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Our incredible Sebum

Vårt otroliga Sebum - Floranie Skincare

When we went from being chimpanzees to becoming Homo (Sapiens), our hair follicles were transformed into sweat glands. But why did this evolutionary change happen and more importantly... How would our skin now manage to function in a wild environment without having a full body hair? Let's start by answering the first question…

We as humans are physically inferior to many other animals. We cannot outrun an antelope and we cannot physically defend ourselves against a lion. To be able to hunt and thus survive on the savanna, we needed to have another ability... Something unique... We needed to be able to run long distances without stopping and cooling down. By converting our hair follicles into sweat glands, we were able to produce sweat. The sweat gave (and gives) us the ability to cool down the body while performing a physical effort.

When we were hunting an antelope, it first quickly ran away from us. But after a while, the antelope needed to stop to cool itself down before continuing to run, as most mammals have no sweat glands. After a certain distance we were therefore able to catch up with the antelope and we had achieved a successful hunt. Sweat is one of the factors that made our human race survive.

Then we get to the next question. How would we (and our skin) manage to survive without full body hair?

While the evolutionary transformation from hair follicles to sweat glands was going on, something that is completely unique to us humans developed at the same time...Our amazing sebum.

Sebum is a combination of substances (mainly oils) that our body produces and sends out to the skin. This production process is very complicated and requires a lot of our total energy consumption. About 7% of the total amount of energy we consume goes into producing sebum.

For a long time, it was believed that our sebum's main purpose was to "lubricate the skin" and thus protect it. Many players in the skin care industry have long believed (and still believe today) that our sebum is an enemy that should preferably be washed away. Their evidence for this opinion is that an overproduction of sebum can lead to oily skin and, in the worst case, acne.

That our sebum lubricates the skin is certainly true, but its main task is something completely different and something much, much more important...

To understand this important task, one must first understand what sebum is made of. Our sebum consists of sterols, triglycerides, free fatty acids, wax esters, ceramides and hydrocarbons. Sebum is completely unique to us humans and the combination of these substances cannot be found in any other animal. The main "sebum function" is not to lubricate the skin, but to act as nutrition/food for the skin's good microbes. One could therefore say that sebumet is the absolute best prebiotic for our skin.

Sebum has an absolutely crucial role for our skin health. Using a strong acid peel, cleanser, or other skin care product to scrub away the sebum is going against 2 million years of evolution and… you can't beat evolution.

If you want to have radiant skin health in both the long and short term, there is therefore only one thing to do... Take care of your skin's microbes and the unique sebum that your body so desperately wants to give your skin.


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