Why Vegan, Super Skin Moisturizer Squalane Should Be On Your Radar
Is it squalane or squalene? And why do you want it in your skincare routine? Here’s what you need to know about this ultra-hydrating ingredient.
Hyaluronic acid gets a lot of press, but it’s not the only ingredient that can really help increase your skin’s hydration levels. Lately, squalane is on everyone’s lips (and all over their bodies!) — it’s no wonder because it turns out it’s really worth incorporating into your skincare regimen. You may have also seen it written as “squalene” with an “e”. But it isn’t a mistake: “squalane” and “squalene” are actually two different substances. Time to get to the bottom of things!
Is It Squalene… or Squalane? And What Does It Do?
“Squalene, which is derived from shark liver oil, is a great anti-inflammatory moisturizer,” offers Dr. Glynis Ablon, the director at Ablon Skin Institute & Research Center and an associate clinical professor at UCLA. “It has antioxidants to help fight free-radicals, and therefore helps improved damaged skin, she explains. I just feel bad for the sharks!” Like hyaluronic acid, the compound is also naturally present in humans, but just like everything else, our production slows as we age. Apparently, squalene isn’t a stable molecule in its natural state. This is why in order to use the ingredient in cosmetics, it goes through a transformation process and gets turned into squalane (with an “a”), a more stable derivative.
To Dr. Ablon’s point, many companies have apparently started using plant-derived squalane so that we can all benefit from its effects without causing any harm to our shark friends. In most cases, squalane is derived from sugarcane or olives.
Who Should Use It?
Which skin types can benefit the most from squalane in their skincare? “Those who have sensitive, inflamed, or dry skin,” says Dr. Ablon. As we’ve already established, squalane is a good moisturizing ingredient, which already makes it covetable enough, indeed. The fact that it’s vegan and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties is icing on the cake! If you have skin issues like acne or eczema, it might be worth adding to your routine for its soothing properties. It is a natural emollient and helps soften your skin and keep dryness at bay. So, really, there is no reason we shouldn’t all be adding squalane into our routine—especially those of us with dry or mature skin. Apparently, not only can it be used on your face and body, but it is also beneficial for preventing split ends and adding shine to your hair!
While squalane is suited to all kinds of skincare products like serums and moisturizers, it’s also common as a simple oil.
Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream
I was recently introduced to Biossance products, a brand that includes their 100% plant-based sustainable and eco-friendly squalane in every single one of their products. I’ve been using this rich cream at night as the last step in my routine, and I’ve really noticed a difference as far as how moisturized my skin feels in the morning. It also boasts hyaluronic acid, omega fatty acids, shea butter, and ceramides, doesn’t leave my skin greasy, and feels luxe despite not having any scent. I can’t wait to try more Biossance products!
Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask
I’m a big fan of Laneige products—especially their sleeping masks, and this one, in particular, was a joy to use. Although I finished my jar a long time ago, I still think back to how comforting this mask felt on my skin at the end of my evening skincare routine. And little did I know that on top of the brand’s special forest yeast, the Cica Sleeping Mask also contains—you guessed it! Squalane. Its creamy, balm-like texture is the stuff skincare dreams are made of (mine, anyway), and it helped me wake up to soft, nourished skin in the morning.
Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater + Tremella Creamy Jelly Cleanser
Once you’ve discovered the virtues of using a cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils, it’s hard to go back to formulas that give you that squeaky clean feeling. On top of having a sweet name and creamy gel texture, this Herbivore cleanser sounds promising thanks to its low-foaming, pH-balanced formula that is designed to be suitable for all skin types, including people who struggle with irritation and dryness. Its super positive reviews speak for themselves!
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
The Ordinary is known for its affordable skincare products, and this 100% plant-derived squalane may be the most cost-effective way to add the ingredient to your routine. It seems like such an easy product to add to your existing regimen! You can also use it on your hair to help protect it from heat and give it some added shine. Did someone say “multi-functional”?
Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask
Youth To The People is a brand that’s been on my radar for a while, and the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask has me, er, dreaming of trying it. Containing vitamin C, squalane, and prickly pear, the formula is meant to replenish your skin’s moisture and fight free radicals while you sleep, brightening and firming it, too. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
Do you use any squalane-based products in your skincare routine? Which are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!