Sebum is an acidic and lipid-rich natural oil created by the sebaceous glands in the skin – which are the same glands that grow hair. As we have hair over almost all of our body, that means that sebum is also found all over the body. When people say that they get spots due to oily skin – sebum is the oil on trial here. Reducing sebum then will reduce acne, and make your skin appeal less oily. There is no way to ‘stop’ sebum and excessive amounts seem to be caused by genetics and hormones. However there are lifestyle changes and other changes you can make to help the symptoms less severe. Here we will list some of them.

Eat less fatty and sugary food: Diets high in fact increase the amount of fat in the skin and on its surface which can result in increased sebum production. Likewise, surges of insulin as a result of sugary foods has been shown to inflame and clog pores.

Increase sleep: Lots of high-quality sleep is highly important for reducing levels of sebum. This is because inadequate sleep causes an imbalance of hormones and releases stress hormones such as cortisol. This elevates blood sugar, which also causing inflammation and stimulating the sebaceous glands in the skin – all of which can incur acne. Eight hours is the recommended amount of time to sleep each night, but bear in mind the importance of quality as well as quantity.

Reduce stress: Reducing stress has many important positive effects on the body. Among these are the fact that it increases the amount of cortisol and cytokines in the body which are inflammatory substances. It can also cause hormonal imbalances that may lead to the appearance of spots. To reduce stress there are many techniques you can use including meditation and yoga.

Use supplements: Many supplements as well as vitamins can reduce sebum production and have other positive effects on the skin. Alpha linoleic acid is good for preventing harmful inflammation, as is vitamin D3.

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