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I do not know much about these properties and I need some feedback regarding these.

Sebum is a semi-fluid that in humans contains a mixture of triglyerides, cholesterol, ester waxes, and squalene. 57.5% of sebum is triglycerides and fatty acids. The next most abundant molecules are ester waxes, which comprise 26% of sebum. Squalene makes up 12%, and cholesterol is the least abundant lipid in sebum.

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closed as too broad by airhuff, Tyberius, Mithoron, user55119, A.K. Nov 14 '18 at 23:19

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  • $\begingroup$ Depend, for what. I think DMSO can use it for dissolve. PD. Sorry my poor english. $\endgroup$ – koprotk Nov 6 '18 at 11:35
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Dissolving sebum (the oily substance that protects and waterproofs our skin) sounds like a neat chemical way of removing it - a way to remove skin oiliness. But the solvents that dissolve sebum in a test tube are likely to be too aggressive for extensive use, or to have an oily nature in themselves.

Of the safe and common solvents that might be useful, isopropanol (91% if available, or 70%) would be somewhat invigorating - if not used in excess. It will almost certainly dry the skin, perhaps too much - so that you resort to applying a skin lotion to provide some oiliness.

An alternate way of removing sebum from skin would be to emulsify it with a detergent. Sodium stearate is a common, safe detergent (actually, a soap) which is somewhat soluble in water and available commercially (Ivory Soap is 99.44% pure!). Applied to a washcloth, it will remove much of surface sebum. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Some chemical and cosmetic improvements have been made to other products: added colors, fragrances and acids to reduce the pH from neutral to slightly acidic, for a gentler action on skin; added water for semi-liquid soap (Soft Soap).

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  • $\begingroup$ thank you this is really helpful for me. A bit far fetches but, do you have any ideas on what to use on the hair that will dissolve the sebum without clogging one's hair follicles? $\endgroup$ – Pherdindy Nov 8 '18 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure how technical you want to get, but if the commercial shampoos do not appeal to you, how about sodium stearate (in solution may be easier to handle)? The key is lather, rinse, repeat. Each time you do this, you may remove 80-90% of the oils from hair. Finally, your hair will be squeeky clean - you can feel it. Probably any of the commercial soft soap handwashing liquids will do as well. $\endgroup$ – James Gaidis Nov 10 '18 at 4:13

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