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Skin Res Technol. 2002 Aug;8(3):168-72.

Evaluation of facial skin type by sebum secretion: discrepancies between subjective descriptions and sebum secretion.

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Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea.



Facial skin is usually classified as dry, normal, and oily in the cosmetics field. However, there is no standard objective method for classifying facial skin.


We measured sebum excretion with Sebumeter at four sites on the face. Based on the amount of sebum secretion, we reclassified skin type according to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer. The mean of sebum excretion (mean facial sebum excretion; MFSE) was also calculated.


People secrete varying amounts of sebum at different skin sites. Reclassification of skin type based on sebum secretion revealed that most participants underestimated the amount of facial sebum excretion. When sebum secretion amounts were compared, a statistically significant difference was apparent between the oily and dry skin types. However, there were no statistical differences between oily and normal, and normal and dry skin.


We showed that subjective skin type does not match the amount of sebum secreted. Thus, this simple and subjective classification is of very limited use and it should be re-evaluated by using an objective and standardized measuring tool.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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