What is Squalane and Why Are All the Beauty Brands Using it?

You may have noticed that your favorite beauty brands are releasing products with a name that sounds like a medical condition — squalane. Squalane is the opposite of a health problem; this substance is a natural hydrocarbon that already exists in our skin. Squalane is sold as a moisturizer by beauty brands because its role in our skin is to retain hydration and improve the fullness and glow of our skin. This stuff works. I specifically dab a little squalene on my cheekbones before heading out for the instant summer glow appearance it yields.

Squalane exists in plants such as olives and rice bran, but some people obtain it from shark liver oil, so when you take advantage of this new beauty brand favorite, be careful to choose product sources that keep your skincare cruelty free. Just know that squalane and squalene are different substances — the former being derived from the latter. Squalene is what you have before hydrogen is added to create squalane; this substance is not something you want on your skin, as it’s quick to spoil upon encountering oxygen and will clog your pores.

What makes squalane such an important part of your skincare routine is the way it interacts with your skin. This substance has a molecular structure like our skin’s, allowing it to go deeper into the skin to add moisture and balance oil production. Speaking from personal experience, once you apply this luxurious oil to your skin and see the glow it leaves right after, you won’t miss your current moisturizer for a minute. Squalane creates this coveted glow by increasing the blood circulation in our skin, leading to plumped up skin and higher collagen production. If it sounds like squalane is a gold mine for anti-aging skincare, you’re right on track. Squalane is a powerhouse for keeping signs of aging at bay — it fights the free radicals that cause our skin to deteriorate with age.

Don’t fear putting oil on your skin if you’re acne-prone; squalane has become so popular precisely because it can also reduce the inflammation associated with skin troubles like eczema and acne. As someone who suffers from rosacea, I can attest to the calm that squalane has brought my redness-prone skin.

Are you running out to buy your first bottle of squalane? We hope so. Once you experience that supple, glowing skin, you won’t ever go back.

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