Sebum is oil produced by the sebaceous glands. These glands occur almost everywhere on the body except the palms and the soles of feet. They are particularly large and plentiful on the chin, forehead and mid-back. Many sebaceous glands also occur on the scalp. The sebum produced by these glands helps keep hair hydrated naturally. Overproduction of sebum, however, can lead to acne breakouts as well as overly greasy hair. The production of sebum declines as a person ages. There are several ways of reducing sebum on the skin and scalp.

Things You'll Need

Use an oil-free cleanser about twice a day to wash your face. Don’t use soap, as it can dry skin and actually lead to more sebum production.

Use a medicated gel containing at least two percent salicylic acid. Gels will salicylic acid help to absorb excess oils and remove dead skin cells that can clog pores. Apply a thin layer of the gel on areas with heightened sebum production at least once a day.

Take vitamin A supplements to curb sebum production. The recommended daily dose is about 700 to 900 IU. Taking more than the recommended dose can lead to headaches and other medical issues. Use these supplements until your sebum production has reduced, then cut your intake in half.

Rinse hair and scalp with lemon juice to get rid of sebum on your head. Mix half a cup of lemon juice with a cup of water and apply all over scalp and hair. The acidic content of lemon will neutralize the sebum, but won’t dry out skin.


  • Rub a slice of lemon or cucumber on your face to absorb excess sebum.

  • Up your vitamin A intake naturally by eating more eggs, carrots, tomatoes, dairy products and green leafy vegetables.