Ingredient: Squalane

INCI: Squalane

Sources: Olive Oil and Sugar fermentation

Our rating: GOOD

What is Squalane:

Squalane is hydrogenated form of squalene, a naturally occurring component of various oils from plant and animal sources. As a hydrocarbon, squalane is resistant to oxidation, which makes it a valuable ingredient in skin care formulations. And as a 100% saturated oil, it is more stable than squalene thus ideal for use in skincare products with a designated shelf life.

Squalane together with squalene is also found in human sebum. The body’s squalene levels are highest when a person is in his early 20s before declining rapidly thereafter.

Historically, squalane was derived from animal sources such as shark liver. Since the EU ban on shark squalane export for cosmetics, most squalane used in personal care formulation today is derived from olive oil or sugar fermentation.

Benefits of Squalane:

Squalane is colorless, odorless and non-comedogenic – does not clog pores – making it a versatile ingredient in product formulation for most skin types. Acting as a barrier between the skin and the environment, it protects the outer layer of the epidermis while concurrently helps the skin to better retain moisture. It is used as an emollient (skin softener), moisturizer and lubricant in personal care products such as facial cleansers, eye creams, lipsticks, bath oils and sunscreens.

Research has shown that beyond hydrating and softening the skin, squalane may also be effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Various studies are also being conducted for the antioxidant and UV-protective properties of squalane.

Side Effects & Toxicity:

An extremely safe ingredient, squalane has no known toxicity in general use and is shown to be non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin.

Editor’s Note:


While most squalane in personal care products is derived from plant sources, always make it a point to push for brands and manufacturers to declare their sources. Look out for indicators such as 100% plant-derived or vegetable-based from sources such as olives, rice bran and amaranth seed.

We do not support the use of animal-derived squalane.


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