Squalene Vs Squalane

Squalene Vs Squalane

Squalene vs Squalane in Skin care products. Tomato, tom-ah-toe, potato, po-tah-toe…squalene…squalane… which is it?

This blog post and video is in response to the many questions we receive on our Instagram account.

Squalane is NOT the same as squalene. Squalane is a saturated derivative of squalene.

BOTH are lipids. Both are produced naturally in the sebaceous gland in humans. Human sebum contains up to 13% squalene.

It is also found in shark liver oil and some vegetables such as olive oil, palm oil, wheat germ, rice bran, etc.



Squalene is a hydrocarbon containing 6 non-conjugated double bonds. This basically means they are unstable and are more prone to oxidative damage.

Squalene is highly oxidative to atmosphere pollutants, ozone, cigarette smoke, and sensitive to oxygen. Free radicals are created in the skin after being exposed to the UVA and UVB radiation.

Some people will use squalene oil capsules on their face, so that they don’t have to buy the facial serums but they are NOT the same.

Here is an example: Squalene Moisture Complex

I don’t recommend doing this , especially to oily, acne prone and sensitive clients because when squalene is oxidized, peroxide is developed and this can instigate inflammation which can lead to:


-Hyper pigmentation

-Wrinkle formation

-Roughness of skin

The sebaceous glands respond to the oxidation of squalene by OVER PRODUCING OIL.

The result is imbalanced sebum composed of “peroxidation prone” squalene and glycerides.

Squalane is a derivative of squalene. It is the hydrogenation of squalene

Benefits of Squalane:

Squalane can provide antibacterial properties and can help keep the skin’s barrier remain intact.

When used as a skin care ingredient, it serves as an emollient and moisturizer. It is especially recommended for dry, rough, areas of the skin such as the elbows, knees, heels and feet. If you have dry, aging, skin, this may be an oil you may want to look into

Stay tuned for next week when we do a product review for The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane.

However, if you are looking into anti aging properties in this specific ingredient, this is not one known for anti aging properties such as :

Seabuckthorn Berry Oil

If you like product reviews here are some other products we have reviewed:

Hyaluronic Acid Gel vs The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2 +b5

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel-Product Review

Best Facial Oils for Dry Skin, Glowing Skin and Acne Skin

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