Are Our Habits Bad for Our Skin?

Are Our Habits Bad for Our Skin?

We all have our habits. Whether we have an organized personality, making daily checklists and being always on time, or a more carefree personality, preferring to go with the flow of things, we all develop behaviors that we internalize and repeat–some intentionally, others unintentionally. Understanding our habits can go a long way to helping us live a healthier life.


The whirlpool effect of habits

We’ve all heard that old habits are hard to break, and new habits are hard to form. This is because “the behavioral patterns we repeat most often are literally etched into our neural pathways.” Habits are our brain’s way of making life easier for us. By turning daily actions and behaviors into habits, our brain programs us to do them automatically, so that we can focus our thoughts on more important tasks and challenges.

In the Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explained how MIT researchers broke down the loop habit into three interconnected elements: a cue or trigger, a routine or behavior, and a reward. Stress, for example, can become the cue that we may react to by turning to food, cigarettes, or alcohol, which then produces our reward–the reduction of stress, however temporary that may be.

One last thing to keep in mind about habits is that they have immediate or delayed rewards. Habits with instant rewards are easier to pick up, whereas habits with delayed rewards are more difficult to commit to and maintain. That is why responding to our social media notifications is so much easier and more gratifying than going on a diet. Only the social media engagement rewards are immediate; the rewards of a diet can be delayed for weeks, if not months.

Habits with instant rewards are therefore like strong whirlpools, spinning us in circles, making it harder and harder to break out. But not all hope is lost. In fact, the answer to breaking old habits is forming new habits.


The four habits to form better habits

According to Leo Babauta we must first set small goals for ourselves. If we start exceedingly small, we can’t talk ourselves out of whatever it is we usually avoid doing. If we want to exercise, it’s more important that we actually do exercise regularly, rather than overdoing to get an immediate benefit (for which our bodies probably are not ready, and might even lead to injury.)

Next, we should be mindful of our thoughts. Trying to quit smoking or avoid sweets, a lot of us may try to rationalize that one last cigarette or last late-night dessert won’t hurt. And it won’t. Unless it happens again, and again, again.

On the flip side, we should savor our newly-formed habits. This will only work if we stop considering our new habit a sacrifice, but rather something that we allow ourselves to enjoy. This applies to quitting smoking as much as eating healthier, or exercising.

Finally, we should have a plan for when we are tempted to quit and go back to our old habit. Disruptions in our routines happen all the time. The important thing is to restart and not give up completely. Whether this involves keeping a journal or sharing our progress with a friend, forming good habits, and finding the motivation to keep up with them, is the key to a healthier life.


Top 5 bad habits for our skin

Neglecting sun protection
Over-exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can result in sunburn, premature aging and increase the risk of skin cancer. The best way to protect ourselves against the damaging effects of the sun is to limit exposure and protect our skin with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30.

Tobacco causes cancer, heart, and lung diseases and increases the risk for tuberculosis, problems of the immune system, and certain eye diseases. In addition, smoking ages our skin prematurely, delays wound healing, and increases infections. Any one reason should be enough to quit smoking before it’s too late.

Alcoholic drinks high in sugar damage the collagen and elastin fibers in our skin, leading to loss of plumpness. Alcohol can also open up the blood vessels, causing facial flushing and redness. Fortunately, our skin can bounce back from the harmful effects of alcohol. As the slogan goes: drink responsibly.

Not sleeping enough
Poor or not adequate sleep has been linked in many studies to poor skin health, premature skin aging, and an increased risk of inflammation and allergic reactions. This is because bad sleeping habits disrupt the natural repair of collagen that occurs when we sleep and keeps the skin naturally moist, elastic, and young-looking.

Not hydrating enough
Dehydrated skin can be persistently dry and itchy, appear uneven or dull, and have more prominent fine lines and wrinkles. When our skin is properly hydrated, it looks plump and feels soft. Proper hydration helps the lipid barrier functioning properly, so that it can prevent moisture loss and keep our skin looking young and healthy.


Top 5 good habits for our skin

Daily skin cleansing
Cleansing removes dirt, oil, and makeup residue, which can clog our pores and lead to breakouts. Using our ATHONITES CLEANSE AND COMFORT FACE OIL, we can remove all impurities and makeup, even waterproof, leaving our skin healthy and pillow-soft.

Daily serum use
Serums are lightweight, fast-absorbing, and packed with active ingredients that target specific skin concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Applying our ATHONITES STIMULATE AND REVITALIZE ANTIOXIDANT MOISTURIZING SERUM FACE & NECK daily will help stimulate the production of collagen, leaving our skin revitalized, toned, and smooth.

Daily skin moisturizing
Moisturizing helps to keep our skin hydrated and plump. Choosing a moisturizer like our ATHONITES RESTORE AND REVITALIZE 24H MOISTURIZING FACE CREAM, we can reinforce our skin’s natural moisture barrier, improving its overall appearance.

Daily body care
Regular full body skin care is important because it is tied to our overall health and can prevent future skin problems. With our fast-absorbing ATHONITES VITALIZE AND HYDRATE BODY CREAM we can effectively nourish our entire body, leaving our skin properly pampered and fully energized.

Daily hand care
We use our hands constantly and for a wide variety of manual activities. This exposes them to all sorts of germs, dirt, harsh substances, and sunlight. In addition, our hands are more vulnerable and prone to aging because the skin on them is relatively thin. Our ATHONITES COMFORT AND RELIEVE HAND CREAM combines rich hydrating, soothing and antioxidant agents to hydrate, soothe, and protect our skin without leaving residues.

Our habits matter more than we think. They can make our lives not only easier, but also healthier. Isn’t it time to take full advantage of them?