Our hair and skin regularly produce a substance called sebum. The natural lubricant protects the skin from drying out, reduces water loss during sweating, which helps to keep the body cool, and also keeps the scalp moisturized to give hair that natural shine. Sebum is one of the body’s natural defenses against infection; it is both home to and protection against bacteria and fungi that can irritate the skin and body.
Sebum is composed of various lipids in a specific ratio. Triglycerides, stored fat released for energy, makes up approximately 57 percent. Wax monoesters derived from fatty acids and fatty alcohols make up approximately 25 percent. Squalene, a naturally occurring oil synthesized in the liver, makes up 13 percent, while cholesterol and cholesterol esters make up the remaining five percent.
Receive updates on the latest news and alerts straight to your inbox.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.