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"skin Produces More Oil To Compensate" A Myth?

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#1 XXYY

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:58 PM

I always read that if you use irritating or drying products, your skin will produce more oil to compensate for the dryness. Is this a scientifically proven phenomena or is it a complete myth?



#2 AKL

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 06:08 PM

This is most likely a myth. I've looked up study after study for over a year now, in an attempt to find any proof for the feedback theory you're describing. Specifically with regards to jojoba oil. I've emailed several manufacturers, who claimed it could trick the skin into "thinking" it has produced enough sebum, but all the information and studies they've sent me did not confirm that claim. I've been able to find only 2 references in support of the feedback theory (one from a detergent manufacturer :shrug:), but I've never found the actual studies. Of course there are things you can do to try and reduce sebum production, but there's no feedback mechanism at work, not that I know of at least. And it only makes sense. If your skin would be dry and your sebaceous glands start excreting more sebum to compensate, then why do people have dry skin? And why would that same mechanism not apply to people with oily skin? You'd say your skin would have "told" your sebaceous glands to slow down then. To further complicate things, dry skin doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sebum, your skin could simply be dehydrated (not enough water, has nothing to do with sebum).
 
tl;dr: It's not scientifically proven, it's most likely a myth.


#3 Omnivium

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:22 AM

The people who say that base it on their personal observations, without actually knowing what is happening. They use products, their skin appears more oily, and they think they are producing more oil. Oil production is caused by androgen hormones binding to sebaceous gland receptors. Normal topicals will not have any effect on androgens, so they will not alter the amount of oil produced at all. 

 

Recently I have become aware that shiny skin(not oily) can be caused by drying and exfoliating products. That is most likely what they are experiencing, instead of more oil production.



#4 a.p.

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:54 PM

I think the only thing that can stop oil glands from producing sebum is oral medications that alter hormones. They can be pharmaceuticals or natural supplements.

I have a theory that when after using certain topicals, people notice their skin becoming more oily because maybe, your pores are cleared out. That making sebum able to flow freely out of the pore like it should.

I dunno that's what I think haha!

Edited by a.p., 20 March 2013 - 01:55 PM.


#5 Quetzlcoatl

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:22 PM

The common sense argument is that sebum is produced in a negative feedback loop - ie: your skin makes sebum, the sebum binds to receptors, sebum production is decreased. A disturbance to this type of system, like removal of sebum, would result in step 2 not happening. Your skin makes sebum, sebum is removed and thus does not bind to receptors, sebum production continues unhindered.

 

I find this to be somewhat likely. Most regulatory systems in the body are controlled by negative feedback loops. Just because science hasn't yet taken this perspective, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

 

From personal experience, which I know is n=1, my skin became very oily when I was washing 2x a day and applying BP 2x a day. It was not oily before this. When I stopped all topicals and reduced washing, sebum production decreased to a completely normal level over the course of a month, and has been normal ever since. I have also not returned to the 2x wash 2x BP regimen. This is either highly coincidental or causal, and I think it's the latter, especially because this phenomenon has been described many times.



#6 Omnivium

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:02 PM

The common sense argument is that sebum is produced in a negative feedback loop - ie: your skin makes sebum, the sebum binds to receptors, sebum production is decreased. A disturbance to this type of system, like removal of sebum, would result in step 2 not happening. Your skin makes sebum, sebum is removed and thus does not bind to receptors, sebum production continues unhindered.

 

I find this to be somewhat likely. Most regulatory systems in the body are controlled by negative feedback loops. Just because science hasn't yet taken this perspective, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

 

From personal experience, which I know is n=1, my skin became very oily when I was washing 2x a day and applying BP 2x a day. It was not oily before this. When I stopped all topicals and reduced washing, sebum production decreased to a completely normal level over the course of a month, and has been normal ever since. I have also not returned to the 2x wash 2x BP regimen. This is either highly coincidental or causal, and I think it's the latter, especially because this phenomenon has been described many times.

 

I never heard of sebum binding to sebaceous gland receptors. Where did you get that information from?



#7 Quetzlcoatl

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:05 AM

The common sense argument is that sebum is produced in a negative feedback loop - ie: your skin makes sebum, the sebum binds to receptors, sebum production is decreased. A disturbance to this type of system, like removal of sebum, would result in step 2 not happening. Your skin makes sebum, sebum is removed and thus does not bind to receptors, sebum production continues unhindered.

 

I find this to be somewhat likely. Most regulatory systems in the body are controlled by negative feedback loops. Just because science hasn't yet taken this perspective, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

 

From personal experience, which I know is n=1, my skin became very oily when I was washing 2x a day and applying BP 2x a day. It was not oily before this. When I stopped all topicals and reduced washing, sebum production decreased to a completely normal level over the course of a month, and has been normal ever since. I have also not returned to the 2x wash 2x BP regimen. This is either highly coincidental or causal, and I think it's the latter, especially because this phenomenon has been described many times.

 

I never heard of sebum binding to sebaceous gland receptors. Where did you get that information from?

 

So sebum is constantly being produced and absorbed back into the skin (1,2). Sebocytes and keratinocytes and other cells in the sebaceous gland use components of sebum to produce a variety of molecules like cholesterol, vitamin D, and other steroids (3). Studies haven't found that these components are converted into androgens, though, which act as the main agonists of sebum production (4). There are a number of squalene derivatives (squalene is one of the main components of sebum) that inhibit sebum production (we already mentioned one product that does NOT inhibit sebum production, androgens, but as mentioned squalene seems to be preferentially converted into non-androgen derivatives). Some of the products of squalene that inhibit sebum directly or indirectly are: CRH, vitamin D, hydroxycholesterols, and alpha-MSH (4). By removing sebum, fewer sebum derivatives can be produced, and thus inhibition of sebum production is released, increasing sebum production.

 

But that doesn't really answer your question. I did some searching and interestingly enough there are some components of sebum that bind directly to cells in the sebaceous gland. Linoleic acid binds to PPARG, and 22®-hydroxycholesterol binds to LXR-alpha (4). I also stumbled on an article that describes the role of oxidized lipids in sebum in terminating inflammatory events in skin (which we all know increases sebum production via interleukins) (5).

 

Of course, all this is in normal skin. We don't have normal skin though do we :)

 

 

1. http://link.springer...0412980?LI=true

2. http://www.jle.com/e...A/article.phtml

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squalene

4. http://www.jlr.org/c...271.long#ref-53

5. http://www.hindawi.c...mi/2010/398926/






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