From time to time you probably wish that your skin was as soft and as beautiful as your baby's. The good news is that improving the health and appearance of your skin doesn't take a lot of time or money. Plus, establishing some sensible habits now will pay off for years to come.

Ready to get started? Check out these easy, effective tips for protecting, cleansing, and moisturizing.

Sun Protection

There are many, many good reasons to dodge the damaging effects of the sun, from preventing wrinkles and dryness to reducing the risk of skin cancer. Here are some sun-smart guidelines to follow:

  • Stay in the shade whenever possible, but especially between the peak hours of 10 am to 2 pm and whenever your shadow appears shorter than you.

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Look for one with water resistance, too.

  • In addition to sunscreen, wear a broad brimmed hat when you do go outside. Pants and long sleeves are also a good idea. Sun protective clothing with Ultraviolet Protection Factor 50 does the best job of shielding you.

Gentle Cleansing

It can be tempting to wash your face too often or too harshly, especially when you feel grimy or have breakouts, but don't do it. Instead, follow this plan:

  1. Wash your face twice a day and after sweating. Your best bet is to use lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser.

  2. Be careful not to scrub or rub as you wash. Use your fingertips to apply the cleanser and pat dry with a soft towel.

  3. If you have sensitive skin, experts recommend that you avoid products with fragrance and also alcohol-based products, which can be irritating.


Your skin can become dry and uncomfortable before you know it, especially at the times of the year when humidity drops. Daily moisturizing is the answer. You'll want to:

Apply moisturizer right after you wash, shower, or bathe, for best results. Pick a product with sunscreen for daytime use, and add a heavier cream to slather on before bed if you wish.

Pay special attention to your hands and lips, which get a lot of exposure to the elements. Generously apply hand cream and lip balm at home, and keep some in your purse or tote bag, or in the car, so you can reapply when you're out and about.