Squalane is the most amazing ingredient for your skin that you’ve probably never heard of. If your skin needs more hydration or moisture (and who’s skin doesn’t, especially this time of year), squalane rich products are what you need.
If you're struggling with a thirsty "winter complexion" or patchy areas of flaky skin, the solution is squalane oil for dry skin.
It’s a game changer for all skin types, whether you’re struggling with adult acne, rosacea, eczema, dry skin, sensitive, reactive or mature skin. Squalane props up your skin’s protective barrier, sealing in moisture. A damaged skin barrier means that your skin leaks it's precious water content, leaving it dehydrated and vulnerable.
Combine squalane with minimally processed beeswax to form a soft, protective cocoon over your skin and the result is a complexion transformed instantly to soft, dewy and healthier looking.
When I mention squalane to people, I’m usually greeted with one of three reactions:
- Huh, what is this word of which you speak?
- Eeek, shark liver!
- Ugh, isn’t that some sort of toxic chemical?
What the heck is squalane?
Squalane is a liquid wax produced from either olive oil, sugar cane or shark liver! At Nubeean Noosa we obviously choose to use squalane from olive oil rather than shark livers.
It’s used extensively in skincare as an amazing 'mega hydrator'. It slips down & squeezes between the cracks in dry skin, where it acts as a barrier to lock moisture into the skin and keep it looking plump and juicy.
Although it’s usually referred to as an oil, squalane is technically a wax ester. It’s a clear, odourless oil that feels light and non-greasy. It’s absorbed quickly into your skin, leaving it feeling smooth and silky. It’s safe for oily skin as well as being wonderful for dry and dehydrated skin.
Because it helps to create a protective barrier over skin, squalane is ideal for sensitive and reactive skin too.
Squalane vs squalene
Squalene (with an e) is the wax ester that makes up around 12% of your skin’s natural oils. However, it’s very unstable when used in skincare, prone to going rancid and blocking pores. When squalene is converted into squalane (with an a) via a process called hydrogenation, it becomes stable and the pore blocking issue is resolved.
What’s this about shark livers?
Shark livers are incredibly rich in squalene, in fact they’re such a rich & plentiful source that squalane from sharks is about 30% cheaper than squalane extracted from olives.
Squalane is used in cosmetic products from lipstick through to shampoo and is in high demand because of its ability to hydrate and protect the skin. The insatiable appetite for squalene and squalane from the cosmetic industry is believed to be responsible for deaths of around 2.7 million deep sea sharks per year. There is currently no law requiring manufacturers to disclose whether the squalane used in skin and cosmetic products is sourced from shark livers or from the more ethical but expensive olive and sugarcane. It’s probably safe to assume that if a manufacturer does not state whether the squalane in their products is derived from olive oil or sugar cane, that it’s sourced from shark liver.
Personally, I’d rather live with dry winter skin and wrinkles than resort to using an ingredient sourced from the murder of animals such as sharks. At Nubeean Noosa we are committed to creating ethical and sustainable skincare that’s as good for your skin as it is the planet, which we all share.
We use 100% olive oil sourced squalane in our skincare products. Our focus is on creating a healthy skin and gut microbiome and it really is a case of ‘as above, so below’ – if we care about the microscopic critters living on our skin, it would be extremely hypocritical to use ingredients that endanger the bigger critters in our oceans.
I’ve heard that squalane is dangerous?
Squalene (with an e) is used as an adjuvant in some medications given as injections. An adjuvant is an agent that is used to trigger a heightened immune response. Some people believe that squalene is the ingredient responsible for conditions such as Gulf War Syndrome.
While this is a highly controversial subject (and beyond the scope of an article about dry & dehydrated skin), injecting a substance into the body is a completely different kettle of fish to rubbing it on your skin.
Squalane (with an a) is a VERY safe, stable and low allergy ingredient when used in skincare, it is not associated with allergic reactions or skin irritation.
Why is squalane so good for dry skin?
Squalane is a superstar ingredient for dry and dehydrated skin. It helps eliminate the visible signs of dry skin and creates a protective barrier to keep moisture locked in and improving hydration. Both oily and acne prone skin can be affected by dehydration, making squalane beneficial for these skin types too. In fact, because squalane is so similar to the natural squalene found in your skins sebum, it can help to regulate oil production in oily skin.
Confused about dry vs dehydrated skin? Read our blog The Complete Guide to Dry vs Dehydrated Skin
Skincare products that contain squalane are recommended for anyone using retinol and glycolic/lactic/salicylic acid.
Finally, squalane also has natural anti-inflammatory properties and increases skin cell turnover by around 34%. Faster skin cell turnover means brighter smoother skin with reduced appearance in lines and wrinkles. Increasing skin cell turnover is also important for helping to reduce the appearance of acne scars, pigmentation and blemishes.
OK, I’m convinced. Gimme some squalane to banish my dry skin. Tell me what I need to order
A must have for anyone suffering from dry winter skin. This delightful blue serum is rich in squalane from olives, organic blueberry seed oil, blue tansy oil and minimally processed beeswax sourced from healthy hives on the Sunshine Coast. The smell of blueberry seed oil combined with blue tansy is refreshing and stimulating. Ideal for mature skin. Suitable for all skin types.
The ultimate in minimalist skincare, our Honey Probiotic Cleanser has been formulated with just three ingredients – Australian honey, probiotic extract and olive squalane. Dual action cleanser: use on dry skin to gently exfoliate and stimulate, add water to activate the natural antimicrobial properties of honey. Rinses clean with warm water. Safe to use on all skin types, including as a soap free cleanser for dry skin on babies.