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Squalane – Why Should We Use It?

Squalane – Why Should We Use It?

The demand for skin-friendly oils has raised a question about skin care ingredient squalene: saturated or unsaturated? Seemingly, it’s not just important in your diet.

There are two types of fat, saturated and unsaturated. According to research, the best facial oils to use are those that are saturated, as they’re stable and oxidize less quickly, promoting younger skin. Squalane oil is created when squalene oil undergoes through a hydrogenation process to stabilize it.

Where is it found?

Our bodies produce squalene naturally but it can also be found in sugar cane, sharks liver and plants, plants are where the beauty companies usually extract it.

Squalene oil: Unsaturated Oil

Produced by our sebatious glands it is a component of sebum and also found in plants. As an unsaturated oil, squalene is unstable and goes rancid fast, so it is processed to change its structure to be used in cosmetic and skincare products.

Squalane Oil: Saturated Oil

It’s formed when squalene undergoes hydrogenation processing, which turns it into a more stable, fully saturated oil with a longer shelf life.

Squalane has emollient properties that help to coat the surface of skin and assist the skin in holding on to moisture. They also soften the skin and smooth its surface, so skin looks and feels healthier. Squalane does this without creating a greasy or sticky feel. In addition, it’s also an effective conditioning agent for hair. It conditions by coating and smoothing the hair cuticle so that hair feels softer and looks shinier and healthier. Because of its emollient properties and its ability to enhance the penetration of other ingredients, squalane is found in a variety of cosmetic and personal care products including hair conditioners, bath oils, facial cleansers, moisturizers, anti-aging products, make-up foundations, eye creams, concealers, lipsticks and sunscreens.

The body naturally produces squalene, and both squalene and squalane have low toxicity. They’re also not irritating to skin and haven’t been linked with contact dermatitis or allergic reactions. Squalene used to also be sourced from the liver of sharks although this method has reduced significantly both for environmental and ecological reasons. Other sources of squalene for making squalane are from olive oil, amaranth seeds, wheat germ and rice bran. These sources are also more acceptable to people concerned about animal welfare.

All in all, squalane has benefits as a non-greasy emollient in skin care products and a conditioning agent for hair. It also helps to increase the penetration of other skin care ingredients.

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Natasha Swindell

Natasha Swindell

Skincare Therapist

Mother of two and a lover of natural products. I have been in the professional skincare and beauty industry for over 10 years, although before this I used to be the child who bought new cleansers with my pocket money. Beauty was an early obsession, which I have grown to love even more after learning the importance of looking after your skin.