Although you may have been born with baby-soft skin -- literally -- a lifetime of sun damage and exposure to the elements can take its toll in the form of rough, uneven skin texture. Facial skin is also thinner, more delicate and more susceptible to damage and dryness than the skin on the rest of your body. However, you can improve your texture through careful cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and protecting. Add plenty water and a healthy diet, and you may soon glow with a revitalized complexion that's as smooth as the day you were born.
Wash your face with a mild cleanser one to two times a day maximum. Scrubbing with a harsh, abrasive cleanser can cause overdrying and irritation. Normal-to-dry skin types can wash at night and rinse with only water in the morning, while oilier skin types may need to wash morning and night.
Pat a soothing moisturizer onto slightly damp skin in the morning and at night, after washing or rinsing. Don't rub or tug during application. This can cause irritation and unnecessary stress to the skin.
Smooth a titanium dioxide or zinc oxide facial sunscreen of at least SPF 15 over your face, neck and exposed décolletage. Instead of using two products, you can also trade in your moisturizer and sun protection for a lotion that has a built-in SPF. Sun damage is one of the top culprits of rough skin.
Exfoliate one to three times a week with an exfoliating brush or a scrub with smooth beads. Mild chemical exfoliants, such as glycolic acid, beta- and alpha-hydroxy acid, or fruit enzymes are also effective at improving skin texture. Oily or acne-prone skin types can exfoliate with a soft brush or mild exfoliant daily; however, switch to every other day if your skin becomes sensitive or irritated.
Pat on a layer of plain Greek yogurt -- 1 to 2 tablespoons -- to create a mask on the skin and neck. Wait 20 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water. Yogurt is moisturizing and contains lactic acid, a mild exfoliant. For extra moisture, mix two drops of honey with the yogurt before you apply it to your skin. Repeat one to two times a week.
Drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Even mild dehydration can affect the look and feel of your skin.
Eat one serving of food that's rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids every day. These fatty acids, which are found in salmon, tuna, mackerel, almonds, hazelnuts and flaxseed, are heart-healthy and help reduce skin inflammation.
Eat 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily, either in cooked food or in salad dressings. Olive oil contains vitamin A and unsaturated fat to help skin look young and supple.
A health care professional can talk to you about more intensive exfoliation treatments such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels. These treatments should be performed by a dermatologist and can be irritating if undergone too often.
If any face product causes burning, stinging, itching or irritation, rinse immediately with cool water.
Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.