What Exactly is Sebum?
If you have acne, and have read up on its causes, you will find yourself coming across the word “sebum” quite a bit. We know that too much of it can lead to acne breakouts, but what exactly is sebum?
Sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Our skin needs it in order to function, but too much of it can lead to acne, and an overly oily complexion. Other than the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, sebaceous glands can be found all over the body. They are prominent on the face, especially the forehead and chin, as well as the back. These glands can be directly affected by hormones such as testosterone or adrenaline, and have a close working relationship with the hair follicles, or pores, of the body. These follicles begin underneath the surface of the skin, and reach the outer layer. One end of the follicle meets any of the thousands of sebaceous glands found under the skin, and those glands use the follicle to deliver sebum to the surface of the skin.
Despite what you may think, sebum is actually good for your skin, and plays an important role in keeping it healthy. Sebum essentially works like a waterproof shield once it reaches the surface of the skin, keeping too much water from getting in, while trapping and preventing necessary moisture from getting out. It is able to create this protective barrier because it is made up of fats, or lipids, which do not dissolve in water. The skin cannot function without sebum, and too little of it can result in dry or even cracked skin.
Like anything, too much sebum is never a good thing. When the sebaceous glands begin to overproduce this oily substance, the pores used to deliver sebum to the surface of the skin can become clogged, as there is simply too much being produced to ensure a smooth flow. The combination of this excess sebum under the surface and dead skin cells on top of the surface can meet in the skin’s pores, clogging them, and causing bacteria to grow inside. The body then reacts to the foreign bacteria, sending in white blood cells to attack it. At this point, nothing can be done to prevent the breakout as the body’s natural defenses have already kicked in. The result is an inflammation around that area of the skin, usually seen in the form of pustules or papules (pimples.) For those with severe or chronic acne, the inflammation can spread to surrounding skin tissue and form cysts.
Most people think that washing away excess oil can prevent breakouts, but washing will only temporarily improve the surface of the skin. For those with the condition of acne, no amount of washing will suffice, as washing does nothing to affect the production of sebum, which occurs underneath the skin’s surface. Since the sebaceous glands are responsible for the production of acne, targeting them directly is the only way to prevent new acne breakouts from forming. Just as you wouldn’t simply wash your car to repair engine trouble, the work must be done from within – our AcnEase® users know that all too well!
Acting as a buffer between the hormones and the sebaceous glands, AcnEase® is a systemic solution that stops acne where it starts: at the production of sebum. Because sebum is necessary, simply eliminating the problem is not an option. Returning sebum production to what is known as a “normal” rate is the only matter of defense. We need just enough to keep the skin healthy and moisturized, but not so much that our pores become clogged, leaving us with breakouts. Using all-natural botanical ingredients, AcnEase® is safe for use by everyone regardless of age, sex, or wherever they are in their hormonal cycle, be it puberty or PMS. Treating existing acne while working from within to address the real problem, AcnEase® is the only product that prevents new pimples from forming. When it comes to sebum, balance is key, and making AcnEase® a part of your skincare routine will make that balancing act much less tricky.
We want to hear from you! Is your acne-prone skin on the oilier side? What do you do to keep breakouts away? Tell us in the comments below!