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Review
. Nov-Dec 2000;13(6):372-89.
doi: 10.1159/000029945.

EEMCO Guidance for the in Vivo Assessment of Skin Greasiness. The EEMCO Group

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Review

EEMCO Guidance for the in Vivo Assessment of Skin Greasiness. The EEMCO Group

G E Piérard et al. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. .

Abstract

Sebaceous gland activity has four distinct components which are sebum production (a secretion rate function), storage (a volume function), surface output (a delivery rate function) and stratum corneum permeation (an influx rate function). The oily appearance of skin results from an excess of sebum excretion and spreading over the body surface and its interaction with the skin surface. A multi-pronged approach is often useful to assess skin greasiness with precision. The clinical evaluation of skin greasiness and its shiny appearance should be further complemented by quantifying the large pores, follicular plugs and comedones. The sebum amount present at the skin surface can be measured non-invasively using one of several methods based on solvent extraction, cigarette paper pads, photometric assessment, bentonite clay and lipid-sensitive tapes. Quantitative parameters include the sebum casual level, the sebum excretion rate, the sebum replacement time, the instant sebum delivery, the follicular excretion rate, the density in sebum-enriched reservoirs and the sustainable rate of sebum excretion. A series of environmental and biological features influence the data. Hence rigorous methodological designs are mandatory to support claims. As a rule, accuracy of the methods is adversely affected by skin temperature, degree of hydration and surface roughness. An additional confounding factor is the inherent difficulty of collecting the surface lipids without a contribution from the follicular reservoir. A better understanding of factors that alter the sebum amount at the skin surface may well assist in the development of sebosuppressive agents to help the reduction of the skin greasiness and improve acne.

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