Squalane & Squalene whats the difference?

Squalane and squalene are the same thing. Squalane is a more stable version of squalene and the common choice for cosmetic formulators. Squalane is actually made by hydrogenating squalene. Hydrogenation is a process of breaking any double bonds that exist in a molecule and replacing them with hydrogen. This makes the resulting fat (lipid) harder and gives it a higher melting point. This means squalane has a longer shelf life and is much less prone to oxidizing.

The discovery ...

Squalene was discovered in 1906 by the Japanese researcher Dr. Mitsumaru Tsujimoto, an expert in oils and fats at Tokyo Industrial Testing Station. He separated the unsaponifiable fraction from the shark liver oil “kuroko-zame” and discovered the existence of a highly unsaturated hydrocarbon. Ten years later, Tsujimoto succeeded to obtain by fractional vacuum of the liver oil from two deep-sea shark species an unsaturated hydrocarbon, with the chemical formula C30H50, which he named “squalene” The name came from the denomination of the sharks' family: Squalidae.

Botanical Squalene

Squalene was also identified in many plant oils in different concentrations. Chronologically, the first vegetable oil in which it was found was:

  • Olive Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Grape seed Oil
  • Hazelnut oOil  
  • Peanut Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Camellia Oil
  • Milk Thistle Oil

A pseudograin Amaranthus sp., more recently introduced in Europe, is now known to be the plant with mostly the highest concentration of squalene in vegetal world, Amaranth Seed Oil.

How Squalene Helps Skin

Cosmetic Facts
In cosmetics and personal care products, Squalane and Squalene are used in the formulation of a wide variety of products:

Bath Oils // Hair Products // Eye Makeup // Foundations // Lipstick
Suntan & Sunscreen Products // Nail products // Skin Care Products
  • Excellent moisturiser and leaves skin hydrated, plump and soft 
  • Can help regulate excess oil production
  • Helps protect your skin from the free radicals that can cause photo-ageing 
  • Clinically proven to be non-irritating - making it ideal for people with sensitive skin  
  • Non-Comedogenic - that said any oil can be clogging it is personal to your and your skin
  • Naturally antibacterial 
  • Speed up the healing process while soothing eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

Scientific Facts

  • Sebaceous glands are small glands in the skin which secrete an oily matter (sebum) In humans, they are found in the greatest abundance on the face and scalp, although they are distributed throughout all skin sites except the palms and soles.
  • Squalene is one of the predominant components (about 13%) of sebum 
  • The human body produces its own version (known as squalene), but the amount made and retained in the skin decreases over time.
  • Squalene is thought to act as a lipid sensor for solar UV exposure, and as a photoprotective barrier for the hairless human skin against such oxidative stress, acting as a sacrificial target when other defense mechanisms are exhausted.
  • It peaks in our teens and then starts to decline in our 20’s, leaving skin rough, dry and vulnerable.
  • It is a natural hydrocarbon that is present in the skin, helping to prevent loss of hydration and to improve suppleness.
  • Ability to completely and rapidly penetrate the skin
  • Because it is a natural part of our sebum, it also enhances the penetration of other ingredients and is a useful drug delivery system.

CONCLUSION - Squalene's ability to be easily recognised by our skin enhancing it's penetration combined with it's low molecule weight and protective qualities makes this a valuable ingredient to add to your skin care routine. I have chosen to incorporate squalene via the addition of both Camellia and Milk Thistle seed Oils into our Hero product launching 2019.


Until next time..

be human | be kind | be you







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