In this month’s edition of Ingredient of the Month, we’re taking a look at one of the lesser-known plant-derived ingredients in beauty, Squalane Oil. If you’ve not heard of this unique skincare powerhouse before, read on to get a brief explanation of what it is, how it works, and who it’s for.
What is Squalane Oil?
Our bodies naturally produce a compound called squalene in the sebaceous glands. Squalene enhances the integrity of cells and reduces moisture loss, as well as being believed to have a host of potential medical benefits. Unfortunately, as we get older, the level of squalene produced by the body decreases, which is where squalane oil comes in.
The hydrogenated version of squalene, squalane oil has all the same benefits and can be applied directly to the skin. Because our bodies understand its chemical composition, it is absorbed and used easily, without irritation.
The oil itself is silky and glides on like as you’d expect from an oil, but absorbs quickly, leaving no greasy residue. Lightweight and incredibly hydrating, it can be used as part of your morning or evening moisturising routine.
Squalane oil can also be used on the face, body and hair.
Where Does it Come From?
Squalane oil has been used in eastern medicine for centuries. Originally harvested from the liver of sharks, today’s squalane oil comes from much more ethical sources.
Rice bran, amaranth seed, wheat germ, olives and sugarcane can all be used to produce a renewable, sustainable source of squalane oil. Thanks, science!
Who Can Benefit From Squalane Oil?
Squalane oil is one of those rare products that can genuinely benefit all skin types. It isn’t often that a skincare product is equally as well suited to sensitive dry skin as it is to acne-prone skin, yet squalane oil can claim both.
If you suffer from tight, scaly, dry skin which turns red if you so much as look at it the wrong way, squalane oil is a fantastic tool to have in your arsenal.
As well as increasing hydration and retaining the skin’s moisture, squalene oil is very lightweight. If you’re tired of heavy, greasy emollients, you might be surprised at how a few drops of this silky oil compares.
Gone are the days when oil was considered a no-no for acne-prone skin. Many of the products used to dry out acne are astringents, which strip the skin of its naturally beneficial oils. Your skin then goes into overdrive to replenish the oils, and so the cycle continues.
Squalane oil not only anti-inflammatory but is non-comedogenic and hydrates the skin without creating a skin barrier. This allows the skin to breathe, reducing the risk of blocked pores and breakouts.
In the endless battle to suit the needs of both oily and dry areas of skin, many of our allbeauty readers find that they have to prioritise one complaint over another.
The use of squalane oil helps to regulate excess oil production while still hydrating skin at a cellular level. Unlike many other moisturisers, squalane oil is able to promote hydration without creating an external skin barrier. This avoids the risk of blocking pores in oilier zones, making it ideal for combination skin.
Whether due to age or environmental factors, most of us will eventually experience fine lines and wrinkles. While it may not be able to turn back the hands of time, squalane oil can certainly improve the skin’s appearance.
Skin cell hydration is one of the key ways that squalane oil helps ageing or sun-damaged skin, as plump skin show lines less readily. Containing antioxidants, the skin is also protected against free radicals and oxidisation – both of which speed of the ageing process.