Squalane, the big secret of the skincare world is about to have a moment. Not yet as well known as big hitters like Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C, Squalane is a very impressive hydrator and antioxidant in its own right. Here at Kiehl's we've been Squalane fans since the 1970s. Read on to find out more about one of our favourite ingredients.
What is Squalane?
Squalane is a highly-refined botanical lipid (or fat) with a molecular structure that is very similar to lipids (our natural moisturisers). With a natural affinity to skin, this lightweight lipid has many skin benefits, including absorbing easily without leaving a greasy residue and providing antioxidant protection. An effective hydrator, Squalane has traditionally been used to help protect the skin barrier and seal in moisture for softer, smoother skin. Like Hyaluronic Acid it is ideal for all skin types, especially dry skin and sensitive skin. For decades, Squalane has been used in skincare products formulated to help moisturise skin. Squalane is found in a wide range of formulas from lotions to body moisturisers to hair care, facial oils and serums.
Squalane or Squalene?
The eagle eyed among you may have noticed that Squalane is sometimes spelled Squalene, it's not a typo, the reason is that they're slightly different. Squalene is the moisturising lipid or fat that occurs naturally in our skin, it's plentifully available in our skin’s sebum until we hit our early 20s, when it begins to deplete and leave skin prone to rough and dry patches. Squalane is almost identical to Squalene but, it's derived from plants including sugarcane and olive, and crucially it's hydrogenated, otherwise it will oxidise - go brown, get more viscous and start to smell - not what anyone wants from their skincare! Squalane, has no odour, is clear and remains highly compatible with skin, and that's why you'll find it listed in your skincare ingredients often alongside moisturising agents like water, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E.
How Can Squalane Benefit Skin?
Squalane is a brilliant moisturiser that's suitable for all skin types, alongside maintaining optimum moisture levels it helps to repair the skin barrier function which means stronger more resilient skin. It's non-comedogenic - so it won't block your pores, making it a useful ingredient for blemish-prone skin and oily skin types too. It also has antioxidant properties and works to protect against environmental aggression from pollution, UV rays and irritants. It's a multitasker that deserves to be included in your daily skincare routine.
Squalane and Ageing
As we age, we produce less of the natural skin oils, also known as sebum, that help to moisturise our skin from within, which leads to dryness, loss of plumpness and fine lines. Luckily, a skincare routine that includes moisturisers such as Squalane can help to soothe the appearance of dry skin.
Beyond moisturising, Squalane benefits include promoting promote smooth, firm, and younger-looking skin, part of why we love infusing it into our unique and efficacious formulas.
Kiehl’s & Squalane
We first began using Squalane in our formulas in the 1970s. Even before we began formulating with this botanical lipid, we used to sell 100% Squalane in apothecary bottles in our old-world apothecary in the East Village. With our extensive experience with this ingredient, we continue to infuse Squalane into more and more of our formulas.
How We Source Squalane
At Kiehl’s we use 100% plant-based Squalane. From the initial sourcing through the final formulation, we have developed extensive safeguards to ensure that we are using a quality ingredient derived entirely from plants. Olives have been found to contain a large amount of Squalene as compared to other botanical oils making them a key source for developing Squalane. After pressing olives to obtain oil, the remaining is isolated and then converted to Squalene. The Squalene is then transformed into Squalane through a hydrogenation process. We also use sugarcane derived Squalane in many of our formulas.
Book an online or in-store consultation to learn more about products rich in Squalane and how they can benefit you. If you're looking to find the right routine for you, try our Instant Skin Reader. Developed with dermatologists, our skin analysis tool personalises the routine recommendation to your skin type and your skin’s needs.