How do I know what my skin type is? Are you Dry? Oily? Normal? Combination? Sensitive? All of the above? None of the above? The beauty industry tends to classify skin types in terms of how to chooose the right products, whereas dermatologists and skin researchers tend to look at skin in terms of tendency to tan or burn during sun exposure. Most people actually have a hard time determining their own skin type within a reasonable certainty. There is so much conflicting information in the public domain, and each skin care brand has different terminology and classifications. The majority of people tend to classify their skin as “normal”. “Combination” skin ranks a close second self description. “Dry” and “somewhat oily” are about equally common, with “oily” being least common. When skin type is categorized by oil secretion, it is often predetermined by heredity – according to the degree of oiliness or dryness. Generally, skin type also correlates with pore size. Oily skin usually has larger pores. Dry skin can be due to a combination of lack of water and oils in the skin. But even oily skin can lack moisture and be dehydrated in certain areas. Combination skin features areas which are dry and others which are oily, which is quite common. Everyone has a basic skin type, but this can also change based on external factors and how skin behaves during different times of your life. For example, your skin type may be affected by work space, sun exposure, season, humidity, cold, altittude, hormones, etc. To keep it simple, if your skin feels tight and rough, and soaks up moisturizer, you are probably DRY. If your skin takes on a shine around the areas that contain the most oil glands (forehead, nose, cheeks, chin), you are mostly OILY to some degree at least. If your skin reacts to allergens like fragrance, nature, acids, detergents, gets red easily, you are inclined to be SENSITIVE. So for example, if you think you have OILY skin, avoid heavy creams and rich oil based products because your skin has enough natural oil. If your skin is dry and craves moisture, hydrate. Some of this is basic common sense, and you know your skin better than anyone else.