The key to healthy, bouncy skin is moisture. Squalane delivers hydration and protects your skin – especially during those dry winter months. This powerhouse ingredient comes in two forms: squalane and squalene. Keep reading to find out the difference between the two, how to incorporate it into your routine, and for some product recommendations!
What is Squalane?
Before we dive into things, it’s important to note that there are 2 very similar emollients*: squalene and squalane. Squalene is a poly-unsaturated hydrocarbon liquid that’s found naturally in many plants and animals, including human sebum (the oil our bodies produce). It’s one of the many natural lipids that our bodies produce to lubricate and protect the skin. Squalane is a derivative of squalene and is much lighter. It also has a longer shelf-life than squalene, making it more commonly used in skincare.
*Emollients: Lubricating agents that form a layer over the surface layer of the skin. These moisturize the skin by locking in moisture on the upper layers of the skin to prevent water evaporation.
Squalane vs Squalene
Both squalene and squalane are highly-effective emollients and natural antioxidants. While both are suitable for all skin types, squalene is heavier, making it great for extra dry or mature skin, while squalane is better suited for acne-prone and oily skin.
- Hydrates the skin: Squalane locks in hydration by creating a protective barrier on the surface of the skin.
- Suitable for all skin types: Squalane has amazing moisturizing properties that are beneficial for all skin types; from dry or mature skin to oily, acne-prone skin. Since it mimics what the skin naturally produces, squalane can help to regulate the amount of sebum the skin makes, helping with oil control.
- Supports the outer skin barrier: Squalane is a compound that we naturally produce. That means it is essential in supporting our skin barrier, ensuring our skin remains healthy.
- Calms redness and inflammation: Squalane is great for dry and irritated skin as it helps to calm redness and irritation. Its emollient properties help to ease dry patches and prevent fine lines.
- Antioxidant properties: Squalane is a natural antioxidant. It can lighten pigmentation, eliminate acne scarring, reverse UV damage, and fight free radicals.
Typically, using squalane does not have any side effects. Since it is a fairly neutral ingredient, it won’t react to other actives and will pair well with other ingredients.
Who Should Use It
Squalane is beneficial for all skin types:
- Dry skin: Squalane keeps skin hydrated and moisturized.
- Oily skin: It is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog the pores, and helps control oil production.
- Sensitive skin: It is a non-irritating ingredient that helps to calm inflammation.
How to Use It
One of the most sustainable ways to add squalane to your routine is to first find yourself a 100% plant-based oil. Once you find the right product, you can use a few drops on your skin daily. Beauty experts often recommend layering a moisturizer after applying squalane to help pull the squalane oil deeper into the skin, making sure all the good stuff is absorbed effectively.
Squalane works best when paired with other active ingredients. It pairs well with niacinamide as they both help to repair and promote a healthy skin barrier. It can also be helpful when introducing the skin to more aggressive actives such as retinol. Applying a layer of squalane first decreases the immediate contact of retinol to the skin, slowing down its penetration. This then cuts down on irritation, allowing the skin to build up tolerance for the ingredient.
These pure squalane concentrate drops are designed to give your skin some extra TLC when needed. It helps to soothe super dry skin, eczema or sensitivities. You can add 1-2 drops to your moisturiser for a daily boost, or use it directly on the skin as needed.
This facial oil is a pure blend of squalane and cannabis oil to keep the skin hydrated. Enriched with natural lipids and antioxidants, this oil reduces inflammation while restoring the skin barrier.
This non-greasy moisturizer is an intense barrier repair cream that is aimed at damaged, over-dried skin. The formula pairs squalane with niacinamide to soothe and restore the skin barrier, helping to restore comfort and suppleness to the skin.
This gentle, non-irritating cleanser is suitable for all skin types, particularly dry, sensitive skin. It targets make-up removal and leaves the skin feeling smooth and moisturised.
This perfect blend of retinol in squalane is a great product for first-time retinol users. As we all know, retinol can often cause dryness and irritation. The squalane offers hydration to eliminate the dryness caused by retinol.