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 Kaike's Melt cleanser seeks to keep things in balance by replicating the skin’s sebum layer with an antioxidant-loaded mix of oils including linoleic acid-rich grapeseed and anti-inflammatory hemp. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why a Cleansing Oil Is the Secret to Glowing Skin This Winter," 2 Jan. 2021 So what better time than quarantine to address the tiny sebum filled bumps populating my cheeks and keratosis pilaris along my arms? Talia Gutierrez, Glamour, "The PMD Microderm Device Totally Changed the Texture of My Skin," 1 Jan. 2021 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," 26 Feb. 2020 Androgens, namely testosterone, cause the skin to produce more sebum. Jessica Cruel, SELF, "12 Acne Treatments That Really Work, According to Dermatologists," 8 Aug. 2019 Turns out, your ears (and the area behind and around them) actually contain oil glands, which produce sebum — the oily stuff that causes clogged pores and sebaceous cysts. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Ear Pimples Are Real — Here's How to Get Rid of Them," 19 Sep. 2018 The skin has its own self-cleaning system of sebum and natural microbes that repel and neutralize environmental pathogens., "The Boom Of Water-Free Beauty," 6 Feb. 2020 These glands secrete sebum (oil) through the pore opening, which helps keep your skin soft and protected. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "8 Causes of Adult Acne—and How to Actually Treat It," 31 Oct. 2019 Beta hydroxy acid: A chemical often used in cosmetics to treat acne, unclog pores, reduce inflammation and tame excess sebum (the oil your skin naturally produces). Nia Decaille, Washington Post, "A guide to the confusing and sometimes controversial ingredients in your cosmetics," 7 Feb. 2020

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

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sebum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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

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