Squalene vs Squalane: What's the Difference?

Squalene vs Squalane: What's the Difference?

The Difference a Letter Can Make

If you have been doing research into moisturizing skincare ingredients recently, you most likely will have come across the ingredient squalene. You also may have come across the ingredient Squalane. Yes, we are talking about a different ingredient!


The subtle difference in spelling is hugely important with these two ingredients. In this blog we will cover what the difference between Squalane and squalene is and why it is important to understand if you’re planning to incorporate it into your skincare routine.

Squalene VS Squalane

Woman using finger to apply white cream to her cheek


So what is squalene and what makes it different from Squalane? You can think of squalene and squalene as essentially the same thing, but produced differently. The purpose of the ingredient itself is the same, to moisturize the skin and seal in moisture, however the efficacy and shelf life of the two ingredients differ greatly.


Squalene is a compound that is produced naturally by the body, in the oil glands of our skin. More specifically, squalene is a lipid, which not only hydrates the skin and maintains the natural skin barrier, but also fights the effects of free radicals on the skin. Unfortunately, the natural production of squalene in the skin slows down as we age, most significantly after the age of 30. Along with the decrease in natural production of other compounds like hyaluronic acid and collagen, this leads to the natural aging of the skin and decreased hydration of the skin.


So what does all of this have to do with Squalane? In order for it to be usable in skincare products, squalene has to go through a process called hydrogenation to become Squalane. This is because squalene in its natural form would simply oxidize when it came into contact with the air and spoil, thus no longer being effective. The hydrogenation process allows the final product, Squalane, to be stable for use in skincare products.

Table showing the similarities and differences between Squalene and Squalane

Squalane in Skincare

Squalane has been shown to have great benefits for the skin, which has led to it becoming a hot topic in the skincare world. It moisturizes and softens the skin, locks in hydration, and regulates oil production. It also helps to soothe irritated dry skin and it is suitable for all skin types. Because it is a compound that is naturally found in the skin, people are highly unlikely to have reactions when using it. This makes it a great ingredient for anyone and everyone.


Olive branches against blue sky


The use of Squalane in skincare products has not always been so straightforward, however. Originally, Squalane was sourced from shark liver, making it an unethical and controversial choice for consumers. Due to the high content of Squalane found in shark livers, this was traditionally the most common method of sourcing the ingredient. However nowadays, Squalane is more commonly derived from plant sources, such as olives, rice bran and sugar cane. This makes it a great plant-based ingredient which has numerous benefits for the skin.

How to use Squalane

Incorporating Squalane into your skincare is quite simple. It is a gentle ingredient that is kind to the skin and doesn’t cause skin irritation. Our Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum is a great way to incorporate Squalane into your everyday skincare routine. It is a 5% niacinamide based serum that helps the skin retain moisture and includes Squalane derived from olives to provide that extra hydration for a natural glow. The serum is gentle enough to be used every day, in both your daytime and nighttime skincare routines.


Simply start your regular routine with cleanser, toner, and you can also use a hydrating ampoule before using the Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum. Once the serum is fully absorbed you can move onto moisturizer and if it’s your daytime routine, sunscreen of course!


Hand holding serum dropper with serum dripping out


Now you’re all set with the knowledge about Squalane, how it differs from squalene and how to incorporate it into your skincare routine. Are you already using Squalane in your skincare routine? Did you know there was a difference between squalene and Squalane? Let us know!

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