Sebum is a natural oil produced on the skin by the sebaceous glands. The proper amount of sebum is essential to maintain healthy skin. Sebum production is related to the sex hormones. Too much sebum is often produced when teenagers hit puberty, causing them to have acne. Women of menopausal age may see a decrease in sebum production, leaving their skin dry. There are simple ways to increase sebum production and protect the skin from dehydration.
Get a facial massage. Aestheticians give massages as part of a facial. They employ four types of movements on the skin while giving massage. These include stroking, rubbing, pinching and tapping. These movements--along with the pressure on the skin--stimulate the sebaceous glands and cause them to produce more. If you cannot go to a professional aesthetician, mimic the massage movements at home. Lightly pinch, press and rub your skin for about 20 minutes a few times a week to increase sebum production.
Consult a physician to make sure your hormones are balanced. According to DermNet NZ, "Sebum production is under the control of sex hormones (androgens)." Hormonal imbalances can affect the production of sebum. A doctor may perform a blood test or other kind of test to see if your hormones are balanced. If not, they may prescribe medications or a certain dietary regimen to balance your hormones and increase sebum production.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Eating greasy foods may produce oil on the skin, but it is the wrong kind of oil and will only lead to clogged pores. A diet full of lean proteins and healthy fats will encourage healthy sebum production. Also, drink plenty of water. Water hydrates the skin from the inside out and helps keep all the organs--including the skin--working properly.
Exercise lightly to increase blood flow. Exercising increases blood flow throughout the entire body, including the surface of the skin. This stimulates the sebaceous glands and increases sebum production.
Maintain a daily skin care routine. Keeping your skin clean and free of dead cells, black heads, white heads and pimples will allow sebum to flow freely to the skin's surface. If pores are clogged by bacteria or dirt, the sebum will just sit in them and create pimples. If you have dry skin and need to increase sebum, use oil-based skin care products to cleanse and moisturise your face daily.
- Consult a physician if your skin is extremely dry. You may be suffering from a medical condition such as eczema.
- If your skin is oily you do not need to increase sebum production. In fact, increasing sebum may result in acne or other skin problems.