Squalane vs. Squalene

Are Squalane and Squalene the same thing or not? Well, kind of.

Both elements are natural components found within our own human sebum. This is the skin’s organic way to coat & protect skin from environmental aggressors, pollution, free radicals, or any other icky airborne thing that’ll want to edge its way into the epidermis and raise havoc on your snappish collagen & elastin. Both Squalane & Squalene are found in some popular carrier oils – Rice Bran, Wheat Germ, Olive, but sometimes they are derived from shark liver oil. Yes, hunters went on the prowl to encapsulate shark Squalene for health reasons. The Japanese were the first to use Squalene in their beauty cosmetics, however, the controversial ingredient has fallen quickly out of favour with American brands due to its weird origins & possibly unethical extractions.

Now, for some science speak. Squalene is highly unstable as a cosmetic ingredient no matter what original source it’s derived from. This is because it is a double bond molecule, which means it’s got a very short shelf life and so is quick to oxidize or spoil. On the other hand, Squalane’s intricate faction is that it is not a double bond molecule, so it is much more stable as a cosmetic ingredient. Squalane actually a shelf life of over 2 years and does not oxidize quickly with exposure to air as the ratios of fatty acids and Squalane are very similar to those of sebum. Squalane is alaso botanical lipid that is the same in molecular structure and weight to human lipids (scientists found that the skin's sebaceous glands synthesized approximately 10-12% Squalane). Today’s more commonly used Squalane is plant-derived as opposed to the animal-derived (shark liver oil) of years ago. Produced from olives, the valuable lipid is extremely compatible with the skin and is safe for all skin types, though Squalene may may be comedogenic & not suitable for acne skins.

Did you know that Squalane, naturally present in the skin and increasing during adolescence to a peak at about age 25 (although recently this has dropped to 23) and drops rapidly thereafter. And by the time we are 50, natural Squalane production can be as low as 5%. From some point in your late 20s, some replenishment is required, hence the need to supplement your skincare regimen with a face oil extremely generous in its Squalane content. Some of its benefits include:
  • Permeates at a rate of 2mm per second
  • Boosts Cell Regeneration and Oxygenation
  • Helps prevent age spots, UV damage to skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and retain moisture
  • Heals chapped /cracked skin
  • Brings Antibacterial Properties
  • Imparts relief to dehydrated and ultra-sensitive skin
  • Softens the most rough-textured skin and leaves no oily residue
  • Counteracts conditions of eczema, psoriasis, and post-operative skin.
  • Is highly stable
  • Can be applied throughout the day to soften dry, scaly spots.
  • Used under make-up as a primer to maximize the effects of moisturizers.
  • Packaged at 100% concentration and sold as a serum type product.
Whatever you choice, the lipid is certainly prized for its penetrating& healing merits.