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Does sebum help "moisturize" the skin??

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Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 1987 Mar;88(3 Suppl):2s-6s.

"Skin lipids: an update"

Downing DT, Stewart ME, Wertz PW, Colton SW, Abraham W, Strauss JS.

(excerpt from this study follows below, including the references...)

Sebum and Dry Skin "...skin can be healthy and have charming cosmetic properties in the virtual absence of sebum." (14)

Kligman drew attention to prepubertal children, who produce almost no sebum, to support his thesis that skin does not depend upon sebum for maintaining its barrier to water loss: "...there can be no doubt of the insignificance of sebum as a waterproofing material." (14) Our recent studies at the other end of the human age spectrum have supported this conviction. In a survey of sebum secretion rates and the incidence of dry skin among subjects aged 65 to 97, no correlation was found between sebaceous gland activity and the presence or severity of dry skin (34). Kligman recognized that sebum could mask the scaliness of dry skin without producing any actual change in the condition: "Sebum, like any oil, has some emollient or smoothing effect when a sufficient quantity is rubbed into dry, scaling skin." (14) In spite of the clear inference to be drawn from the cutaneous characteristics of children and the experimental data obtained from the elderly, it remains difficult to dispel the myth that low sebum secretion rates cause dry skin. It is a rare individual who realizes that "dry" is not the obverse of "oily".

(14) Kligman AM: The uses of sebum. Br J Dermatol 75: 307-319, 1963

(34) Frantz RA, Kinney CK, Downing DT: A study of skin dryness in the elderly. Nursing Res 35: 98-100, 1986.

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Yes, it IS interesting, isn't it? I think doctors have been correct all along (the past ~50 years or so) when they say that sebum serves no useful purpose in human beings. It doesn't help regulate or maintain moisture levels in the skin, and it doesn't act as an antibacterial or antifungal agent, or anything else. All it does is help contribute to acne. :mad:

If I had a dollar for every time somebody on this site has claimed that the "purpose" of sebum is to keep the skin moisturized, I could go ahead and retire to the south of France! :cool: But now we know that's not true at all. A number of superstitions and old wives' tales are slowly falling by the wayside: washing your skin doesn't stimulate more sebum production, and sebum has nothing to do with the level of moisture in the skin. Science marches on!

Bryan

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we must find a way to pemanantly destroy the sebum glands. that is the only way to cure acne.

no topical, no diet, no cream, none of that bullshit will destroy you sebaceous glands..

i made a thread a few weeks ago, saying i want my sebacous glands destroyed..and everyone was like " dude youre crazy youre skin will be so dry and you face will be wrinkled up"

LISTEN PEOPLE SEBUM SERVES NO PURPOSE EXCEPT TO MAKE OUR LIVES A LIVING HELL...WE MUST DESTROY THE SEBUM GLANDS ONCE AND FOR ALL TO RID OURSELVES OF THIS CURSE.

ACCUTANE WORKS BECAUSE IT SHRINKS THE SEBACOUS GLANDS...THAT IS THE ROOT OF ACNE PEOPLE..WHY CANT YOU GUYS UNDERSTAND THAT ITS SEBUM, SEBUM IT THE ONE WERE FIGHTING AGAINST, NOT ACNE, WITHOUT SEBUM THE ACNE BATERIA HAVE NO WHERE TO THRIVE, CANT YOU GUYS GET THAT!?!?!? ITS MAKES SENSE DOESNT IT.

DONT WASTE YOUR TIME ON CREAMS AND DIETS. THAT DOESNT WORK. I MUST FIND A WAY TO DESTOY MY SEBACEOUS GLANDS SO I CAN BE FREE.

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Wow. Internet people get a little worked up.

Just be reassured that if it is true they serve no purpose for humans, they will evolve away in a few millenia.

Other than that, I've wanted to skin myself and covermyself in painted saran wrap. I've also wanted to try to use a needle to surgically remove all my sebaceous glands. It would be tedious though.

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Just be reassured that if it is true they serve no purpose for humans, they will evolve away in a few millenia.

Good point! I feel totally reassured! :)

Bryan

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QUOTE(CursedSkin @ Dec 5 2005, 06:42 PM)

we must find a way to pemanantly destroy the sebum glands. that is the only way to cure acne.

no topical, no diet, no cream, none of that bullshit will destroy you sebaceous glands..

i made a thread a few weeks ago, saying i want my sebacous glands destroyed..and everyone was like " dude youre crazy youre skin will be so dry and you face will be wrinkled up"

LISTEN PEOPLE SEBUM SERVES NO PURPOSE EXCEPT TO MAKE OUR LIVES A LIVING HELL...WE MUST DESTROY THE SEBUM GLANDS ONCE AND FOR ALL TO RID OURSELVES OF THIS CURSE.

ACCUTANE WORKS BECAUSE IT SHRINKS THE SEBACOUS GLANDS...THAT IS THE ROOT OF ACNE PEOPLE..WHY CANT YOU GUYS UNDERSTAND THAT ITS SEBUM, SEBUM IT THE ONE WERE FIGHTING AGAINST, NOT ACNE, WITHOUT SEBUM THE ACNE BATERIA HAVE NO WHERE TO THRIVE, CANT YOU GUYS GET THAT!?!?!? ITS MAKES SENSE DOESNT IT.

DONT WASTE YOUR TIME ON CREAMS AND DIETS. THAT DOESNT WORK. I MUST FIND A WAY TO DESTOY MY SEBACEOUS GLANDS SO I CAN BE FREE.

To draw the conclusion from "sebum production does not alter with varying levels of skin moisture" that sebaceous glands are totally useless is utterly absurd. Good luck trying to destroy them. Maybe you should try to destroy all other organs that you don't understand, too.

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it's 1987

find a more recent article

Oh, is there an "expiration date" for scientific research, like there is on a carton of milk? ;)

Bryan

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In science , you cant quote anything more than 3 or 4 yrs old

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Oh my god!! Despite the fact that we just recently had the 100th year Centennial of the publishing of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, those damned scientists continue to quote him, knowing that his research has now expired! Let's DEMAND that they stick to newer research!! :D

Bryan

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well while i'm all for the no sebum thing. i'd love to not have the occasionally shiny nose, i am 100% against me and accutane. with my sensitivies i think it would do more harm than good. Honestly if your acne is mild do you really want to fuck with that???? theres a major breakout period and say it doesn't work for you? you're left with dry, sore skin and worse acne than you started with. Just my opinion but i think that accutane is more for people who already have the worst case scenario and can only stand to improve.


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Alas, most of us acne sufferers still manage to breed; successfully passing our sebum proliferating genes on to our descendants!

<Sigh>

It's going to be a loooong slow climb out of this sebaceous ooze. >_<

It's a shame natural selection couldn't be applied retroactively.. :-

Now that would be treat! :gimme:


Favourite phrase: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled investigative study

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QUOTE(CursedSkin @ Dec 5 2005, 08:42 PM)
we must find a way to pemanantly destroy the sebum glands. that is the only way to cure acne.

no topical, no diet, no cream, none of that bullshit will destroy you sebaceous glands..

i made a thread a few weeks ago, saying i want my sebacous glands destroyed..and everyone was like " dude youre crazy youre skin will be so dry and you face will be wrinkled up"

LISTEN PEOPLE SEBUM SERVES NO PURPOSE EXCEPT TO MAKE OUR LIVES A LIVING HELL...WE MUST DESTROY THE SEBUM GLANDS ONCE AND FOR ALL TO RID OURSELVES OF THIS CURSE.

ACCUTANE WORKS BECAUSE IT SHRINKS THE SEBACOUS GLANDS...THAT IS THE ROOT OF ACNE PEOPLE..WHY CANT YOU GUYS UNDERSTAND THAT ITS SEBUM, SEBUM IT THE ONE WERE FIGHTING AGAINST, NOT ACNE, WITHOUT SEBUM THE ACNE BATERIA HAVE NO WHERE TO THRIVE, CANT YOU GUYS GET THAT!?!?!? ITS MAKES SENSE DOESNT IT.

DONT WASTE YOUR TIME ON CREAMS AND DIETS. THAT DOESNT WORK. I MUST FIND A WAY TO DESTOY MY SEBACEOUS GLANDS SO I CAN BE FREE.

Hallelujah!!!! I 100% agree. Yes, abnormal keratinization will be brought up in this thread...blah blah...heard it already... but it occurs cuz of the damn sticky oil. Dead skin cant escape. I probably have the largest oil glands on the planet...size of hose pipes and I know it is the source of my acne. My skin stays wet and sticky like glue and healthy skin cannot thrive. One cyst cannot heal before another pops up. Im all for zapping my oil glands DEAD!

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very interesting!

I really dont know what to believe, i hear that it does help & mioisturise and i hear that it is totally useless. :shrug:

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I'm "bumping" up this thread for all the people who are still convinced that the purpose of sebum is to moisturize skin! :)

.

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this is just more proof that Accutane is the most effective method of clearing acne. Sebum causes acne, Accutane shrinks the glands that produce sebum.

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Sharply reducing sebum production is likely to be one of the (important?) ways that Accutane helps acne, but it almost certainly isn't the ONLY way it does that.

.

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Accutane will not reduce your sebum on the long term, in fact it's the total opposite, the reason I have seborrheic dermatitis now is because I took that shit, a low carb diet reduces oily skin and I think balance hormones could get rid of it.

Visit this link before ever thinking of taking accutane :

http://www.xsorbit1.com/users/davec//index.cgi


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Hey, why do you think it is said that people whose skin produce more sebum age slower? Don't you think sebum has antiwrinkle properties? Think about the lips, palms, soles witch are known not to produce any sebum, and how wrinkled they are in compare to the rest of the body. It seems to me that sebum has a good purpose. I know I'm off topic.

If excess sebum doesn't moisturize the skin so are all the oils? Sebum is oil right?

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Hey, why do you think it is said that people whose skin produce more sebum age slower? Don't you think sebum has antiwrinkle properties?

Hmmm.... No, not to my knowledge.

Think about the lips, palms, soles witch are known not to produce any sebum, and how wrinkled they are in compare to the rest of the body.

I don't think they're "wrinkled". There are certainly LINES in them, some of them quite pronounced, but those aren't wrinkles. Look at the underside of each of your 10 fingers, where the fingerprints are. Do you see any "wrinkles" there, or just fingerprints?

If excess sebum doesn't moisturize the skin so are all the oils? Sebum is oil right?

I think the bottom-line to all this is that theoretically sebum might have a tendency to "moisturize" the skin slightly, but it's such a minor effect that it's of no practical significance.

.

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Does this mean that all the commercial moisturizers are ineffective at hydrating the skin? Because sebum contains almost the same ingredients, except the preservatives; squalene one of the components of sebum has anti-carcinogenic properties and protects the skin from ultraviolet rays thus becoming great in fighting against ageing symptoms.

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If you look at the older peoples hands you can see that they have in the palms more lines than on the superior part of the hand, more lines than a young person; thus this lines are wrinkles.

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