Insufficient sebum causes dry skin and cracks

Insufficient sebum causes dry skin and cracks

The general image of “Sebum” might have a negative impression as it is also involved in to ‘acne’. However the skin is protected by the sebum barrier. Acne occurs when too much sebum is produced. However, there would be problems with dry skin and possibly conditions such as rhagades if too little sebum is produced. Sebum is comprised of a range of aliphatic compounds and has the role of maintaining the moisture level of the skin.

1. The function of sebum

Sectional drawings of the skinSebum is one of the lipid components that sebocytes produce with the main components being triglycerides. Sebum is released from the sebaceous glands, transported to the surface of the skin through the pores and providing a sebum barrier by mixture with sweat.

The sebum barrier maintains moisture and provides smoothness of the skin and hair. Moreover, the lipids contained in sebum are decomposed by resident bacteria on the skin producing fatty acids. These fatty acids increase the protective capability of the skin by producing a mild acidity that is an unsuitable environment for pathogenic bacteria to propagate.

The function of sebum in the skin

  • brings moisture, flexibility and smoothness to the skin
  • prevents the stratum corneum from peeling off
  • prevents water evaporation
  • bactericidal action

2. Decrease of sebum and skin functions

The secretion of sebum decreases due to various factors such as stress, aging, dry air, soap and detergent. As a result, an adequate sebum barrier is not produced making exogenous irritation or infection easier. If the skin is injured, water evaporation from the skin is promoted, leading to skin metabolism disorders and problems such as dry and wrinkled skin. A decrease in sebum secretion also causes skin disorders, such as pruritus and pain.


3. Balance of sebum

Maintaining a healthy balance in the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands is crucial for the health of the epidermis. Supplying sebum from outside can also help. However, maintaining the ability for natural sebum production is more ideal as sebum is produced within the body. Heimat discovered that maitake extract lipid has a valuable promotional function for sebum production.

  1. Mie Nagao; Takashi Sato; Akira Ito; Shigeru Matsuzaki; Masao Takahashi. Improvement of Dry Skin by Topical Treatment of Natural Sebum Inducer, Gripin. The 33nd Annual Meeting of Japan Cosmetic Science Society (JCSS) June 5-6, 2008.
  2. Takashi Sato; Noriko Akimoto; Mie Nagao; Masao Takahashi; Akira Ito, Augmentation of Sebaceous Lipogenesis by an Extract of Grifolafrondosa (Maitake Mushroom) In Vivo and In Vitro,37th ESDR Meeting(European Society for Dermatological Research) Sep 5-8, 2007.
  3. Mie Nagao; Lan Yuan; Takashi Sato; Noriko Akimoto; Akira Ito, Augmentation of sebum production by Maitake-ethanol extract in vivo and in vitro, The 32nd Annual Meeting of Japanese Cosmetic Science Society, June 7-8, 2007.
Related Resources
  • Gripin is a phytolipid compoound extracted from the Maitake mushroom.

    Gripin (Maitake Lipid Extract)

Related Products
  • Maijun Gripin Soap

Raw materials, OEM and PB option at Heimat Co., Japan Ltd
APCGCT: Asia Pacific Consortium of Gene and Cell Therapy
  • Raw materials, OEM and PB option at Heimat Co., Japan Ltd
  • APCGCT: Asia Pacific Consortium of Gene and Cell Therapy