How To Determine Your Skin Type


The first step on your way to beautiful, radiant skin is determine your skin type. Knowing what your skin is sensitive to allows you to tailor your skin care routine and pick the products that will be most beneficial to you. After all, how can you fix a problem if you don't know what it is?

The easiest way to figure out which kind of skin you have is to do an easy test:

1. Wash at night with a gentle cleanser (our pH balanced Aloe-Herb Cleanser is perfect for this) and pat your face dry. DO NOT apply moisturizer, serum or oil!

Quick Tip: An easy way to know if your cleanser is gentle or not is whether it is non-foaming. Soaps that lather easily tend to be harsher in stripping your skin of oils, whereas those that don't lather wash away dirt and toxic elements but leave behind good oils.

2.  When you wake up in the morning, touch your face.  You can also press a tissue over your face and visually see where you’re oily and where you’re not.

For Oily Skin

If your skin is oily, particularly around the T-zone, then you most likely have oily skin. Our products specifically for oily skin are our Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin, Rosemary Toning Mist, Purifying Mud Mask and Citrus Mint Cleanser.

For Normal Skin

If your skin feels normal (not too oily, not too dry), you likely have a normal skin type.

Normal or Combination skin is the most complicated skin type to recommend product for because everyone's experience is a little bit different.

For a regular routine, we suggest checking out products like the Aloe Herb Cleanser, the Wild Fruit Serum, and the Herbal Facial Oil for Normal & Combination Skin.

If you love to workout, check out the Pytonutrient Cleanser, which is great to leave on for a minute after you apply because it has a built in hydrating serum blend that helps replenish the skin.

For Dry Skin

If your skin feels dry, or is flaky anywhere, then we’d consider you to have a dry skin type.

Try the Aloe-Herb Cleanser, the Anti-Aging Serum, and the Anti-Aging Facial Oil for your daily routine and Coconut Honey Mask once or twice a week. If you find that the skin around your eyes is dry or you're starting to see signs of aging, try adding the Anti-Aging Eye Cream to your routine.

If there is an extreme difference from the t-zone to the other areas of your face, you may even benefit from using two different products, each on the different areas of your face.  For example, using a product formulated for oily skin on your t-zone and products for normal or dry skin on the rest of your face.

Once you have determined your skin type, you might want to know which products you should use. We have a handy guide: Skin Care by Skin Types — Which Annmarie Skin Care Products are Best for You? 

Have you done this test?  Let us know how it went and what your skin type is in the comments below…

P.S. Another way to learn more about your skin is with face mapping. If you have any issues with your skin that fall in line with the different skin types above, face mapping will help you understand those issues and then you can better find the right solution to take care of them.

comments (67 and counting)


Reader Interactions


  1. Ava says

    Coupons and offers are very nice but I haven’t received my sample kit yet so not about to buy without trying. (I live outside the US so mail probably very slow across the border.)

  2. Frank says

    hello i am a i am an african in Ghana..A boy i have been experiencing more oil on my face together with pimples… i have been buying a whole lot of products for my face to look good please help me out how to get a lovely face without problems

    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      For clogged pores, we recommend taking a holistic approach. It’s important to consider your environment, genes, hormones, stress, emotional wellness, hydration, and nutrition. Skin Care products can only do so much!

      Washing your face with a mild cleanser, like our Citrus Mint Cleanser, two times a day will be very beneficial. This product will help to unclog pores. It has great cleansing properties from the rosemary, witch hazel, and peppermint that help purify and balance skin.

      It seems contrary to put a facial oil on skin with clogged pores, but by using an oil your skin will sense that moisture levels are more normalized which helps balance vital skin oils. Our best recommendation would be our Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin.

  3. Chuck says

    just got my sample kit tried it last night and we will see! i have been enjoying your sun love for a while now and can’t thank you enough!! after many years in the sun both surfing and working in construction I will Need your help and look forward to fallowing your suggestions! please share with this old surf dog, I am dealing with early skin problems on my face and could use some guidance Chuck

  4. Pat says

    I have suffured from dry skin for years. All the products i have tried really doesn’t work . I would be so greatful to try your product. Thank you very much

  5. Annmarie Skin Care says

    Hi Karen,

    If you’re not experiencing dry skin, the Anti-Aging Facial Oil may be a bit too moisturizing for you. Try the Herbal Facial Oil for Normal/Combination Skin and see if that helps to give the moisture that you need!
    If you write into us at [email protected] we can help you find the perfect routine for your skin 🙂

  6. Alice Bishop says

    I am anxiously awaiting my sample kits. In the meantime, my skin was oily and prone to acne in my earlier years but is now combination: oily around the nose and dry on the forehead and chin. My biggest issue, however, is enlarged pores on my cheeks that are prone to blackheads. Is there a product that you have that will help to alleviate or improve this problem?

  7. Lesia says

    I ordered the Anti-Aging sample kit because I am 48 and starting to show signs of aging like lines in the forehead, under the eyes and my skin is not as firm as it used to be especially under my chin and neck area. My T-Zone areas are still a little oily compared to the rest of my face. Do you think I need to use products from the combination skin group or use the anti-aging?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      Hi Lesia,

      You could certainly use the products from the Anti-Aging group, but the Anti-Aging Facial Oil might be a bit too moisturizing for you. I would suggest trying out the Herbal Facial Oil for Normal/Combination Skin for your daily moisturizer.

  8. Cathy says

    When I wake up in the morning my T-Zone is oily, however, the sides of my nostrils are flaky 🙁 Also, the rest of my face feels for dry.

    I recently ordered the trial kit for combination skin. Not sure I made the right choice or not.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you.

  9. Chas says

    I have very sensitive and dry skin. I get cystic acne breakouts and started to see signs of rosacea. Is there any product I can use?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      Hi Chas,

      Thanks for writing in! It sounds like you’re working with a few different things. I would definitely suggest working with a nutritionist to see if there may be something in your diet that may be triggering anything. For skin care, I would suggest working with the Citrus Mint Cleanser, the Anti-Aging Serum, and the Unscented Facial Oil!

  10. Glenna says

    I tried the quiz for skin type but it does not seem to work correctly. I answered the 1st question and it will not advance to the rest of the questions.

  11. Candace says

    Hi! I’m excited to try your skin care/make up samples and wondered if you could advise before I place an order for full size products.

    I’m struggling with what products to use for my skin type…I have aging/sun damaged and acne prone (mainly hormonal) skin…so I am never sure what to use…acne prone skin care or care for againg/damaged skin?? I end up going back and forth trying products for one or the other, I don’t see great results either way and am left with lots of excess wasted product, money and no success. So my questions are:

    1) What full regimen do you recommend for that skin combination? (Please include mask, cleanser, toner (?), eye, serum and oil.)

    2) If you recommend an oil and a serum do they go on layered or combined prior to application? And does the serum go on with the eye product or just the facial oil?

    Thank you!


    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      Hi Candace,

      If you’re experiencing dry skin with clogged pores, we suggest working with the dryness to nourish your skin and give it the nutrients that it needs. Clogged pores are very complex and can be caused by a myriad of things so it’s important to figure out the cause. If you’re working with hormonal issues, this article might help you out:

      Here’s the daily routine I suggest for dry skin with clogged pores (I suggest washing once and moisturizing twice). You want to layer the Oil on top of the Serum. If you’re using the Anti-Aging Eye Cream, you can certainly still use the Serum and Oil everywhere else on your face.
      1/ Citrus Mint Cleanser
      2/ Anti-Aging Serum
      3/ Unscented Facial Oil

      Using the Purifying Mud Mask is wonderful! I would also suggest a bi-weekly Ayurvedic Scrub and then Coconut Honey Mask treatment if you’re extra dry.

      I hope that helps!

  12. Fiona says

    Hello there. My skin has been a disappointing journey since age 10. My mother used to say I was a pretty girl until I turned 10. And am now 54. People often ask me if I have been in a fire as my chin is so badly scarred and wrinkled. Sad. But I have some kind of undiagnosable problem for which doctors have given me many different medications. Gave up doctors about 20 years ago. BIGGEST BREAKTHROUGH – an elimination diet showed that I am very intolerant of all grains, all fruit (except a little date and lemon), all legumes. No wonder I was such an unhealthy vegan! So long as I am very strict with my lifestyle and care for my liver in special ways I get minimal breakouts. Lots of wrinkles because of 8 years of swollen face which eventually turned out to be a dairy allergy. Have been working on healing for about 20 years, and finally making some progress.
    Now I’ve given an idea of my skin. I would love to try your samples, but which ones? And pretty scary for me as so sensitive to many things. For the past few years I cleanse with water and sometimes organic coconut oil, and moisturise with organic coconut oil.

    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      Hi Fiona,

      Thanks for writing in! Because it seems like you have sensitive skin, we would suggest starting with our basic Balance Sample Kit and seeing how it works for you. If you have any questions, you can always write into our customer support team at [email protected]! They are there to work with you to help find the perfect routine 🙂

  13. Sandy says

    Very dry, flaking itchy skin between eyebrows nd in te eyebrows. Red splotches on upper cheekbones ~ getting pus filled bumps once in a while.
    However, the remainder of the face is slightly oily. Any suggestions?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      Hi Sandy,
      It sounds like you’re working with combination skin. I might suggest working with the Unscented Facial Oil or the Herbal Facial Oil for Normal/Combination skin!

  14. MiriamMaxwell says

    Hello. When I wake up in the morning my face is like tight leather. I know I have VERY dry skin.I am using my sample twice a day because my skin requires makes my face glow and feel real good. By afternoon however my face gets dry and I am applying the facial oil and the anti aging oil. That seems to work until the next morning.

    Do you have any suggestions for me?



    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      Hi Miriam!

      I would say to keep at it! It sounds like your skin is healing. It does take time because our products heal from deep within the skin. Sticking with the daily routinel: Aloe-Herb Cleanser, Anti-Aging Serum, Anti-Aging Facial Oil twice daily will help your skin glow!

  15. Carol says

    Is their an alternative to the face oil that is for ageing skin, it came in my samples and I don’t like the smell of it, it’s giving me a headache. The cleanser and serum are fine. I would like to order some products but I’m 55 years old and will need an appropriate moisturising oil
    Any suggestions ?
    Thanks in advance

  16. sylvie ross says

    I am unsure about what products to use for my skin. I have a mature skin ( I am 55 years old) but also have a combination skin. Your mature skin products seemed to include dry skin. In my case, my skin is slightly oily in the T-zone area and normal in the rest. I have few wrinkles , but as I get older my skin is loosing his elasticity and is sagging. Should I still order the dry skin-mature skin line?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      Hi Sylvie!
      It sounds like you’re experiencing combination skin! In this case, I would suggest working with the Anti-Aging Serum to help combat the wrinkles you’re experiencing and then working with the Herbal Facial Oil for Normal/Combination Skin for your daily moisturizer.

      I hope that helps!

  17. Felicia says

    I am in love with the Dead Sea Facial Scrub! I sued it for the first time last night after receiving a sample in the mail. My skin is the smoothest it’s ever been – with no irritation or dryness. I immediately ordered a full sized jar today. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  18. Nana says

    I tried the test last night and it seems my forehead, nose and chin areas are oily and the other areas normal/slightly dry. My lips ended up feeling the driest.

    I noticed that the areas around my nose is oilier than I thought before; also there are open pores. The forehead though oily has lines (other areas on my face not so).

    I live in the Asia where it’s hot and humid all the time and am religious about using sunscreen. I am in my late forties. I just got the anti-aging sample from you. Is this the right set for me?

    • admin says

      Hi Nana! Thanks for commenting. 🙂 Given what you told me, I think your skin would like some of the products for normal/combination skin better. These moisturize without adding extra oil to your skin. However, in your kit you got the Anti-Aging Serum, and I think that will work really well for you! It’ll help with the appearance of those lines on your forehead without making your skin look greasy.

      I went ahead and credited your account $10 so you can purchase the Sample Kit for Normal and Combination Skin. 🙂 Here’s that one:–Balance-for-Normal-and-Combination-Skin-_p_122.html

  19. Maria Bjarnov says

    I thought I had mature skin since I am 56 but your test shows that my skin is normal. I got the mature skin sample kit. I really like the cleanser and serum but don’t want to use the facial oil because my skin isn’t dry at all and would break out with oil. When I reorder, should I get the normal kit? Will it contain the facial serum because I do like that.

    • admin says

      Hi Maria,

      Our normal sample kits do not contain an Anti-Aging Serum sample. Let me email you to help you figure out which kit is best for you. 🙂

  20. Linda says

    I received your sample and am not sure how to use it(no directions) serum. and what it does. Please advise. Thank you. Linda

  21. Pam says

    I am 51 and I’ve been using Mary Kay since 1993. I am obviously sold on this skin care line for the length of time I’ve been using it, and my skin does look good (so people always tell me); however, I saw your ad on “A Place for Mom” and ordered your sample kit for mature skin. I fell in love with the fragrant oil and the way my skin felt. Once I ran out of my sample and went back to using my MK, I no longer wanted to use it on my skin. It’s like my skin became addicted to your product only after one week of use and wanted to reject my former skin care line. I WAS sold on MK, but now I’m sold on AGSK. I will definitely be placing an order. Thank you for making a quality product that I can feel great about using on my face.

  22. Elsie says

    I have used my anti aging sample kit for three days. The anti-aging oil smells so wonderful! Actually, all do! I am 75 years old with dry mature skin. I have several very dry patches on my nose and other areas. I can see improvement in the overall on my face and especially on the dry patches. Even the first day my face felt so much better. I have a few wrinkles, but on general that is not a big problem. I use very little makeup and never use soap on my face. At first it appeared that your products seemed way more expensive than I could afford to pay. But the amazing thing is that they are so concentrated that even a few drops go so far on the face! With that in mind I plan to order at least the anti-aging oil and serum and possibly the cleanser. Thank you so much for the products and for giving so much information about your products.

  23. Heather says

    I found out about your products from a psoriasis blog, which recommended the coconut honey mask for dry skin. I love that you offer sample kits, as I have several unused bottles of expensive products that caused immediate flare ups and break outs on my sensitive skin(including creams marketed for sensitive skin)! The samples allowed me to try many products without spending a lot of money. The coconut honey mask works instant wonders on dry itchy spots of psoriasis, and the cleanser is just perfect, cleans and softens without stripping the skin. I love all of the products I’ve tried, and have ordered full size aloe herbal cleanser, the dead sea mask, and the coconut honey mask, and have just started a cleanse, exfoliate and detox, and moisturize regimen on my psoriasis. Even after one application, there is improvement in the texture and color of my skin. The flare ups that were red, inflamed, itchy and painful are calm, smooth and even-toned. After first use!!!! I have been searching and trying products, some very expensive, for the past 2-3 years, and found some that only slightly worked, and always contained chemicals that I otherwise stay away from. I plan to order more full size products, I just wish I could have them all! The only problem I’ve had is when attempting to use my second $10 coupon (I had ordered 2 sample kits, and received 2 coupons). I placed two separate orders, but the second order form did not give the option to enter the discount code. I definitely plan to order from you again, and will attempt the discount code again at that time. A small inconvenience, but certainly worth the quality products I’ve received. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for caring enough about your products and your customers to pass by the cheap chemical fillers present in SO MANY skin care products. It is wonderful to finally find a company that takes pride in their ingredients, and fills each bottle with love and nature… And it works wonders!!! I’m in my late thirties, with psoriasis, and dry, sensitive skin, and can finally see hope that I can manage the embarrassing flare ups and break outs naturally, and without medication! I can’t thank you enough!

    • admin says

      Hi Heather! I’m so glad the products are working well for you. 🙂 I’ll email to make sure you are able to use your second coupon.

  24. Pushpa says

    Hi Patty! I don’t know if you will see this reply since your comment was posted a few years ago but am interested in your skin care routine! I use a brush on my body (dry brush) but was worried it would be too harsh to use it on my face. My skin is normal/oily because I too avoid toxins in products, food, etc, make sure to eat a lot of healthy fats, and don’t wash my face when I don’t use makeup. Do you have a particular brand of brush you use on your face? No worries if you don’t have time to reply! Thanks for sharing your routine! 🙂

  25. Kimberley says

    Thank you for providing such wonderful products. I am a 50 year old athletic person who lives for adventure in the wilds of Montana and am also a cancer patient with badly damaged skin on my lower jaw and neck from radiation treatments. My good friend and horseback riding pal introduced me to your products recently when I commented on how her skin looked so much smoother and her fine lines were almost undetectable. She gave me a sample kit to try and as soon as I used it I placed an order for your products. I have only been using your products for about a week now but I definitely notice a difference in the texture and tone of my skin. I don’t expect it to completely remove the deep wrinkles around my mouth and lips from the radiation treatments, but my skin certainly feels and looks more hydrated and much softer and smoother. As a person with cancer I want to thank you for providing skin care products that are healthy to use.

  26. Jennifer says

    Hello, my skin is dry and I am aging (mid 40s), however, I seem to have adult acne and am breaking out even though my skin is not oily. whenever I try products for oily or acne prone skin, my skin is left too dry as it really needs more moisture. I’m thinking of just trying the anti-aging line and maybe the honey mask and see if teh break-outs dissipate when my skin is better balanced, does this sound correct?

    • admin says

      Hi Jennifer! I recommend the Aloe Herb Cleanser, which is a moisturizing cleanser that has aloe, coconut oil, and lots of herbs! You could also try alternating that cleanser with the Citrus Mint Cleanser, which is what we recommend to those with oily skin, but I promise it is NOT drying to the skin.

      The Anti-Aging Serum is probably a great product for you. The rose distillate and aloe are very soothing, and the plantain leaves and hyaluronic acid are help reduce fine lines and plump your skin.

      As far as your facial oil, you may need to play around there. For some people, the Anti-Aging Facial oil can be too rich and can cause them to break out. The Herbal Facial Oil for Normal/Combination Skin might be better for you. It is very moisturizing, with a grape seed oil base which actually has been shown to heal break outs!

      And yes, I’d say the Coconut Honey Mask would be wonderful for you! Once or twice a week, as needed.

      I’d love to keep in touch with you to find out how the products work out for you! I emailed you. 🙂

  27. Susie says

    Hi, I purchased the anti age kit and am enjoying the aloe cleanser and serum and face oil. I don’t see much difference yet in my skin. I am troubled by clogged pores around my nose where the pores look dark and clogged white pores around the sides below my mouth on either side of my chin. I am 66 with small age lines above my lips, and cheeks. I have used a clay on the places with the clogged pores but no change. I adore organic healthy products, but wish I would see more change. I want really clean pores, but not dry skin! I have tried Hauschka and Suki. I live in SF. Any chance I could come to Berkeley to see your products? Let me know, thanks. Susie

    • admin says

      Hi Susie! If your pores are clogged, the Citrus Mint Cleanser might work better for you. It’s more astringent than the Aloe Herb Cleanser, so it cleans a little more thoroughly, but won’t leave your skin dry! You can still use the Anti-Aging Serum and Oil if you are liking those, but perhaps the oil for normal/combination skin would be better for your skin. The grapeseed oil base helps fight break outs while moisturizing. A product I’d recommend adding to prevent blackheads is the Dead Sea Scrub. We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from people who’ve said it cleared theirs up!

      We don’t showcase products at our office, but there’s a salon in SF and a grocery store in Berkeley that sell our products. Check out this page for info:

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  28. Polly says

    I have such sensitive skin,, I break out with the “best” products… I am healing now from using Arbonne Skin products… I am anxious to try your items and see what happens,,, Any suggestions???

    Thank You

  29. kathy says

    my skin is so dry and flakey, after cleansing no matter what I use, I have tried exfoliating once a week, several times a week it does not matter, I have tried oils and creams to no avail, I am dehydrated, I know that, I drink the appropriate amount of water each day, but nothing works , I seriously would be interested in suggestions that have actually worked for others. I am 60 years old, eat healthy, and exercise . I am at a loss as to why I can’t get my skin health and dehydration under control

  30. Karley says

    I am just curious what you would recommend for acne prone, combination skin? I attend Michigan State University and am frequently outside walking to and from class, and due to the extremely cold weather we have been experiencing these last few months my face has gotten extremely dry.
    Although my face is more dry than usual, I still get oily in my T-zone and have frequent breakouts mostly around my jawline, cheeks, and forehead. I have been using the Herbal Facial Oil for Normal & Combination Skin since Christmas, and although I love the way my face feels when I have it on, and the smell is amazing I still feel like it is not hydrating enough. I recently tried your sample kit for acne prone skin which lasted me a week, and although I thought it worked well my skin was still pretty dry. I understand the weather has a lot to do with my dryness, but I am wondering what combination of products you would recommend I use? Thanks!

  31. Donna says

    I received both orders very quickly! I LOVE the anti-aging serum and facial oil! The Dead Sea scrub is so good I ordered a big jar! Will be ordering more items soon! Thanks so much!

    • admin says

      Thank You Donna! We are glad you are enjoying the products 🙂 The Dead Sea Scrub is definitely a favorite!
      Much Love!

  32. Laurie says

    I received the sample kit and I tried your products that evening. The next morning when I woke up, I took a good look at my face and i noticed I was not oily like I usually am. I was oily for years and I thought that was my skin type but now after using your products, I am more normal! Even throughout the day, my face is usually oily before lunchtime and I have to say it actually looks great! The se are the products I tried, first I started with the Aloe Herb Cleanser, which smelled fabulous and then I applied the Purifying Mud Mask, which was messy but I loved it. It was so earthy and I think it helped with any oiliness on my skin and I left it on for about 10 minutes. I sprayed my face with the Neroli Toning Mist, which felt and smelt fabulous! Then followed with the Citrus Stem Cell Serum and the Herbal Facial Oil. I really thought that using an oil for a moisturizer would make my face feel more oilier but it really doesn’t. My skin just sucked it up and it just looks nice and plump and smooth! I have also ordered your Anti-Aging kit and I love the smell of the Serum and Oil better. I’m so glad you have this kits to try instead of having to buy a full size and finding out that I don’t like it. I can now piece together what my regimen that best suits MY skin! Thanks so much for offering such a wonderful product line that is so purely natural and makes my skin look so great! I wish I found out about you guys sooner!

  33. Malia says

    wow.. I just used my samples last night and this AM… and the smell has me soooo relaxed – just love how good the repairing serum and oil work. I would have thought my skin was oily but today, after having cleansed with the aloe-herb, I am not oily and my skin looks so good 🙂 I am very excited to try this product line and completely surprised how much I like it 🙂

  34. Tooie says

    I received my samples and am really enjoying the anti aging products, the herbal oil seemed to make my cheeks red? I have sensitive skin YET I love the dead sea scrub (even though it said not to use on sensitive skin) I really enjoy the feeling after 🙂
    I will be ordering the product again in the future

  35. Deborah says

    Thanks for sending the sample so quickly. i was delighted to receive it in the UK this week. The presentation of the package was beautiful and I’m enjoying using the products. Best wishes.

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