something you need to “recover” from.

The Solution: Nourish and Protect 

If you’re tired of a complex cycling routine—and would rather just glow and go—nourish your skin with daily microbiome-friendly ingredients that won’t disrupt your protective skin barrier.

Check out a few must-haves below! 

Astaxanthin: The Antioxidant King

If you know skincare, you know antioxidants are the O.G. Produced by microalgae, astaxanthin is known as the “king of antioxidants” because it has higher antioxidant activity than beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. (12) 

If you need more convincing: astaxanthin is a 6000x more potent antioxidant than isolated vitamin C and 800x stronger than CoQ10. (15)

 The topical application of astaxanthin is clinically proven to:

  • Improve skin moisture. 

  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines, puffiness, and redness. 

  • Soothe stressed skin. (13, 14) 

Beta Glucans: Plump and Strengthen

Who else wants plumper, stronger-looking skin?  If you want an ingredient that does it all (almost), beta glucans are where it’s at. 

Beta glucans can:

  • Support the cells (fibroblasts) of your skin that produce collagen and elastin. (9) 

  • Support skin regenerative properties. 

  • Revitalize the immune health of your skin. 

  • Help strengthen your skin’s ability to deal with adverse environmental stress. 

  • Help improve the appearance of aging skin. (8) 

Reishi for Radiance

Reishi is a mushroom whose Latin name Ganoderma derives from the Greek ganos (“brightness” and “sheen”) and derma (“skin”). The perfect name for a mushroom whose compounds can help improve skin’s health and appearance. (10)

Reishi can: 

  • Balance out your skin tone. 

  • Soothe your skin. 

  • Reduce signs of photoaging. (11) 

Skin-Respecting Skincare

If you want 100% active skincare that respects your skin's innate resilience and your skin microbiome’s intelligence, you’ll love our cleansers, sprays, and serums.

Discover how to allow your skin to renew, adapt, and glow without disruption here.  


1. Nguyen, A. V., & Soulika, A. M. (2019). The Dynamics of the Skin's Immune System. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(8), 1811. 

2. Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2013). Sunshine, serotonin, and skin: a partial explanation for seasonal patterns in psychopathology?. Innovations in clinical neuroscience, 10(7-8), 20–24.) 

3. van Smeden, J., & Bouwstra, J. A. (2016). Stratum Corneum Lipids: Their Role for the Skin Barrier Function in Healthy Subjects and Atopic Dermatitis Patients. Current problems in dermatology, 49, 8–26. 

4. Coderch, L., López, O., de la Maza, A., & Parra, J. L. (2003). Ceramides and skin function. American journal of clinical dermatology, 4(2), 107–129. 

5. Byrd, A. L., Belkaid, Y., & Segre, J. A. (2018). The human skin microbiome. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 16(3), 143–155. 

6. Grice, E. A., & Segre, J. A. (2011). The skin microbiome. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 9(4), 244–253. 

7. Boxberger, M., Cenizo, V., Cassir, N., & La Scola, B. (2021). Challenges in exploring and manipulating the human skin microbiome. Microbiome, 9(1), 125. 

8. Du, B., et al. (2014). Skin health promotion effects of natural beta-glucan derived from cereals and microorganisms: A review. Phytotherapy Research, 28:159-166. 

9.  de Jong MAWP. (2010). C-type langerin is a beta-glucan receptor on human Langerhans cells that recognizes opportunistic and pathogenic fungi. Mol Immunol, 47(6):1216-1225. 

10. Kim, J. W., et al. (2016). Effects of ganodermanondiol, a new melanogenesis inhibitor from the medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum. Int J Mol Sci, 17:1798. 

11. Gautier, S., et al. (2008). Chitin-glucan, a natural cell scaffold for skin moisturization and rejuvenation. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 30:459-469. 

12. Nishida, Y., et al. (2007). Quenching activities of common hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidants against singlet oxygen using chemiluminescence detection system. Carotenoid Science, 11:16-20. 

13. Seki, T., et al. (2001). Effects of astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis on human skin. Fragr J, 12:98-103. 

14. Yamahita, E. (1995). Suppression of post-UVB hyperpigmentation by topical astaxanthin from krill. Fragr J, 14:180-185.

15. Nishida, Y., & Yamashita, E. (2007). Quenching Activities of Common Hydrophilic and Lipophilic Antioxidants against Singlet Oxygen Using Chemiluminescence Detection System.

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