Text by Dawnavie Dadis
It’s like an heirloom that has been passed on from one generation to the next. Much like religion, our parents tell us to turn to sebo de macho and to keep our faith in it whenever faced with ugly scars that will serve as unflattering reminders of our missteps and sometimes, missed steps. It’s the same wisdom our parents got from our grandparents, who got it from our great-grand ancestors.
Most, if not all, would probably attest to the effectiveness of sebo de macho in curing scars. Others even claim that there are far more uses to this ‘miracle ointment.’ But which claims are actually true and which ones are mere exaggerations?
1. SEBO DE MACHO IS MADE OF A MAN’S TALLOW: FALSE!
Sebo de macho is in essence, sebum or grease, but it certainly didn’t come from a human being’s tallow! A lot of mystery has fueled this myth: the round tins of sebo de macho do not really indicate its ingredients – some say, it’s because it’s a trade secret. But of course, no such thing will ever get pass the strict watch of our authorities. In fact, if you may chance upon a box of sebo de macho ointments, you’ll find the ingredients listed in there: mineral oil, stearic acid, paraffin wax, oleic acid, castor oil, and micro wax. These ingredients are similar to the composition of our body fats, since they are derived from naturally-occurring substances. Mystery solved!
2. SEBO DE MACHO REMOVES SCARS: FALSE!
One thing they don’t directly tell you in a pharmacy is that sebo de macho and other creams, gels, and ointments that claim to remove scars do not actually remove scars. If anything, they lighten the scarred skin and evens out its tone with the rest of your skin. If you have tissue-deep scars called keloids, they’re virtually impossible to remove. The most these products can do is to soften it.
3. SEBO DE MACHO WHITENS: SLIGHTLY FALSE.
Sebo de machodoes not whiten skin. The acids it containsare not similar to those found in lemon or calamansi which are popular for whitening and exfoliating. The acids in sebo de macho are fatty acids. They help keep skin hydrated and soften hardened skin. Aside from that, it also promotes elastin and collagen production which help regenerate skin tissue. This is the effect people usually mistake for whitening.
4. SEBO DE MACHO IS GOOD FOR PIMPLES AND PIMPLE SCARS: FALSE.
Sebo de macho has anti-inflammatory properties that help skin regeneration. However, different skin types react differently to stimulants. Add to that the risks of hormonal imbalance. Some oils contained in sebo de macho may irritate or clog sensitive skin.
5. SEBO DE MACHO CAN BE APPLIED AS OFTEN AS YOU WANT: FALSE.
As mentioned in item number four, too much of anything is bad for you. It is best to test the product first on your skin type to see if there are ad verse reactions. In case that happens, it is best to discontinue use immediately and consult your dermatologist.