Squalane vs. Squalene
Firstly, let's clear up the difference between squalane and squalene.
Squalene (with an “e”) is a lipid that occurs naturally in the skin. It helps to keep the skin barrier strong, which in turn keeps your skin protected, hydrated and moisturized.
It makes up around 12% of your skin's sebum. But, unfortunately this percentage decreases with age. Lucky for us, humans aren't the only ones that produce squalene. It can be found in olives, sugarcane and rice bran. And also sharks, but that's a highly controversial topic for another day.
Now, here's where the "a" and "e" comes in.. Squalene is an unsaturated oil that is highly unstable and goes rancid quickly when exposed to oxygen. Therefore, before it can be used in skin care products it must go through a hydrogenation process. This converts it into a more skin-friendly and stable, saturated oil called squalane (with an “a”).
Here's how squalane can benefit your skin and how to add it to your skincare regime;
Best squalane facial oil
HOW SQUALANE BENEFITS YOUR SKIN
Being made up of exactly the same stuff as your skin makes squalane a skin-identical ingredient. Which makes it a very useful addition to your skin care routine. Especially if you're over 40!
By replenishing the skin with lipids, squalane helps to restore and repair the skin barrier. This keeps your skin moisturized, hydrated and plump —three things that aid in reducing your wrinkles! It also has antioxidant effects that prevent future wrinkles by fighting off free radicals that damage and age the skin. With daily applications of squalane you can improve the suppleness and elasticity of your skin giving a more youthful, glowing appearance. It's especially beneficial for very dry and mature skin.
WHAT IS OLIVE SQUALANE?
Olive squalane is a botanical lipid that mirrors human lipids in molecular structure and weight. This similarity allows it to penetrate the skin completely and synthesise quickly, making it a great delivery system for other ingredients.
Nicknamed 'natures facelift' olive squalane is unlike any other oil, in fact, it feels more like a serum with it's clear, colourless, odourless and lightweight consistency.
One of the many benefits of olive squalane is that it has a low comedogenic rating. This means it's fast-absorbing and won't clog pores or leave a greasy residue. Making it great for oily and acne-prone skin types.
At its core, olive squalane is made from the same building blocks as your skin
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS;
Is squalane better than rosehip oil?
These two oils provide very similar benefits for the skin with the exception that squalane is a more stable, saturated oil. Where as Rosehip oil is an unsaturated oil that can go rancid quickly when it reacts with oxygen. This doesn't mean it's not good for your skin, you just need to be aware of the how and where you store it, and the use by date!
Is squalane better than hyaluronic acid?
If you've read my previous post on the benefits of hyaluronic acid for the skin, you'll know that it's also classed as a skin-identical ingredient. Giving it similar properties and skin benefits. Which one you opt for is up to you. But, why not try layering them for optimal results? Apply your hyaluronic acid serum first, followed by squalane oil to lock in moisture and increase hydration.
Can you use squalane everyday?
Yes! You can use it in the morning or evening, or both! Daily use of squalane makes your skin less vulnerable to oxidative stress. Its non irritating and non-comedogenic so can be tolerated by most skin types.
Do you use squalane before or after moisturizer?
Before. The golden rule for applying skincare products is to start with the thinnest texture and finish with the thickest. This means after cleansing and toning apply your serums, which are generally water-based, followed by facial oils, then your day cream or night cream.
Can I use squalane and vitamin C together?
Seeing as squalane is such a great delivery system for other ingredients it's a great team player for your skin. A good vitamin C serum reduces dark marks and brightens the complexion. Now, if you pair this with squalane, which hydrates and protects against free radicals —a common culprit of dark mark and skin discolouration, you get maximum results from both products.
BEST SQUALANE FACIAL OIL
Here's a collection of some of my favourite squalane facial oils from clean beauty brands.
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil
Biossance 100% Squalane Oil
Timeless Squalane Oil
Timeless Squalane Oil
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Kim SK, Karadeniz F. Biological importance and applications of squalene and squalane. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2012;65:223-33. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-416003-3.00014-7. PMID: 22361190.
Kato S, Taira H, Aoshima H, Saitoh Y, Miwa N. Clinical evaluation of fullerene-C60 dissolved in squalane for anti-wrinkle cosmetics. J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2010 Oct;10(10):6769-74. doi: 10.1166/jnn.2010.3053. PMID: 21137794.