se·​bum | \ ˈsē-bəm How to pronounce sebum (audio) \

Definition of sebum

: fatty lubricant matter secreted by sebaceous glands of the skin

Examples of sebum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The others are sebum (the oil produced by sebaceous glands to keep the skin moist), which C. acnes uses as a food source; plugged-up hair follicles; and an inflammatory response. Martin Oeggerli, National Geographic, "How trillions of microbes affect every stage of our life—from birth to old age," 17 Dec. 2019 As a result, the production of sebum is reduced, and skin can become less oily than usual. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Your Allergy Medication Could Be Drying Out Your Skin," 13 Mar. 2018 Amika’s scalp cleansing oil brings together a grime-busting duo of pink clay and charcoal to absorb dirt, sebum, and impurities lurking at your roots, while moisturizing the scalp with antioxidants and omega fatty acids. Jayla Andrulonis,, "This Amika Cleansing Oil Is the Only Product That Prevents Dry Shampoo Buildup on My Scalp," 15 Oct. 2019 On top of this, a nasty combination of dead skin cells, sebum, and dirt builds up in pores over time. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "6 Super-Satisfying Ways to Clean Out Your Pores," 4 Sep. 2019 And because of testosterone, men’s skin is about 25 percent thicker with more sebum and hair follicles. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "Can I Use My Boyfriend’s Moisturizer?," 30 Aug. 2019 But if your body produces a lot of sebum (oil), the dead skin cells can get stuck in your pores, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Jessica Cruel, SELF, "12 Acne Treatments That Really Work, According to Dermatologists," 8 Aug. 2019 The key is to then find a way to whisk off the oil, with your own sebum and impurities in tow. Sable Yong, Teen Vogue, "Coconut Oil for Acne? Learn How It Can Help Clear Your Skin," 10 Sep. 2018 Gray hair can seem coarser because the oil glands in the scalp produce less sebum, which will result in drier and tougher, textured hair, says Dhiran Mistry of David Mallett Hair. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "How to Properly Take Care of Graying Hair," 4 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sebum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sebum

circa 1860, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sebum

Latin, tallow, grease

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Time Traveler for sebum

Time Traveler

The first known use of sebum was circa 1860

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Statistics for sebum

Last Updated

3 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sebum.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for sebum


se·​bum | \ ˈsēb-əm How to pronounce sebum (audio) \

Medical Definition of sebum

: fatty lubricant matter secreted by sebaceous glands of the skin

More from Merriam-Webster on sebum Encyclopedia article about sebum

Comments on sebum

What made you want to look up sebum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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