Squalane is a by-product of squalene and an amazing natural ingredient for skincare. Naturally present in our own body, squalane is one of the most common lipids produced by human skin cells, accounting for around 14-16% of our sebum.
Squalane is fat-soluble and can be added to oil-based products or in the oil phase of emulsions for skin and hair. Squalane is colorless, odorless, and non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores. Squalane also has excellent compatibility with other ingredients.
This component offers a beautiful sensory profile, with a light and silky touch, and it reduces the loss of transepidermal water to restore suppleness to the skin, without leaving an oily residue, to regain healthy skin. It also has good skin biocompatibility and is not irritating. You can use it up to a concentration of 0.5-100%.
Squalane has been talked about a lot lately: this ingredient widely used in cosmetics is criticized for its origin and its impact on marine biodiversity.
In this article, we want to disentangle the true from the false. Indeed, did you know, however, that there are different origins of squalane, synthetic, animal, and plant, and that squalane of plant origin has many benefits for our skin?
Squalane is a component that is used in the composition of many cosmetics for the skin and hair. There are 3 types of squalane:
- Squalane of synthetic origin
- Squalane of animal origin, extracted from shark liver
- Squalane of plant origin, preferred in cosmetics of organic or natural origin
Vegetable squalane is nothing but a derivative of squalene, a component naturally similar to the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. Therefore, it is very close to the hydrolipidic film of the epidermis and therefore offers a host of benefits for our skin.
Squalene is also found in some vegetable oils, such as olive oil, as an unsaponifiable component (that is, insoluble in water). It is thus extracted during the olive oil distillation process, when extracting the pulp from the olives, before being hydrogenated to be transformed into squalane.
The extraction of vegetable squalane is completely ecological since no solvent or chemical component is involved in the process of distilling olive oil. It is for this reason that vegetable squalane is preferred for organic cosmetic products.
What are other names for squalene?
Above you have a chemical representation of squalene, whose formula is C30 H50.
Finally, as always, we want to tell you what other names squalene receives. From the outset, you already know that in the INCI the legislation makes it appear in English (we tell you about it here), so you will see it with the name Squalene. Its chemical formula is C30H50; and in English it can also be read as Hexamethyltetracosa-2,6,10,14,18,22-hexaene.
On the other hand, we will also find the squalane with its name in English, Squalane. The two names are so similar that it’s easy to get them confused, right? Other names it receives are Perhydrosqualene and Dodecahydrosqualene.
Where does squalene come from?
If I talk to you about squalene, you probably think of sharks and sharks, and you will not be entirely wrong. Originally, it was obtained precisely from the liver of these animals. In fact, as they do not have a swim bladder like other fish, they use squalene, which is less dense than water, to float better. Shark liver is considered the source that contains the most amount of this ingredient.
The first source from which squalene was obtained was shark liver.
In the past, squalene could only be obtained from these animals. In fact, some species such as the black sandpaper gulper shark suffered from overfishing for this reason. In response to this, there are companies that have promised not to use the squalene obtained in this way. Among them are Unilever and L’Oreal.
And it is that this ingredient can also be obtained from plant sources such as rice bran, wheat germ, amaranth seeds, or olives (in fact, there has been a lot of debate about whether the benefits of olive oil and the Mediterranean diet could be derived from squalene. The difficult thing is to know what the real origin was in each case, so vegans will probably prefer to do without this ingredient in cases of doubt; but the plant origin is often distinguished by specifying that it is precisely that, " vegetable squalene ".
It is curious that squalene is classified within the group of hydrocarbons, such as oil; but you see that its origin has nothing to do with this mineral.
Humans carry squalene in the body naturally; especially in the skin as part of the lipids. The sebum in the skin, for example, contains 12% squalene. However, it is found in the membranes of all our cells. Squalene is also a previous step in chemistry to the production of lanosterol, from which steroids and cholesterol derive in our body.
Squalene or squalane?
Although they are certainly related, squalane and squalene are not exactly the same. The squalane is the hydrogen form of squalene, used more in treatment products and has for decades used in traditional medicine. Discovered in 1906 by the Japanese chemist Mitsumaru Tsujimoto, squalene has been used in traditional medicine for several decades.
When its presence on the skin was discovered (it represents 13% of skin fat), it began to be investigated with the aim of applying it in cosmetics and treatment. However, squalene is very unstable and tends to oxidize, which eventually darkens, becomes viscous, and emits a certain odor.
TheThe first known production of squalane from squalene took place in 1916. In addition to offering the same benefits for the skin, this ingredient provides the added value of being stable against heat and oxidation, making it ideal for use in treatment formulas. In addition, it has an imperceptible odor, is transparent, and is very compatible with the skin.
In general, the main differences between squalene and squalane are:
- Very unstable
- Rusts easily
- Stable against heat and oxidation
- Unnoticeable odor and transparent color
Is squalane good for the skin?
Squalane is not only good for the skin, it is actually naturally present in it. Thus, we find it in abundance in skin fat until the early twenties but it decreases with age, which results in the skin being more prone to rough or dry areas. The use of lotions, serums, and moisturizers with squalane can help to plump up the skin in order to achieve a smooth, smooth and healthy appearance.
Its multiple benefits for skin and hair
Squalane is a very popular product in cosmetics because it is similar to the composition of the hydrolipidic film secreted by the epidermis. For this reason, it has a very good affinity with the skin, as an emollient (it softens and softens the skin) and as a moisturizer. It also has benefits for the hair.
Skin and complexion
Plant-based squalane has many benefits for the skin. To begin with, it helps restore the skin’s hydrolipidic film, a natural protective barrier against external aggressions (pollution, dirt, etc.) and which prevents the skin from becoming dehydrated.
But that’s not all: squalane also acts as a skin emollient, which means that it will soften and soften the skin so that products and treatments can be more easily absorbed.
Finally, squalane gives cosmetic products a pleasant, low-fat texture which penetrates quickly. Ideal for a product that is applied daily!
Squalane also has benefits for the complexion since it allows you to find a radiant and luminous complexion in all seasons.
- Squalane is a beneficial product for dry and dehydrated hair. Indeed, it helps to form a protective film around the hair fiber, to protect it from the risk of dehydration and impurities that can damage it. In addition, it has repaired and moisturizing properties: all people with damaged, colored, or discolored hair, or those who use heating devices to straighten or curl their hair, will be able to benefit from its benefits. For these reasons, squalane is often found in repairing or smoothing serums and leave-in hair and moisturizer masks.
An essential ingredient in cosmetics
Squalane is essential in cosmetics as well in creams, oils, and milk for the body and for the face, as in care and serums for the hair. Why? First of all, for its very pleasant texture: squalane gives cosmetic products a non-greasy texture, which penetrates the skin very easily and makes the skin soft. Moreover, we also find squalane in many makeup products because it makes lipsticks, foundations, or eyeshadows easier to spread, without giving a greasy effect.
The benefits of squalane
Although squalane is naturally produced by the body, production begins to slow down from the age of 20, and it drops dramatically after the age of 30, contributing to dry skin.
as a moisturizer
When used on the surface of the skin, this natural component of human sebum acts as a barrier that protects against moisture loss and protects the body from environmental toxins, through the formation of a hydrolipidic film.
Using a moisturizer with squalane can help restore the skin’s oil balance. It will lubricate the surface of the skin and can help achieve a softer skin texture and a smoother appearance without fat.
for skin problems
Squalane is believed to have a number of positive effects on uneven skin pigmentation, scars, and dark spots. Using beauty products that contain squalane can erase these marks over time due to the oil’s ability to sink deep into the skin and repair it.
This liquid also contains antibacterial properties and may be effective in treating symptoms of eczema. People with acne can reduce excess sebum production by using it as a spot treatment to balance skin tone.
in anti-aging ingredient
- Like retinol, this oil is believed to fight free radicals in the skin which are caused by UV rays from the sun, and which destroy skin cells and damage the skin’s natural collagen. Squalane spreads easily to the skin and penetrates deeply, so it can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and also fight aging by protecting the skin.
- It acts as a conditioner that makes your strands shiny, supple, and resilient. It is also an excellent protective agent for dehydration of the skin, scalp, and hair.
as a food supplement
- When ingested, squalane capsules protect the body from an assortment of diseases including arthritis, cancer, hemorrhoids, rheumatism, psoriasis, and shingles.
Squalane and its anti-aging action
Based on these discoveries, we determined that this ingredient clinically demonstrates:
- Visibly reduce wrinkles around the eyes
- Visibly reduce expression lines in the eyes
- Help improve skin firmness
- Help improve skin elasticity
In addition to its moisturizing power, these proven benefits of squalane are one of the reasons we love to include it in our unique and effective formulas that help achieve plump, firmer, younger-looking skin.
Plant or animal squalane: which one to choose?
There are two types of squalane:
- Squalane of natural origin: the oil is extracted from vegetable sources, the main one being the olive. Olive oil contains a very high concentration compared to other plants.
- Squalane of marine origin: known as “shark liver oil”, it is extracted from shark liver. The gulper shark, kitesurf, or mainly Portuguese dogfish, are endowed with highly concentrated squalene. This oil is used as a food supplement and in ** pharmacopeia**, in particular in the composition of certain vaccines.
What is the benefit of natural squalane?
Natural squalene can be created synthetically or extracted from plant sources like amaranth seeds, olives, palm, rice bran, and wheat germ. This plant derivative makes it possible to have an animal-friendly alternative, to abolish animal cruelty specifically towards sharks, while benefiting from the same results.
Vegetable squalane, we say yes
Vegetable squalane, unlike squalane of animal origin, does not present any danger for the environment or biodiversity. So why deny it?
The squalane of animal origin is used since the 60’s squalane extraction methods are controversial because extracting shark liver often leads to the animal’s death (at least abuse) and the rejection of the carcass at sea. Not to mention the fact that to extract enough squalane for the cosmetics industry, nearly 2,000 tons of shark liver oil were needed each year or more than 3 million sharks… Driven by animal protection associations, squalane of animal origin is now gradually being abandoned in favor of vegetable squalane.
Vegetable squalane can be extracted from olive oil, sugar cane, beets, or grains such as amaranth, rice, or wheat. It is olive oil that has been favored since the 1980s. Its production is longer and more expensive than squalane of animal origin, hence the fact that certain countries, particularly in Asia, still favor it. Fortunately, squalane today is mainly of plant origin, and its extraction, therefore, has no impact on the environment.
The role of squalane
More and more beauty products contain squalane … why do you ask? Well, the reason is simple: being rich in antioxidants , it fights aging and is commonly used as an additive in deodorants , lip balm , lipstick , moisturizers , sunscreens , supplements and a variety. other cosmetic products. As it mimics our body’s natural moisturizers, it quickly penetrates the skin and is absorbed completely.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
What is squalene on the skin?
Squalene is a stable, saturated hydrocarbon that occurs naturally in the skin. Emollient Power, is an exceptional moisturizer and can prevent permanent loss of hydration that deteriorates skin elasticity. The Squalene is non - comedogenic and is suitable for all-purpose type of skin
What is squalene and what is it for?
The squalene is a natural organic compound originally obtained for commercial purposes from the shark liver oil; however, there are also plant sources such as rice bran, wheat germ, and olives.
What is Squalane oil?
This is very refined oil, made in Korea from the olive. Due to its great affinity with the skin, it is easily absorbed without leaving a greasy residue, nourishing, softening, and sealing in moisture to protect you from dehydration.
What are the benefits of squalene for the skin?
The benefits of squalene for the skin are as follows:
- Helps stabilize the skin barrier.
- Helps maintain hydration.
- It is easily absorbed without leaving a greasy residue.
Where is squalene found?
The squalene is a component of some adjuvants, which are added to vaccines to enhance the immune response. It is a substance of natural origin present in plants and animals, as well as in humans; it is synthesized in the liver and circulates in the blood.
What is squalene for?
It is a lipid and among its main biological functions is the storage of energy. They provide more energy than carbohydrates, although the human cell prefers these as repositories of that energy so that they can then look for the other source, which is lipids.
What is vegetable squalane?
The squalane is the source plant, also known as Phytoesqualano. While Squalene is produced by our skin. It got easier, right? It is worth remembering that the cosmetic industry extracted squalene from the liver of sharks to be used in products, causing serious environmental damage.
Squalane is a highly refined moisturizing oil derived from the olive. It is a highly refined plant lipid with a molecular structure very similar to that of skin lipids. Due to its great natural affinity with the skin, this light lipid is easily absorbed without leaving a greasy residue. An effective emollient, squalane is used to help protect the skin barrier and retain hydration, which will help us achieve smoother and smoother skin.