Oily skin is characterized by the accumulation on its surface of excess sebum, a substance secreted by sebaceous glands. Sebum is composed of triglycerides, diglycerides and monoglycerides (fatty acids linked to a glycerol motif), wax esters, squalene (very sensitive to oxidation) and sterols (eg. cholesterol). Sebum is secreted by sebocytes through a process of cell differentiation and lipid synthesis or accumulation, called lipidogenesis.
Lipidogenesis is dependent on many factors (hormones, food, pharmaceutical active ingredients, xenobiotics, etc.), which can be identified in in vitro experiments. Mature sebocytes undergo apoptosis and burst to release sebum, which travels through the hair follicle to the skin surface. Sebum lubricates the hair follicle and spreads over the surface of the skin at the stratum corneum level.
An overproduction of sebum, called hyperseborrhea, is responsible for oily skin and greasy hair. In some cases, hyperseborrhea can also contribute to the development of acne prone skin.
Oily skin and hyperseborrhea: models and assays
in vitro models & assays
QIMA Life Sciences has many in vitro or ex vivo models at your disposal:
- sebocyte cell line (SEBO662)
- 3D sebocyte cell line (SEBO662 3D)
- sebocyte cell line in response to androgens (SEBO662AR)
on which we can evaluate the effects of active ingredients or cosmetic formulations on sebaceous gland regulation and acne by measuring:
- sebocyte differentiation and maturation (EMA, KRT7, etc.)
- lipidogenesis (lipid accumulation and production)
- 5-alpha reductase activity and testosterone metabolism
Here are a few examples among all assays proposed by QIMA Life Sciences in the field of oily skin and hyperseborrhea:
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Biochemical analysis of non-invasive clinical samples
Analysis of sebum components and free fatty acids
Our company has developed ready-to-use non-invasive collection kits to analyze the surface lipids and biomarkers of the skin from your samples, or from those of your clinical center.
The sebaceous lipids and the fatty acids that constitute the epidermis and scalp are sampled using two non-invasive sampling kits (SB Kit and SW Kit).
The analysis of the components of sebum and free fatty acids makes it possible to assess:
- The lipase activity of certain microorganisms in the skin microbiota
- Sebum regulation
- Inflammation – by quantification of pro / anti-inflammatory fatty acids
- Oxidative stress – peroxidation (peroxidized squalene), detoxification (CAT, SOD)
- Anti-microbial activity
- The qualitative and quantitative composition of sebum
These analyses help support your claims about the efficacy of anti-acne, oily skin, soothing, protective, anti-pollution products, etc.
Sebaceous lipids screening
Detailed composition of sebum fatty acids by CG/SM
Skin microbiota and inflammation analysis
Hyperseborrhea is frequently associated with disorders of the skin microbiota. Maintaining a good balance in the microbiota helps minimize the inflammation caused by the bacteria that colonize the hair follicle (e.g. C. acnes).
Samples are taken using the SW Kit. The qualitative and quantitative analyses of the bacteria present on the surface of the skin are carried out by:
- Traditional microbiology on agar
- Targeted qPCR
- Non-targeted metagenomic analysis
Inflammatory markers (cytokines, fatty acids, PGE2) are also analyzed.
These analyses help support your claims about the efficacy of “friendly” microbiota, bacteriostatic, prebiotic, soothing products, etc.
Data mapping and clinical imaging
Oily and acne-prone skin presents many markers that can be monitored by 2D color imaging.
Measurement of skin imperfections and of oily skin inflammation in 2D color imaging
Acne lesions can be detected by image analysis, by using powerful algorithms that can discriminate inflammatory lesions from non-inflammatory lesions, or post-inflammatory pigmentation.
The monitoring of inflammation parameters allows the effectiveness of acne skincare products to be measured, either on the whole face or locally by macro imaging, and for short-range or long-range kinetics.
The density of lesions, their total surface and their color are all markers of their evolution.
Acquisition and analysis of acneic lesions and of inflammation on images acquired with ColorFace®
Analysis of PIH of whole face on images acquired with ColorFace®
Analysis and monitoring of lesions on images acquired with SkinCam®
Measurement of acne lesions and inflammation by hyperspectral imaging
Newtone’s hyperspectral imaging is a unique technology developed to calculate the skin chromophore absorption mappings, and consequently to measure evolution over time, while providing a perfectly representative image of the measured evolution.
Acquisition systems allow image acquisition of the whole face (SpectraFace) or of a defined area of the body and face (SpectraCam).
On these images, hemoglobin can be monitored and analyzed as by color imaging, while discriminating it from melanin. On these images, the same parameters as in 2D color imaging can be extracted for each skin lesion, in addition to hemoglobin concentration.
Acquisition and analysis of acneic lesions and inflammation on images acquired with SpectraCam®
Measurement of oily skin gloss linked to seborrhea in 2D color imaging
Oily skin gloss is measured by calculating the quantity of specular reflection. A gloss map extraction and the monitoring of oily skin glossiness allow sebum evolution to be monitored and anti-seborrheic and mattifying effects to be evaluated.
The monitoring of glossiness parameters allows the effectiveness of oily skin care products to be measured, either on the whole face or locally by macro imaging, and for short-range or long-range kinetics.
Measurement of gloss map of cheek on image acquired with ColorFace®
Measurement of skin fluorescence on image acquired with ColorFace ®
Measurement of pore visibility on image acquired with ColorFace®
Measurement of porphyrin fluorescence in UV imaging
Acne-prone skin can present a high fluorescence rate under UV, due to the metabolism of the bacteria specific to acne. The measurement of porphyrin fluorescence intensity is therefore a marker of the evolution of the inflammatory and bacterial skin condition.
Measurement of pore visibility in 2D imaging
One of the characteristics of oily skin is an increased pore visibility, which is linked to pore dilation and obstruction, as well as to the glossiness induced by seborrhea.
Pore analysis can be carried out on images in parallel and cross polarized light, according to the required method.
Parameters for surface, for detected pore density and for visible depth are all markers to be monitored in order to investigate the astringent effect of the treatment.