Know your basic skin type
If you are having trouble determining your skin type, try the tissue test. First thing in the morning, before washing your face, blot a tissue all over the skin. If there are oily spots on the tissue, you have oily or combination skin, depending on where your tissue picked up the oil. No oily spots, you have dry or normal skin, and further determination of which of those will come from how your skin feels to you.
This is the skin we all want, the one with the least amount of problems. It is supple and moist, without being oily.
Dry skin has very small pores, with a thin texture and a dry, tight feel. This type skin is more prone to broken capillaries and the appearance of fine lines as it ages. It is important to keep this skin soothed and hydrated to plump up the texture and protect the surface, since it is also more likely to be sensitive.
Although this is the skin that can have a lot of problems if not maintained properly, it is the skin that will show the least amount of aging. Improper care of oily skin can lead to blackheads, whiteheads and other acne problems. There are often visible pores.
Combination skin is the category most of us fall into. This is a combination of three types, where it is basically normal skin, but is typically dry on the cheeks and around the eyes, and oilier in the t-zone. This type must treat each area specially for best results.
This is usually a dry skin that is sensitive to products and environment, and is easily irritated. It is often thin and fragile.
However, it is possible to have skin that is confused, and behaves as oily sensitive skin. This is sensitive skin that has been subjected to sensitizing chemical additives in skin care, stripping the natural oils and setting up a cycle of stripping and over-production. For oily sensitive skin, it's important to get back to basics and rebalance skin in order to clear up any appearance of lesions and bumps.
Mature skin is thinner, looser, dryer and duller due to slower sebum production. Skin can appear taut, thin, wrinkled, and is less resilient. Mature skin can feel tight, and even rough, due to dryness or flaking.
Although genetics determine skin type, life situations can temporarily affect how our skin behaves.
Environmental influences, hormonal changes, diet, aging, and product sensitivities all effect our skin, and how we react to those influences affects the results that will be seen on the skin.