Quantitative measurement of skin surface oiliness and shine using differential polarized images

Indermeet Kohli, Scott Kastner, Mani Thomas, Amanda F. Nahhas, Taylor L. Braunberger, Tasneem F. Mohammad, Cynthia L. Nicholson, Douglas Canfield, Nikiforos Kollias, Henry W. Lim, Iltefat H. Hamzavi, Sachin V. Patwardhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excess amounts of skin surface oil can lead to adverse psychological consequences. Grease-spot photometry-based techniques measure sebum production rate. However, besides being tedious, these measurements are influenced by contact area, applied pressure, and time of application. Image analysis of polarized images has the potential to provide objective, quantitative information of skin oiliness. This study was designed to set up an imaging device for capturing and enhancing the changes in skin surface oiliness and to clinically and quantitatively, (via image analysis), evaluate varying levels of skin surface oiliness. Mineral oil was used to simulate skin surface oil. 40.5 µL of the mineral oil was applied within a two inch square area of interest on facial skin in twelve steps, from 1 to 40.5 µL, at 40% increments. The results indicate a strong correlation between the quantitative skin surface oiliness measurements and the clinical assessments. This sensitive technique has the potential to be utilized in future studies to evaluate product efficacies in reducing skin oiliness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • And skin color
  • Polarized imaging
  • Skin reflectance
  • Skin surface oiliness

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Observational Study


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