This was the question answered by a very interesting article on Cosmetics Design Europe this morning. I have to say I never really thought to ask it before. But it is an interesting question.
The answer it turns out is that the areas of the face that are least prone to wrinkles are the ones that have the most sebaceous glands. This means, presumably, that they are coated with more sebum. And it seems that one of the purposes this oil is produced for is keeping the skin in good condition. And this in turn means you get less wrinkles.
I was interested enough to tweet the link. This led to a response from the number one cuddle muffin of Twitter, Andy Millward who suggested that this would only apply to fine lines and wouldn’t have any effect on deeper wrinkles. These form deep in the dermis and result from degradation of collagen.
I see his logic and I probably agree with him. But you never know with these things. There’s a good chance that the condition of the upper surface of the skin has some effect on what is going on much deeper down. Most biological systems have some kind of feedback mechanism. So although I don’t think it’s likely, I don’t think you can rule out the possibility that sebum protects against all kinds of wrinkles not just superficial ones.
So what does it all mean?
One of the biggest effects with most cleaning agents, and in particular soap, is that they removes sebum along with all the dirt that they are meant to remove. We already knew that soap dries the skin out, which is not a good thing. Maybe it also makes us more prone to go wrinkly in the long run.
Major caveat – this is pure speculation. We really need to do more research on this before we can draw any conclusions.
In light of this, you might want to have a look at my post on oil based cleansers.
Here is the original link.