Since The Ordinary put it on the map, Squalane oil is EVERYWHERE.
Seriously, check your skincare product. I dare you find one without squalane in it. Not that I’m complaining… This oil has a lot going for it.
It’s fast-absorbing. Non irritating. Non comedogenic… It literally works for everyone. But… what it is that it does, exactly?
Let’s unravel the mystery! Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about squalane oil:
What The Heck Is Squalane?
Squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene.
WTH? In English, please, Gio.
Squalene is a natural component of human sebum. Your body makes it. But you can’t put it in skincare products. It’s too unstable and goes bad quickly. When it does, it makes you breakout faster than you can say “zit!”.
So scientists hydrogenate it, i.e. turn it from a liquid to a semi-solid (using hydrogen gas in the process). This extends its shelf life and makes it last longer.
P.S. Years ago, the squalane used in skincare came from shark livers. But now, most brands use squalane derived from plants (mostly olive). Phew!
Squalane Oil Benefits: What Does It Do For Skin?
Yo’ve guessed it, Squalane oil is super moisturising.
Because it’s so similar to human sebum, your skin absorbs it straight away. It doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind. If you’re tired of oils that stay on the surface of your skin for ages and make it shiner, you’ll love this.
Once on your skin, squalane strengthens the skin’s protective barrier so that moisture stays in and germs, pollutants and irritants stay out.
When your skin’s protective barrier is damaged, all hell breaks loose. Skin dries out to a wrinkled old prune. Everything it comes in contact with irritates it. Pimples rear their ugly heads.
But reinforce the protective barrier and everything changes. Now that skin has all the moisture it needs, it plumps up so your wrinkles look smaller. Its texture is super soft. Its glow comes back.
I know I’ve said it a thousand times, but hydration is the foundation of skincare. Without it, all your antiaging efforts are worthless.
When it comes to hydration, squalane oil is hard to beat.
Related: If Your Skin Is Perfectly Hydrated, Do You Need To Worry About Antiaging, Too?
Does Squalane Have Any Side Effects?
That’s the best part. Squalane is safe for EVERYONE. It’s NON irritating and NON comedogenic.
A lot of natural oils can cause irritations, especially in sensitive skin. That’s because olive oil, lavender oil, chamomile oil & co are made up of hundreds of different substances. Yep. For real.
Some of these substances are good. They give these oils their moisturising and antiaging properties. But others – like fragrant components – can be irritating.
Squalane is a simpler oil that’s pretty much identical to human sebum. Your skin instantly recognises it without throwing a tantrum.
Don’t take my word for it. Studies show that squalane is non-irritating up to 100% concentration. Now, that’s not something you can say about any ingredient.
Squalane is also one of the few oils that won’t give you pimples. It’s safe even for fungal acne!
The real side effect is that Squalane lacks antioxidants. If you’re looking for an oil that fights wrinkles, this ain’t it.
Related: How To Prevent And Treat Fungal Acne
What Are The Best Skincare Products With Squalane?
- Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil ($34.00/£32.00): available at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Net-A-Porter, Nordstrom and Sephora
- Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment (£85.00): available at Cult Beauty, Net-A-Porter and SpaceNK
- The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane (£5.50): available at Asos, Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty
- The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% In Squalane (£4.90): available at Adore Beauty, Asos and Cult Beauty
Related: Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment Full Review
The Bottom Line
Super moisturizing, squalane oil works for ALL skin types. It makes skin softer and smoother, plumps up wrinkles and brighten skin WITHOUT giving you pimples or irritations. Too bad it doesn’t have antiaging properties, too.
Have you ever tried squalane oil? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.