Skincare 101: Squalene/Squalane: What is it? How does it work? How do you use it?
Squalene sounds like a made up word. It makes me think I am in my very own Truman Show and maybe everyone is laughing at me for not realising it’s clearly not real. But I paid money for it all the same.
What is it?
An oil that occurs naturally in the human body (most in babies). The amount of it appears to decrease as we get older. It is also found in shark livers in large quantities – so if you’re vegan, double check the source as it can also be found in olive and palm oil. Its a big hydrator and can be taken as a supplement, too.
How does it work?
There’s two types: squalene and squalane. The former is the unsaturated oil which is unstable and frankly not much use for skincare. The latter is the hydrogenated version that is now a saturated oil, meaning it is much more stable (and will last longer). It means it has strong single bonds between molecules that can’t be interfered with by free radicals.
How do you use it?
Apply like any face oil, in the place of a moisturiser at the end of your routine in the evening (or before SPF in the morning).
It pops up in quite a lot of other skincare as an ingredient, too, so it doesn’t just have to be 100% oil.