What you need to know to keep your skin smooth and supple.

By Sarah Smith
Updated February 06, 2009
Ericka McConnell
  • Cleansers. Those with sodium lauryl sulfate strip away skin’s protective oils. Choose a wash with glycerin instead.
  • Fabric friction. Wool and synthetics, such as polyester, can rub skin and remove its natural barrier. Layer a soft cotton T-shirt underneath to prevent irritation.
  • Hard water. Impurities, such as chlorine, can upset your skin’s balance. Remove them with a filtering showerhead, like the iWater Shower Purification System ($50, myiwater.com).
  • A low-fat diet. Fatty acids are essential for supple skin. If your diet is low in them, eat two servings of salmon a week or take an omega-3 capsule every day.