It’s the ingredient everyone’s talking about. Squalane, heralded for its deeply moisturising properties, is a hot topic in the world of skincare. A natural substance found in plants, it mimics your skin’s natural oils, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even helping in the treatment of skin problems like eczema and acne.
So, what exactly is squalane and how does it differ from the similarly named squalene? (Confusing, we know). In this post, we take a look at how squalane is made, its nourishing properties, and how it can help stressed skin of all types.
Squalane vs. squalene – is there a difference?
Squalane with an ‘a’ and squalene with an ‘e’ are commonly confused. These aren’t interchangeable terms, though; there’s a key difference between the two.
Squalene is produced naturally by the human body. It’s a lipid (a biomolecule that is insoluble in water) and is generated by the skin cells, acting as a natural moisturiser. So why do we need to apply moisturisers if our body can naturally generate its own? Unfortunately, the amount of squalene our body produces declines as we get older. In fact, the body’s production of squalene peaks as early as our teenage years.
With squalene production slowing down from our 20s onwards, our bodies need a little help to combat dry, rough and flaky skin. This is where squalane comes in.
Squalene isn’t only produced by humans. The natural moisturiser can also be found in rice bran, olives and sugarcane, and is harvested to be treated and transformed into squalane. Squalene is an unstable property that can spoil quickly when exposed to the air, so it’s important that squalene is hydrogenated to be included in skincare products. The resulting product is squalane; a skin-friendly oil made with the more stable form of the molecule our body naturally generates.
Squalene can also be found in shark livers. While some manufacturers of squalane products continue to harvest this natural substance from sharks, it has raised important conversations about the ethical and sustainable acquisition of squalene and the environmental impact of using this ingredient. At Juana Skin, the squalane we use in our products is ethically sourced and 100% plant based.
The benefits of squalane
With the body’s built-in moisturising system needing a bit of support, squalane is the perfect ingredient to introduce to your daily skincare routine. While some people take squalane as a supplement, it’s also present in a range of topical creams, ointments and balms.
Your body recognises squalane and knows what to do with it, making it a highly effective emollient. Emollients work by filling in the dry, flaky gaps in your skin with fatty substances (lipids), hydrating your skin, and making it softer and more vibrant.
Squalane has been shown to protect your skin from carcinogens and works as a natural antioxidant; fighting skin damage and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dry patches, and skin blemishes. Regular use of squalane in the morning and at night can also boost your body’s collagen production (the structural protein found in the body’s connective tissues), making your skin more supple and resilient.
Can squalane help acne or oily skin?
It’s a common question. With squalane mimicking your body’s natural oils, it can seem counter-intuitive to apply an oil-based product to oily or acne-prone skin.
Despite being an oil, though, squalane is lightweight and noncomedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog the pores. This makes squalane a great alternative to other oil-based products, as it’s not heavy or greasy on your skin, rather it’s a natural substance your body recognises and can use.
Can squalane help eczema?
As a rich and natural emollient, squalane products are non-invasive and effective on dry skin, making them safe for use on eczema. With its anti-inflammatory properties, squalane can soothe a range of other inflammatory skin problems, too, including psoriasis, dermatitis, and rosacea.
How squalane can intensify the effects of CBD
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an active ingredient derived from the hemp plant. An all-natural substance, it can be effectively used to treat stressed skin, regulate your immune system, and improve cell production, mood, appetite and sleep.
A recent study has found that, when mixed with CBD, squalane can intensify the positive effects of CBD for a bigger ‘before and after’ skin transformation. When combined, squalane acts as a ‘carrier oil’, delivering 10 to 40 times more CBD to the epidermis (the skin’s outermost layer). This is why we recommend using products containing both plant-based squalane and farm-fresh, full-spectrum CBD to balance your skin, mind and body the natural way.
At Juana Skin, we believe in nature, we respect science, and we understand that inner balance is the key to outer beauty.