We develop a superficial diffusing probe with a source-detector separation that can be used in combination with diffuse optical spectroscopic (DOS) methods to noninvasively determine full-spectrum optical properties of superficial in vivo skin in the wavelength range from 650 to . This new probe uses a highly scattering layer to diffuse photons emitted from a collimated light source and relies on a two-layer diffusion model to determine tissue absorption coefficient and reduced scattering coefficient . By employing the probe to measure two-layer phantoms that mimic the optical properties of skin, we demonstrate that the probe has an interrogation depth of 1 to . We carry out SSFDPM (steady state frequency-domain photon migration) measurements using this new probe on the volar forearm and palm of 15 subjects, including five subjects of African descent, five Asians, and five Caucasians. The optical properties of in vivo skin determined using the superficial diffusing probe show considerable similarity to published optical properties of carefully prepared ex vivo.