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Squalane vs Squalene – Know The Facts

The naturally occurring oil Squalane (i.e. ending with “ane”) helps amp up hydration and fights the first signs of ageing. While we have read about hyaluronic acid, retinol and niacinamide, therefore, squalane should be part of your skincare vocabulary and knowledge. Squalane is a saturated oil used widely in many skincare products today. It works as a moisturiser and helps increase hydration. Best of all, it has anti-inflammatory properties and can help combat eczema and acne.

In truth, squalane comes from a lipid that occurs naturally in your skin. It’s a chemical compound that makes up your sebum or the oil that’s secreted from your sebaceous glands. Squalane is an excellent moisturiser that helps slow down the signs of ageing. It can help prevent split ends of your hair. Squalane won’t clog your pores, but natural skin oils, dead skin cells, and bacteria can. When using squalane, it is recommended to use any serum or toner first, then layer with squalane to serve as a barrier to prevent moisture from leaving. Squalane can replace your daily moisturiser if you’re considering one less item to apply to your skin.

On the other hand, Squalene (i.e. ending with “ene”) is derived from shark liver oil. This lipid is stored mainly in the shark’s liver. This polyunsaturated lipid demonstrates some benefits for the skin, such as being an emollient and having antioxidant properties. It is also perfect for pumping up your skin’s hydration and anti-tumour activities. It also possesses anti-inflammatory benefits and can calm redness and inflammation.

However, squalene-based products are not only expensive because many countries have banned them. After all, it threatens shark species. Killing sharks is an entirely inhumane, wasteful and wholly unsustainable process. Many brands have vowed not to use shark-based Squalene, including Ponds, Boots, Dove, Sunsilk, L’Oreal, Vaseline, Lancome, Clarin, Sisley and La Mer, to name a few. Some people also avoid using it because it is comedogenic (i.e., it can clog pores) and is unsuitable for oily skin types. In recent years, through advancements in technology, plant-derived Squalene has been manufactured from olive oil. It’s safer and more humane because it does not kill sharks.

Squalane is made from hydrogenating Squalene (i.e. adding a hydrogen atom), thus making it firmer and has a higher melting point. Squalane is a byproduct of Squalene. Our bodies contain as much as 13% of Squalene. Squalane can naturally aid in all sorts of skin conditions since it’s already in our bodies.

Our skin type also changes as we age, especially in our thirties, when the skin’s natural oils start to decline or deplete. You can use squalane if you suffer from chapped lips or dry skin patches. Therefore, squalane is a safe bet as it leaves skin hydrated but not too oily, and you can use it regularly for extended periods. Squalane also prevents the skin from oxidative damage while giving you healthy, glowing skin. Squalane also helps to fade dark spots or any hyperpigmentation. It’s essential to stay consistent and be patient with your skincare methods. Therefore, consistency is critical, a golden rule in any skincare routine.