Squalane is a naturally occurring compound that is found in several varieties of plants and animals. It is also found in humans as a part of sebum. Squalane may be produced chemically by the hydrogenation of squalene, of which it is a saturated form. Squalane is inert in nature and that makes it very useful in cosmetics as a moisturizer and emollient. It is especially popular in anti-aging cosmetics. It does not have the properties of an irritant and is also low on toxicity which makes it a great ingredient for skin care products. It is stable against oxidation. Squalane has a very high melting point of 203 degrees Celsius and low coagulation point of -55 degrees Celsius which makes it a great lubricant.

The most common source from which squalane is derived today is shark liver oil. The centrophorus artomarginatus or Aizame shark lives in sea waters typically 600 to 1000m deep, where no traces of sunlight can be found. It has been discovered that the liver of this species of shark is a rich source of squalene (unsaturated squalane), which enables it to survive such harsh conditions of low oxygen supply. This unique fish has also been found to be immune to several diseases including cancer. Olive oil is another known source of squalane.

As mentioned before, squalane does naturally occur in the human sebum which keeps in supple and lubricated. However, the level of squalane in the sebum is highest during youth and starts to deplete rapidly around the mid-twenties. This has made it a very popular and much sought-after ingredient for skin care. Some have gone far enough to tout it as a ‘miracle in a bottle’. Squalane can be absorbed by the skin quite easily. It is a natural emollient and extends suppleness to the skin without making it feel greasy or unpleasant. Especially when applied to freshly washed skin and hair that is subject to sun exposure, it is known to restore all lost essential oils.

Even before the introduction of squalane to the skin care segment, scientists have been studying it for its various other health benefits. It is now being sold in the form of squalene/shark liver oil as an oral dietary supplement. The findings of many studies conducted on squalane as a supplement are published on the internet and show several possible health benefits. It is said to help in the deactivation of free radicals that are produced by exposure to UV rays. Squalane supplements can assist in the flushing of soluble toxins from the body in the form of waste during excretion.

Topical squalane is a colorless and odorless emollient oil. Armed with a long shelf life, it is a great conditioner, causing relief to people with chapped and dry skin. Squalane products are recommended and for the treatment of skin conditions such as dermatitis or eczema. Some people use squalane on nail cuticles to keep them soft and prevent cracks at the tips of the fingers. Squalane oil may be massaged on the face before applying moisturizer or make up and it is a great type of ‘primer’. Since it smoothens out wrinkles and fine lines, make up application becomes easy and effortless. Other benefits of squalane include protection of the skin from dust, wind and smog and elimination of rough patches that form at the elbows, knees and feet.

Several major brands manufacture and market squalane across the world. For external application it is sold in the form of a serum as well as moisturizer. Some other names associated with commercially available squalane are ‘shark oil’, ‘deep-sea oil’ or simply ‘skin oil’. There are several fake products available that claim to include squalane as an ingredient. It is therefore important to choose products from a reputed brand, containing squalane derived from olive oil or shark liver oil with a concentration of three to five percent.

Last updated on Apr 30th, 2010 and filed under Skin Care. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Squalane”

  1. Squalene oil says:

    I didn’t know anything about squalene oil until my Japanese friend told me. Squalene oil seems to be a very popular skin care product over there. I have been using squalene oil for treatment of my eczema, and I am surprised with its effect.

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