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Squalene and Squalane

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-11-17      Origin: Site

Sebum is a substance secreted by the sebaceous glands, which has a protective and moisturizing effect on the skin. (But too much sebum can lead to seborrheic dermatitis, such as acne, pimples, breakouts, dandruff, etc.)

As we age, the secretion of sebum decreases year by year, especially in women, the secretion of sebum decreases dramatically after the age of 25 and is very low over the age of 65.

Lack of sebum protection and excessive water loss from the skin can lead to dryness, itchiness, slowed metabolism, and a host of skin problems. Therefore it is necessary to replenish sebum exogenously.

Sebum contains many kinds of triglycerides, wax lipids, squalane, free fatty acids, cholesterol and other components.

After sebum is secreted to the skin surface with sebaceous glands, it has the effects of lubricating, moisturizing, softening hair, reducing water evaporation, providing antioxidant substances (squalene), and antibacterial.


In 1916, the Japanese scientist Tsujimoto discovered a new yellowish unsaturated hydrocarbon compound (hexahexaene) in the liver oil of sharks Ai-zamé and Heratsuno-zamé, which was isolated and identified as "Squalene".

Squalene is an important component of human sebum, widely distributed in human endothelium, skin subcutaneous fat, liver, nails, brain and other organs, and has a high concentration in human fat cells, accounting for about 12-20% of sebum composition, which can effectively promote biological oxidation and metabolism of the body. Whether the skin is hydrated , is also affected by squalene.

Each person can secrete about 125~425mg of squalene per day, with the highest amount of sebum secretion from the head.

For the skin, squalene plays many roles, such as a moisturizer, barrier protector, free radical fighter, and also inhibits sebum from undergoing a peroxidation reaction and slows down aging.

The most powerful ability of squalene is that it can fight against oxygen and radiation, and can effectively block the chain reaction of free radicals and inhibit sebum from undergoing peroxidation, thus protecting the skin from damage.

However, like sebum, squalene in sebum decreases with age.

Many people want to supplement squalene, but squalene is a very unstable and easily oxidized ingredient (squalane contains 6 non-conjugated double bonds, so it has strong antioxidant activity, but it is also extremely unstable and highly susceptible to oxidation) and cannot be directly applied in skin care products, hence its appearance - squalane.


Squalane and squalene are similar in structure and efficacy, and are more stable, so they can be made into cosmetics that can safely survive the shelf life and use period, and have good compatibility with other ingredients, so squalane is increasingly used in cosmetics to strengthen the repair of the epidermis, effectively form a natural protective film, and help the balance between the skin and sebum.

Squalane inherits the advantages of squalene, such as skin-friendly and good permeability, which can quickly melt with the sebaceous membrane and form a natural protective barrier. At the same time, it has low polarity and medium spreadability, and feels very good on the skin, and is pure, colorless and odorless.

Human sebum contains the equivalent of 10% squalene and 2.4% squalane. In addition, because the human body converts squalene into squalane, squalane is considered biologically active and has a very good safety profile.

Squalane is a natural sealant that is chemically inert, non-toxic, and has excellent skin-friendly properties that do not cause skin irritation. Currently, squalane is often used as a premium cosmetic oil ingredient in products such as creams, lotions, eyeliners, eye shadow creams and hair conditioners.

Types and sources of squalane

1. Squalane extracted from shark

The earliest squalane is made by extracting squalene from the liver of sharks and then hydrogenating it. However, there are not 3,000 sharks to produce 1 ton of squalane, which is far from meeting human needs. In addition, the massive hunting of sharks is damaging to the natural ecosystem of the ocean.

The European Union has banned the use of animal-produced squalane as a cosmetic ingredient after continuous protests from national animal protection groups. This raw material of squalane is scarce and expensive, and the effect is also the best.

2. Plant-derived squalane

In 1935, Thorbjarnarson and Drummond discovered squalene in olive oil and obtained plant-derived squalene for the first time.

Nowadays, many of the squalane on the market are made by extracting squalene from olive oil and then hydrogenating it, which is called plant squalane. Plant squalane and animal squalane have similar skin care effects and are less expensive, but still more expensive overall.

3. Chemical synthesis of squalane

There is another raw material that is chemically synthesized with the same structure as squalane, and the INCI name is hydrogenated polyisobutene. Hydrogenated polyisobutene is a synthetic polymer with moisturizing, hydrating and lubricating properties, similar to those of natural squalane, but much cheaper.

Effects of Squalane

1. Repair the skin barrier

Squalane is a lipid that is very close to human sebum and has a strong affinity, so it can blend with the sebum on the human body when used and can form a natural protective barrier on the skin surface.

2. antioxidant properties

Squalane also has antioxidant properties, so it can inhibit the peroxidation of skin lipids, and can penetrate into the skin to promote the growth and reproduction of skin basal cells. It has a significant effect on improving the elimination of melasma and delaying skin aging.

3. Nourishing and moisturizing

Squalane is a good emollient effect of oil, it can penetrate into the skin to play a role, but also in the skin surface to form a breathable and water-permeable protective film, moisturizing and nourishing effect is good.

4. Repair epidermis and cells

In addition to the above effects, squalane also strengthens the role of repairing the epidermis and damaged cells. It can make the pores of the skin open, promote the microcirculation between the blood, thereby enhancing the cell metabolism, to repair the role of broken cells.

Squalane for people

1. Skin prone to allergies

Easily allergic skin, more sensitive to external stimuli, not suitable for the use of irritating skin care products, so squalane is a good choice.

As mentioned earlier, squalane is a lipid that is very close to human sebum and has a strong affinity to not stimulate the skin, so skin that is prone to allergies can also be used.

2. Thin stratum corneum and red blooded skin

The stratum corneum is particularly thin, or have red blood, is a kind of resistance to weak skin performance, often caused by unhealthy sebaceous membrane.

Squalane can form a protective sebum film on the surface of the skin to help the skin resist external pollution and irritation and prevent moisture evaporation. Therefore poor resistance, thin skin can use squalane.

3. seasonal mixed dry, dry and mature skin

The more obvious feature of dry skin is that the skin is lack of water and oil, absorption capacity is poor, and easy to have fine lines and spots.

OnenessPoint is a premium supplier of squalane, and we will continue to cover this amazing ingredient in subsequent articles.

If you have any questions, please contact us via email or telephone and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


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