What Is Sebum?

Get to the root cause of acne

Posted on: February 9, 2022


Your skin is the largest organ as it covers your entire body. It is responsible for several integral functions and needs to perform them adequately. That is why it has multiple layers through which it performs these functions. The three primary layers are the epidermis (thin outer layer), dermis (thick mid-layer), and hypodermis (inner layer). These layers come together to ensure your skin functions adequately. At the same time, they perform their independent purposes for optimal functioning. So, these layers are beneficial and essential to the body.

One layer at a time!

The dermis is the thicker middle layer of your skin. It has two regions - papillary and reticular. These two regions help the dermis serve its functions, the primary one being protection. The dermis is also responsible for cushioning the body from stress and strain. There are other benefits, as well, that are just as important. These include bringing elasticity to the skin, regulating the sense of touch and heat.

The dermis maintains a specific structure to perform these functions. It makes use of essential parts such as hair roots, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, nerves, and blood vessels. Of these, the sebaceous glands are perhaps the most important. That is because they play a vital role in sebum secretion. If you have oily skin, you have likely heard of the term, ‘sebum’.

What is sebum and how does your skin produce it?

Well, sebum is an oily, waxy substance that covers your skin. It serves several crucial functions. These include reducing water loss from the skin, protection against bacteria and fungi, and regulation of body odor. Sebum also maintains moisture in your skin and keeps it from drying out.

As you may imagine, sebum is an essential component of your body. It is so pivotal that the sebaceous glands secrete a similar substance even before you are born. This substance, vernix caseosa, is a white, paste-like coating that provides protection and moisturization. Once you are born, sebum secretion kicks in.

For the first few months of your life, your sebaceous glands produce the same amount of sebum as an adult. That is because a baby’s skin is delicate and needs constant protection. Once things start getting better, sebum production slows down until you hit puberty.

Fun fact. When you do hit puberty, your sebum production skyrockets. That, in large part, is because of all the hormonal changes taking place. And it makes sense. Hormonal changes are the number one influencer of sebum production. And so, sebum production will likely peak before you become an adult. As you may imagine, that renders your skin prone to acne during those years.

Why does inadequate sebum production occur


When there is an adequate supply of sebum, your skin remains healthy and glowing. However, there are certain circumstances where sebum production is either too low or too high. Certain factors influence this incline or decline in sebum production. These are primarily related to hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy, menopause, etc.

That can be quite drastic in some cases. Men may notice almost double the amount of sebum production during their teenage years. Similarly, women may observe an increase or decrease during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. As you may imagine, that generally leads to several skin conditions.

Excessive sebum production is, in fact, a leading cause of acne. Here’s how. When there is an excessive sebum supply, it causes oil, germs, and dead skin cells to accumulate around the hair follicles. That, in turn, causes your pores to get blocked and leads to different types of acne.

How to deal with Excessive sebum production?

The best way to deal with an excessive supply of sebum is by using formulated products that provide solutions. The CLEAN & CLEAR® Foaming Face Wash is one such product that aids sebum control. It uses a mild and safe formula that is especially suited for oily skin. This formula allows it to gently remove oil and pimple-causing germs while fighting them at their very source. In that manner, it gives a deeper clean with every wash and helps prevent common skin problems. So, you can have happier skin in just one wash.

If you have oily skin that is prone to pimples, the CLEAN & CLEAR® Pimple Clearing Face Wash will work wonders for sebum control. That is because it has a clinically tested formula consisting of Salicyclic Acid & Neem. Both those ingredients are highly effective against pimples and help decrease the number of blackheads. It also effectively tightens pores and leaves skin oil-free. Through it all, the face wash is gentle on your skin and does not cause any distress or irritation. So, win-win for all.

However, in cases of severe acne, it is best to consult a dermatologist. The earliest signs of severe acne include nodules and cysts. These are painful acne lesions that are inflammatory in nature. They are fragile and delicate and should only be treated with the correct treatment. In such a case, it is best to visit a dermatologist and get their expert opinion.

So, sebum is an essential component of your skin, but it is essential to maintain sebum control. When produced adequately, it proves to be a very useful substance that serves different purposes and benefits. That includes hydrating the skin, providing moisture, and protecting from germs. However, when there is too much or too little sebum, you need to pay special attention. You need to investigate the issue, understand the possible outcomes and options, and deliver what is required. If you do that, your skin will thank you multifold. So, let’s do this.

Disclaimer: The content in the articles are based on scientific literature and consumer interactions. .Individual skin conditions may vary and if condition persist the consumer should consult a dermatologist.