Have you been reading about facial oils and been wanting to incorporate them into your skincare routine? But you’re hesitant because you live in a warm and humid place, plus your skin is already oily, and you don’t want to be staring down the barrel of another breakout. Well, Squalane is a perfect option for you!
What are Squalane and Squalene?
Squalene is naturally produced by our bodies and can be found in our skin and blood. It’s essential for our immune system, and also help skin defend against UV damage. The reason why it’s not used cosmetically is that it’s extremely prone to oxidization. When squalene is used topically and oxidizes, it creates a highly comedogenic and inflammatory by-product which can directly cause acne.
Squalane, however, is different. Squalane is derived from squalene by hydrogenation, which turns it into a saturated oil. This process, in turn, makes squalane more stable – reducing the chance of it oxidizing and giving it a longer shelf life while retaining most of its benefits. The only tradeoff is that squalane loses the UV-protective ability of squalene (but you should be wearing a sunscreen anyway!).
Where Does Squalane Come From?
Squalene was first discovered from the liver of sharks, and then subsequently in plant oils. Today, most squalane and squalene are derived from botanical sources – usually olives, because of sustainability. There is no difference chemically between animal-derived and plant-derived squalane – they both benefit and function the same.
Why Should I Use Squalane?
Squalane is an excellent moisturizer! Despite being an oil, it’s relatively lightweight, making it suitable even for those with oily skin. Unlike other oils which sit on the surface of the skin to create a barrier, squalane is fast-absorbing and can penetrate deep into the skin. This doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily or greasy, but instead gives it a smooth and supple finish!
Plus, because it’s a natural component of your body, your skin already knows what to do with it. Squalane mimics your natural sebum, which in turn can help regulate excess oil production. Furthermore, it doesn’t clog pores or oxidize and is naturally antibacterial. All this makes squalane an ideal choice for those with acne and breakout prone skin.
Squalane is such a flexible oil that you can also use it on your hair, lips, and nails (cuticles) to boost moisture without an oily feeling residue.
Squalane in Cosmetics
Today, squalane is used in many cosmetic products for a few main reasons:
- It plays well with other active ingredients like retinol because it’s relatively stable and doesn’t interact negatively with them, making them an ideal base to formulate products.
- Squalane is not only used as a moisturizer but also as a texture enhancer because of its spreadability and smooth finish.
- Squalane absorbs relatively quickly – making it a ‘carrier’ for other ingredients by helping them to penetrate into the skin quicker and more effectively.
For these reasons, we highly recommend incorporating Squalane in your routine!