By Hannah Wardle
Squalane is popularly used in skincare products for its skin-protecting antioxidant properties. It is a hydrocarbon derived from Squalene (with an ‘E’) through a process of hydrogenation.
Squalane can often come in the form of an oil, which might lead us to wonder whether it will clog the pores - and what the benefits of using Squalane in your skin routine are.
Does Squalane Oil Clog Pores?
Squalane makes an effective moisturiser for those with oily skin - yes, really! Though you might think that adding oil might make your skin even oilier or clog your pores, using oils like squalane oil on the skin can help to regulate sebum production and balance out the oils in your skin. Squalane is non-comedogenic, meaning it is highly unlikely to clog pores, which is great news for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
Squalene is also one of the major components which make up human sebum - that’s the oil naturally produced by your skin’s sebaceous glands. This means that it is able to mimic the skin’s natural moisturising oils, making it an effective moisturising treatment. It also has great antioxidant capabilities, making it effective at protecting skin cells from damage.
Squalene vs Squalane
Though only different by one letter, Squalene and Squalane are in fact not the same. The name you’re most likely to find on the ingredients list of skincare products is Squalane, with an ‘A’. But Squalane is actually derived from Squalene, a polyunsaturated hydrocarbon compound found in some vegetable and fish oils. It is found most famously in high concentrations in Shark Liver Oil, however, it can be sourced more ethically from oils like Olive and Rice Bran Oil, without causing harm to marine life.
How is Squalane Produced?
Squalane is derived from squalene through hydrogenation, a process which adds hydrogen to unsaturated squalene molecules to saturate them. This creates Squalane, which is more shelf-stable and less toxic for cosmetic and dermatological use; while Squalene with an ‘E’ can go bad and turn rancid when exposed to oxygen, Squalane has a longer shelf life and is safer to use on the skin. Squalane shares Squalene’s wide range of skin benefits, but is safer to use in cosmetic products and on the skin!
Why is Squalane good for the skin?
Because it already occurs naturally in the skin, Squalane is excellent at moisturising. It emulates the skin’s natural moisturising oils, making it easy for your skin to absorb. By adding moisture to the skin, Squalane oil can help it to remain full and vibrant in appearance.
As mentioned earlier, Squalane Oil can be an especially great moisturiser for those with oily skin. Using oils on the skin can help to balance out your skin’s oil production levels, and because Squalane is non-comedogenic, it is unlikely to clog pores.
Another great skin-protecting benefit of Squalene is its antioxidant capability. Oxidation is one of the main causes of damage to skin cells, so by preventing oxidation reactions, antioxidants can help protect skin cells and prevent their deterioration. Squalene has been shown to effectively protect the skin from lipid peroxidation, a form of oxidation which can occur as a result of UV exposure among other oxidative stressors.
Studies have also found Squalene to have anti-inflammatory properties, finding it helpful in treating some inflammatory skin conditions. Plus, its moisturising abilities can help to ease dry skin, which is a common symptom of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
How to Use Squalane on the Skin
Squalane is most commonly used for cosmetic purposes in products such as creams, serums and face oils. Our face oil combines Squalane with wild orange essential oil to give your skin an added Vitamin C boost! Apply your squalane-containing product to clean skin after toning for maximum hydration and skin protection.
There’s no need to worry about Squalane Oil clogging pores, as it is non-comedogenic which means it is highly unlikely to cause pores to become clogged.
Squalane can actually be a great option for those with oily or spot-prone skin, as it can help balance oil production levels, as well as moisturising the skin and offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
What’s your favourite Squalane product? Let us know in the comments below!