Squalene vs Squalane – What’s the difference?
You’ve probably heard of the new skincare holy grail ingredient popping up everywhere – squalene and squalane! Most likely you’ve also wondered what it is and what the difference is between the two? And more importantly how does this wonder ingredient benefit your skin?
Squalene – What is it?
Squalene is a lipid found in almost all plants, humans and animals.
(What is a lipid? – Lipids are technically a chemical molecule or compound that does not dissolve or mix with water. For example animal fats and botanical plant oils and waxes.)
In humans, squalene is naturally produced by our bodies at around 12%. Production is high when we are young but starts to diminish as we age into our 30’s and 40’s.
How does our skin use it?
Our sebaceous glands use this squalene, along with other naturally produced oils, to help create a barrier to protect the skin. This is known as our sebum, the natural oils which our skin produces is a natural layer which helps to prevent moisture loss, regulate oil production and shields the skin from oxidative stress which can damage cells. This can be caused by UV light, environmental pollution, cigarette smoke etc. Our sebum helps to keep skin healthy and protected.
Squalene (with an e) while being important for skin health, oxidises incredibly quickly and loses it’s efficiency when exposed to air once extracted and thus needs to be put through a process of hydrogenation which turns the oil into a much more stable form which is Squalane (with an a).
Sourcing our Squalane
Previously the main source of squalene was from shark liver and marine animals. Now it is harvested from more ethical, renewable and sustainable plant based source – and our Squalane is from olives. This phytosqualane derived from olives is extracted and purified from olive oil production. Squalene can also be found in other botanical and nut oils, such as avocado, macadamia, wheatgerm and amaranth to name a few.
Squalane is a wonderful silky emollient and lightweight moisturiser due to it’s ability to lock in hydration and prevent water loss. It absorbs quickly without leaving a heavy or oily feel on the skin. It is said that it prevents the breakdown of collagen thus helping to keep skin supple and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Aiding in improving skin tone and texture by encouraging elasticity as well as evening the appearance of pigmentation, scars, sun and age spots.
It holds antimicrobial properties which makes it incredibly valuable for acne prone skin while being non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t block pores or cause breakouts.
Fantastic as your daily am/pm moisturiser or primer for a flawless makeup look.
Extremely lightweight, non oily, clear, odourless oil. Absorbs quickly. Silky finish.
Who should use it?
In short everyone! It is lightweight and hydrating for those with oily skin so as not to feel greasy or oily. It’s nourishing enough for those with dry or mature skin. It also works well for those with skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis etc or sensitivities.