Why you need squalane in your body care regimen

Squalane has become a popular ingredient used in bodycare and skincare products. Is it vegan? What's it good for? Let's discuss this more.

Squalene and Squalane are similar ingredients, since one is derived from the other. They're both found in cosmetics because of their emollient properties and for their unique skin benefits. 


Squalene (with an "e") was originally derived from animals, shark liver specifically. But it's also found in plants. Squalene is found naturally in human sebum and its purpose is to lubricate the skin. An interesting fact is that Squalene constitutes about 12% of the human skin surface. Peak production of this natural moisturizer occurs in the teen years, with production slowing down in your 20s or 30s. As a result, your skin becomes drier and rougher. 

Squalene for cosmetics can be obtained by hunting sharks and extracting the oil from their liver. Because this ultimately contributed to their close extinction, more humane and sustainable ways of sourcing this ingredient can be found. 

Now, Squalene is derived from plants. Vegan sources of Squalene include olives, sugarcane, rice bran, wheat germ, and palm trees. 

Animal and plant squalene is too unstable to be used in cosmetic products. When exposed to oxygen, it can become rancid and spoil quickly. It must be hydrogenated into Squalane (with an "a"), which is a stable form of the molecule. 


Squalane is hydrogenated Squalene. This is the version that's mostly in cosmetics since it's more stable than Squalene. 

Although there are plant-derived sources of Squalane, there are still companies that use the animal-derived version since it can be cheaper than vegan options. 

Skin Benefits

Hydrated skin is ultimately healthy skin. So, when applied to the skin, it has amazing benefits. 

Adding squalane to the skin boost hydration and helps skin appear more vibrant and healthier. Regular use can also boost collagen production, resulting in firmer skin. Squalane is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties so it can reduce redness and swelling and soothe dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.