The busy lifestyle that you lead makes it difficult for you to follow a strict skin care regimen. As you become older, your skin will lose its natural softness and glow, and it will eventually become thinner and wrinkled. To slow down the natural process of aging and prevent skin problems, such as acne, it is important for you to practice proper skin care on a daily basis. Here are a few effective tips that will help you keep your skin healthy and youthful for a long time to come. One of the most important skin care precautions to take is to protect your skin from the sun. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause a variety of skin problems, including dry and rough skin, wrinkles, liver spots, and even skin tumors, which can be benign or cancerous. The rays of the sun from 10 am to 4 pm cause the most damage on the skin, and it is advisable that you spend as little time outdoors as possible during these times of the day. When you are in the outdoors on sunny days, make sure you wear the right clothes to cover your skin. You should dress in long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are made of tightly-woven fabrics. There are also special sun-protective clothes that are designed to provide better protection from ultraviolet rays. If you are going to the beach or wearing clothes that do not cover your skin completely, you should use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor of 15 or higher. Smoking is another common cause of skin problems. It speeds up the aging process of your skin and makes it more susceptible to wrinkling. Smoking makes the blood vessels in the skin narrower, and it limits blood flow as well as the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. This will result in damage of collagen and elastic fibers, and cause the skin to lose elasticity. By quitting smoking, you can slow down your skin's aging process. It is important to wash your skin regularly. Taking long baths and using hot water to shower will remove the essential oils that are found on your skin. Try to use warm water and keep your shower time to less than 15 minutes. Choose mild soaps or liquid soaps with extra fats or oils, because strong soaps can make the skin dry. Some of the recommended soaps include Dove, Cetaphil, Vanicream, and Purpose. If you have sensitive skin, you should not use products that contain dyes or perfumes, as these can cause skin irritation. When you are removing eye make-up, you should use a cotton ball, cotton cloth, or soft sponge, so that you will not cause damage to the skin around the eyes. To remove heavy make-up, the recommended solutions are oil-based products such as Aquaphor, Eucerin, or petroleum jelly. After you wash your face, use a towel to pat your skin gently, and then, apply moisturizer. Moisturizers are beneficial because they maintain the right moisture level on the skin. They act as a seal that prevents water from escaping, and they allow water to enter your skin slowly. There are many different types of moisturizers to suit various skin types. If you are experiencing acne problems, you should use a moisturizer that is specifically designed for use on acne skin.