What is Sebum and Why It is Good for Hair and Skin

Sebum has gotten an unfairly negative rap in the haircare world. To be fair, no one prefers scalp build-up or an excessively shiny face...

Are you frustrated with constantly washing your oily skin only for it to get oilier? I have! My forehead would get super shiny headlight by 11 am. The thing is, sebum is trying to do its thing, protecting you from water loss and skin damage it perceives from the dry skin it senses. Every time you dry it out, it comes double! With time, I had to respect that my body as its own expert, figuring out ways to balance my sebum while keeping the skin happy. So, what is sebum?

Sebum is an oil waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous gland. It is your body’s way to naturally moisturize and protect your skin and hair from water evaporation. Before cosmetic animal and plant fats, humans had sebum to protect and help heal skin from environmental damage, water loss and infection. The classifications of dry, oily and combination skin are influenced by how our bodies produce sebum. A general rule of thumb is that if your face tends to be oily, so will your scalp, and so with other skin types.

Genetics, hormone changes, certain medications, stress, diet can influence sebum production, which is regulated by sex hormones (androgens). Sebum production also varies by age and ethnicity - a 2013 study found that African Americans had higher levels of sebum compared to Northern Asian and Caucasian counterparts.

Despite issues caused by oily skin ( honestly, what skin doesn't have issues?), sebum offers great long-term benefits by helping you stay young. Healthy sebum production delays the onset of wrinkles, fine lines by keeping the skin hydrated and smoother. Sebum also contains Vitamin E which acts as a natural sunscreen, antioxidant and inflammatory. 

We love the use of natural face and hair products to enhance the skin's natural process. By feeding it with water, vitamins, minerals and beneficial fatty acids, we help skin recover to a healthy, balanced and relaxed state faster. 

Check out this video I made demonstrating the hair scritching and preening method using only sebum - more explained on the link. Cheers!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published