What is Squalane & How Does it Benefit My Skin?

What is Squalane?

Squalane is a clear, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic and non-irritating oil that is naturally present on skin as a minor component of sebum (around 2-3%). Sebum is the oil-like substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands that makes hair look shiny and prevents skin from becoming dry and itchy. Sebum, along with water from environment and sweat, forms a surface barrier protecting the skin from excessive water loss and the detrimental effects of pollutants, sun, and ozone [1]. Sebum is composed of triglycerides and free fatty acids (57.5%), wax esters (26%), and squalene (12%) [2] . We do not want to use extra squalene (with an “e”) to help moisturize our skin, because squalene easily oxidizes to peroxides that can induce comedogenesis (clogged pores) and inflammation [1]. The chemical structure of squalane, on the other hand, is very stable and cannot be naturally oxidized. Squalane then is a brilliant natural face moisturizer and emollient to prevent water loss and maintain skin’s suppleness and flexibility.


Why Your Skin Will Love Squalane...

By acting as an emollient, squalane functions to soften dry, rough, flaky skin, making skin look healthier and feel better. When the top layer of skin doesn’t contain enough water, it dries out. Drying causes skin to crack and flake off, leaving open spaces between the cells in your skin. Emollients fill those spaces with fatty substances, like squalane, which make your skin look and feel smoother and softer and your hair look more shiny. Squalane also works as a natural face moisturizer keeping skin hydrated through the formation of a protective barrier to retain skins natural moisture and prevent it from drying out.

Is Squalane Safe?

Squalane is nontoxic and non-irritating at levels up to and including 100% purity [3] . Squalane is ECOCERT certified and is listed in the EPA’s Safer Choice Chemical Ingredients list [4], ensuring that it is one of the best and safest face moisturizers and emollients to use on a daily basis.

Is all Squalane the Same?

Technically speaking yes, in that the chemical structures are the same, however, the source material used to manufacture squalane is highly variable which can result in unwanted impurities in the product and depletion of our natural resources used to source the squalane.

Our 100% plant-derived squalane face moisturizer is sourced from fermentable sugars in sugarcane, an agricultural crop that is totally biorenewable and sustainable. Production from sugarcane does not harm the environment or deplete natural resources like chemically synthesized squalane or squalane or derived from shark liver. The squalane produced from sugarcane is highly pure and does not contain environmental pollutants like those from shark liver oil.

Squalane derived from sugarcane then, passes our high internal quality and environmental sustainability standards that you come to expect from skincare products of exceptional quality. No animals were used in the manufacture and/or testing of our products.

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[1] Squalene Oxidation Induced by Urban Pollutants: Impact on Skin Surface Physico-Chemistry. Eudier et al, Chemical Research in Toxicology 32:285-293, 2019.
[2] Sebaceous Gland Lipids. Picardo et al, Dermato-Endocrinology 1(2):68-71, 2009.
[3] Cosmetic Ingredient Review Safety Assessment 2001/2002 and the Final report on the safety assessment of squalane and squalene, International Journal of Toxicology 1: 37-56 (1982)
[4] https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-ingredients#searchList