227: Using Habits To Better Care For Your Skin

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If you’re one of those people who can’t stick to changes that you want to make to help your skin, this episode is for you!

One of the biggest reasons people fail at making changes is that habits that you already have are VERY strong.

Motivation simply isn’t a good driver for habit change (because that’s actually what you want to do).

Your skin needs you as a partner on this journey called life, so becoming skilled at changing routines and taking actions that support your skin are huge!

So let’s talk about how you can start to make changes that will actually stick without feeling like it’s such a hard uphill battle to “stay on the wagon”.


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In this episode:

  • Why depending on “feeling motivated” will not help you long-term with changes
  • The power of habits (and why they’re more important to focus on)
  • My #1 book recommendation to learn more about habits
  • Tips to help you start breaking out of habit loops that aren’t in alignment with changes you want to make


Habits are patterns that allow your brain to go on autopilot so that it doesn’t have to think its way through every moment of your day.

To change or break a habit, something must change in your environment to keep your mind from going on autopilot.


Woman writing in habit journal

Using Habits To Better Care For Your Skin (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode #227 of the Healthy Skin Show!

Are you the type of person who has grand plans to make a change that you believe will be good for your skin, but then “fall off the wagon” after a couple of week (or maybe a few days)?

You’re certainly not alone!

A lot of people tell me that they struggle to stay consistent with doing the things that they should – be it using the right type of skincare, taking supplements or even doing various self-care practices.

Consistency is so important which is why I wanted to devote this episode to share with you some tricks I’ve discovered over the years that can help!

It can be a real challenge to stick to a plan or start new things especially when old habits and even how motivated you feel may seem to get in your way.

The reality is that motivation is a “muscle” that takes around 3 months to build.

Three months of consistent action, my friends…

No wonder people who solely wait to become motivated rarely stick to things.

I think it’s a miscalculation to depend on “feeling motivated” to make and stick to changes.

So let’s dig a little deeper to help you get past the idea that in order to do anything different you have to “be motivated” to make it happen!


Man meditating on mountain at sunset

Why You Should Focus On The Power of Habit To Help You

If you’re someone who really can’t seem to “stay on the wagon” and follow through with a change in your routine, the first step is to focus on breaking habitual patterns that will likely get in your way.

While I certainly believe that mindset plays a role as I discussed in episode 226, I frankly think it’s a real challenge to will your way through changes. Mindset changes only get people so far.

Action is truly important which is why habits are the key here.

Habits are set patterns that allow your brain to go on autopilot so that it doesn’t have to think its way through every moment of your day.

It’s essentially “energy saver” mode for your brain!

Habits can be changed, but to do so requires some work on your part.

I read about this process of understanding and harnessing the power of habits in an excellent book by Charles Duhigg. He discusses what are called “habit loops”, how habits don’t rely on you to remember to do something, and practical ways to make changes to your habit loops.

I highly recommend the book (or even the audiobook is a great listen)!

For the sake of this short discussion, let’s talk about an example of a habit loop in the context of something that you probably can relate to – your morning routine.

You don’t necessarily have to think through every moment of your morning routine – shutting off your alarm, going to the bathroom, washing your face, turning on the coffee maker, getting dressed, making food, and then grabbing your car keys and bag before running out the door.

You also likely drive the same way to work every day.

Problems arise if you have to make or do something unusual – like start making a protein shake before work. Or even drop something off at a place that’s not on your usual route to work.

Will you stick with the change of making the protein shake every morning?

Will you remember the change of route?

My guess is that you’ll make the protein shake for a few days before you’re running late and then you completely stop because the one hiccup was enough to throw you back into your old pattern.

And unless you put a sticky note or do something specific to alert you that you have to make that stop (and thus change your route) on your way to work, you’ll probably head straight to the office instead.

To change or break a habit, something or some things have to change in your environment so that you can mold and shape the current habit you have into something based on what you consciously want.

It may take some time, but consistently breaking up the old habit will result in a new one that you don’t need to think about nor feel motivated to do.


Woman walking down road

How To Start Changing Your Habits

The best and easiest ways to start changing your habits aren’t complicated.

Part of this involves being more present with what’s going on rather than allowing your mental autopilot to take over.

I’d argue that some of these steps are pretty darn simple and I want to share some personal examples of tricks you can try!

  1. Set reminders in obvious places – on your calendar, in your phone, sticky notes on the mirror and the fridge (and maybe even in your car or at your desk).
  2. Make a noticeable change that breaks your habit. For example, if you need to remember to take your lunch or a breakfast protein shake (you made the night before) with you, put your car keys next to them in the fridge (and put a sticky where the keys normally are).
  3. Review your new plan or habit at least once a day. If you’re starting a new plan (a new skincare routine, a new supplement routine), print out the plan with the exact steps you need to take and leave it where’s it’s very obvious. Every time, you can review the sheet and steps to help pull your brain out of autopilot to focus on these new steps.
  4. Create accountability. You can do this by setting up new actions as appointments (like meeting with a trainer or a friend). Something that you will take as seriously as a doctor’s appointment that you don’t bail on.
  5. Weekly or biweekly check-ins to acknowledge your progress or to refine what you’re doing if still aren’t sticking to things. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you have to allow for failures and slip-ups as well as space to celebrate the small wins.

I’m not claiming to be an expert in changing habits, but focusing my energy on changing or making new habits has been a key to my own personal successes.

It helps me focus on the practical and doable rather than getting stuck in wishes or dreams vs feeling like a failure for not making anything happen.

If I can’t follow through with shifting a habit, then it’s a great opportunity to ask myself what’s messing me up without judgment so that I can then brainstorm new steps that I can test out.

Because I’ve personally found how powerful habit loops are, I don’t need to wait for the motivation to make a change now.

I use these skills to take small steps that truly do add up to some big changes that can easily be applied to so many facets of your life including caring for your skin from the inside and out.

If you’ve got any questions or thoughts to share about this, leave a comment below so I can address them.

Share this episode with our community to help those who need a shift in how they approach making changes in their life and health so they can experience more successes in the year to come!

Thank you so much for tuning in and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode!

Habits are patterns that allow your brain to go on autopilot so that it doesn’t have to think its way through every moment of your day.