Sebum, a natural oil produced by oil glands in the skin, isn't a bad thing. In fact, sebum is a natural lubricant, keeping hair sleek and shiny and preventing skin from looking dry and wrinkled. Problems arise when the glands are overactive and produce too much sebum, states the University of Oklahoma Health Services. Excess sebum combined with dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria can cause clogged pores, blackheads and acne. Although different treatments will work for different people, you can try several useful methods for controlling excess sebum. See your physician or dermatologist if your condition doesn't improve.
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Wash your face once or twice daily, when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Use warm water, a soft washcloth and a mild soap for oily skin. Avoid scrubbing, which can cause redness and irritation.
Shampoo your hair daily, using a mild shampoo formulated for oily hair. Work up a lather as you massage the shampoo into your hair, then allow the lather to remain on your hair for five to seven minutes. Avoid conditioner, or apply conditioner only to the ends of your hair.
Use cotton balls or a mild astringent to dry up excess oils on your face. Dab your scalp with the astringent-soaked cotton balls.
Use an over-the-counter skin product containing benzoyl peroxide, an antibacterial medication that will also help to dry the skin.
Select oil free cosmetics and skin-care products. Oil-free products will be marked "non-comedogenic" or "water-based."