What are the benefits of squalane?

What are the benefits of squalane?

Written by the QV science community with contributions from Dr. Deshan Sebaratnam MBBS, FRCP, FACD.

With so many skincare ingredients being used in advertising and social media, it can be tough to identify what each is, let alone what they do for your skin. We sat down with dermatologist Dr Deshan Sebaratnam to break down the science of ingredients like squalane, dimethicone and more.

Watch our Science Says video to learn more with Dr. Deshan Sebaratnam


What is squalane?

Squalane is the stable form of squalene, a naturally-occurring component of human sebum1. Squalane is used in skincare products for its emollient properties. Traditionally extracted from shark liver oil, it is now more commonly obtained from olive oil, wheat germ oil, bran oil or other plant sources2,3.


Effects of squalene on the skin

  • Acts as a highly effective, non-irritating emollient: Squalene is quickly and efficiently absorbed deep into the skin, restoring suppleness and flexibility without leaving an oily residue or irritating the skin4,5.
  • Aids in skin hydration: Squalene helps to maintain skin hydration due to reduced transepidermal water loss (TEWL)4.
  • Possesses antioxidant properties: Subsequent to oxidative stress such as sunlight exposure, squalene functions as a highly effective oxygen-scavenging agent that prevents lipid peroxidation (reactive oxygen species ‘attacking’ and degrading lipids) at the human skin surface4,6.

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