Table of contents:
- Sebum Production in Skin
- Some Functions of Sebum for the Skin
- How To Keep Sebum Production In Balance
Sebum is a yellowish oily substance produced by the oil glands in the skin. Skin that contains too much sebum will be prone to blackheads and breakouts. However, on the other hand, sebum also has various important functions to keep skin he althy
Sebum is a natural skin oil that consists of various components, namely fatty acids, triglycerides, wax esters, squalene, and cholesterol. This natural oil plays an important role in maintaining skin moisture and preventing the growth of bacteria on the skin.
Sebum Production in Skin
Sebum is produced by oil glands or sebaceous glands in the skin that are found in almost all parts of the body. However, most sebaceous glands are located on the skin of the face, head, neck, and chest.
In men, sebum production is regulated by androgens or sex hormones in the reproductive organs. Whereas in women, sebum is not only regulated by androgen hormones, but is also influenced by the hormone progesterone.
The more active the androgen hormone, the more sebum is produced. This condition generally occurs at puberty. Boys usually produce more sebum than girls. This is because the amount of androgen hormones in men is more than women.
After puberty, sebum production in the skin will decrease and decrease with the aging process of the skin. This is why the elderly are more at risk of experiencing dry and cracked skin.
In addition to hormonal factors, sebum production in the skin is also influenced by several other factors, namely:
- Genetic or hereditary factors
- A diet high in carbohydrates and fat
- Side effects of drugs, such as hormonal contraception or birth control pills
Some Functions of Sebum for the Skin
Although known as the cause of blackheads and acne, sebum has many roles in skin he alth, including:
1. Maintain skin moisture
Sebum is a natural oil that lubricates the skin and keeps it moisturised. When the skin's moisture is maintained, the skin will remain supple, elastic, and supple, so that you will also avoid problems with dry, cracked, and wrinkled skin.
2. Protects skin from microbes
Sebum is one of the skin's natural defenses against various bacteria and fungi that cause infection. This is because sebum can maintain the skin's natural pH, which is in the pH range of 4.5–6, 0.
By maintaining the pH or acidity of the skin, sebum can prevent the growth of various types of bacteria and fungi.
3. Protects the skin from the effects of the sun
Squalene is a component of sebum that has been proven to protect the skin from the adverse effects of sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Skin that is too often exposed to sunlight over time can experience damage to the sebum-producing oil glands. This is one of the reasons why prolonged sun exposure can trigger premature aging of the skin.
Therefore, to prevent skin damage due to the adverse effects of the sun, you need to use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, especially when you are active in the sun.
4. Regulate body temperature
Sebaceous glands and sweat glands in the skin play an important role in maintaining a stable body temperature.
When it's hot, the body will secrete sebum that mixes with sweat to slow down the rate of evaporation. Meanwhile in cold temperatures, sebum will contain more oil to protect the skin from drying out.
In addition to the various functions above, sebum also plays a role in producing the body's natural scent or odor. This is thought to be because sebum contains pheromones.
How To Keep Sebum Production In Balance
To keep sebum levels balanced, you can follow the following tips:
- Bath and wash your face 2 times a day, especially when your skin is sweaty or feels oily.
- Choose soaps and shampoos that contain mild chemicals or are labeled hypoallergenic to prevent skin irritation.
- Clean your make-up or make-up before going to bed.
- Use moisturizer and sunscreen regularly, especially when going out for outdoor activities.
- Choose make-up products that are water-based or labeled non-comedogenic.
In the right amount, sebum does have an important role for skin he alth. However, if the amount of sebum is excessive or insufficient, this condition can trigger skin problems.
Some of the problems triggered by excess sebum are oily skin, acne, blackheads, and seborrheic dermatitis, while a lack of sebum can cause dry, itchy, red, and even scaly or peeling skin.
If you experience skin problems due to impaired sebum production, both excess or lack of sebum, try to consult a dermatologist to get the right treatment.