What causes an overproduction of sebum? What causes increased sebum production? Yes it's hormones but not the ones you think.

What Causes an Overproduction of Sebum?

In Oily/Combination Skincare Advice by Cheryl Woodman MChemLeave a Comment

What causes an overproduction of sebum? How do you get rid of excess sebum? What causes increased sebum production?

It’s only been 2 hours since you put matte effect makeup on and your T-zone already looks like you could fry an egg on it #beenthere.

What the heck’s happening? Why, why, why?

My friend, what I’m about to share with you today could be saving you from clogged pores, blackheads, and breakouts. Yes, yes, yes.

Because here’s the dealiO, the overproduction of sebum can cause all of these 3 things to happen.

If you’ve been an Honesty Skin Savvy for a while, you know getting to the root cause of your skin symptoms is my #1 goal eh 😉 and oily skin is one step closer to the root cause of so many skin symptoms.

Psst – if you’ve been told hormones are the cause of your overproduction of sebum then you’re going to be shocked by what you’re about to read.

Here are the 3 most common causes of increased sebum production I see in my SkinCoachees.

What causes an overproduction of sebum? What causes increased sebum production? Yes it's hormones but not the ones you think.

1. Insulin Resistance

It’s this funky thing your body releases every time you eat. Munch, munch, munch. Insulin, insulin, insulin.

Like ying and yang these two can’t be apart.

And you can think of insulin a bit like an air hostess.

You as a passenger are a packet of excited energy aka food. And you need to be shown where to go, where to sit and how to emergency exit 😉

Insulin is the air hostess which shows you exactly what to do.

So instead of standing up during take-off, using the toilet during turbulence and doing downward dogs in the aisle, you sit tight, wait for the seat belt lights to go off, and save a celebratory yoga sesh for after you land.

Insulin works exactly like this. It takes the energy from your food and shuttles it from your bloodstream into your cells.

The important bit – sometimes your body needs more insulin to do exactly the same job.

Like having a hyper-excited to go on holiday passenger with ants in their pants 🙂

They need more air hostess attention than any other passenger.

This is exactly what insulin resistance is. And you can have it without being diabetic or diagnosed diabetic.

From my experience, it’s a #1 cause of your skin overproducing sebum.

What causes an overproduction of sebum? Insulin resistance.

Take a peeky at this science study conclusion;

“Insulin is a stimulator of lipid-droplet formation in sebaceous glands in vivo and in vitro.”Sato, T. et al. Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports 22 (2020)

Now let me defuse that science-gook for you 🙂

Insulin hormones cause an overproduction of sebum on your skin. And they do it by telling your sebum making cells to make more sebum.


Can you see how insulin resistance, which is when your body is releasing more and more insulin to do exactly the same task, can cause makeup to slide off your face by midday?

Okay, okay, I get this – yes, yes, yes, so now I need to know what foods increase sebum production? You’re right on the money here my friend. Go you 🙂 This is why if oily skin is your nemesis when you come to SkinCoach with me, I’m going to be deep-diving into BOTH your skincare and diet. I’m so excited to get you started.

Right now onto the second reason for your skin overproducing sebum aka the answer to this burning question – how do you get rid of excess sebum? Here it comes…

2. Vitamin D Deficiency

Taadaa.

🎵 You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey.

Good job this is a blog post and not a YouTube video 😉

Here’s a sneaker for you, there are a lot of supplement options that can help to reduce sebum production.

Vitamin D is one of them.

Take a peeky at this;

“α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3]… [has] been reported to suppress the differentiation of sebocytes in humans.”Sato, T. et al. Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports 22 (2020)

Time to de-science-gook.

Don’t worry if those bad-ass science words feel overwhelming. They are and what you’re feeling is so, so normal.

Here’s the human version for you. 

1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 – is just a name for a specific type of vitamin D.

The active form of vitamin D.

Psst – did you know this is a hormone too?

And recent science studies are showing us this active form of vitamin D can help you get rid of excess sebum. Wahoo.

That’s because vitamin D turns down the volume on your sebum-making cells.

Pretty neat eh.


What causes an overproduction of sebum? Lack of vitamin D or even vitamin D deficiency.

How do you get rid of excess sebum? By supporting and boosting your body’s vitamin D levels. You can do this through diet and you can also do this through supplements. During our SkinCoach Me call I’m going to explain the best, most natural ways you can do this. I’m so looking forward to that.

Now, are you ready for our third and most counterintuitive reason for the over production of sebum on your face?

I’ve got a shocker coming up 🙂

3. Eating a Load of Fruit

Aka eating healthy.

If you remember any of these 3 reasons why your skin’s overproducing sebum, let it be this one.

It’s such an important lesson.

Like learning you should never wear brown shoes with black trousers 😉

But truly my friend, if there’s one thing I hear over and over again it’s this…

‘…I already eat pretty healthily’… so I don’t think that’s a cause of my oily skin or blackheads or breakouts or acne.

I hear that buzz word ‘healthy and I know straight away there’s a high likelihood of ‘bad for skin health foods’ in this wonderful lady’s diet.

I know this because I’ve made these mistakes myself.

I’ve had to learn the hard way and I want better for you.


Psst – a load of fruit in your diet could be a key cause of sebum overproduction.

A reason why you’re reaching for blotting pads and powder brushes multiple times a day.

Take a peeky at this;

“banana… compared with an equal amount of glucose dissolved in water. The postprandial blood glucose responses to pure glucose… and banana were almost identical.”Acta Med Scand. 1982;212(5):281-3

Quick note – this study was on diabetic patients.

Did you see that?

Sugar water and fruits like bananas can have the same effect on your blood sugar?

And guess what happens when your blood sugar goes on a rollercoaster?

Your body releases way more insulin hormones.

And guess what insulin hormones do?

You’re so savvy 🙂

Yes, yes, yes. They stimulate sebum production, they increase sebum production, they can be the cause of an overproduction of sebum on your face.

What causes an overproduction of sebum? Health foods in disguise. Fruits are a key culprit. And if your skin is not only oily but also acne prone, you’ll want to grab a free copy of my acne diet cheatsheet – click here to get it. 

Wahoo! You now know 3 of the key reasons why your skin is overproducing sebum meaning you now know some super powerful ways to help reduce sebum in your pores.

That means makeup staying in place, blackheads reducing, breakouts going away.

Pretty awesome eh.

Now come and tell me. Which of these 3 reasons for the overproduction of sebum shocked you the most? If you had to put your finger on one being a key cause for you, which would it be?

Oh and if you have a beautiful friend you know is always reaching for the powder blot and just wishes she had more control over the health of her skin, will you use that big green button below to forward her this blog with my love? You are the best!