Squalane is becoming increasingly popular in skincare. It is the hydrogenated version of squalene meaning that it is stable and does not oxidise. Most squalane used in cosmetics these days is sourced from vegetable matter, usually olives who naturally contain very high levels of squalene, which is then hydrogenated to make squalane.

Squalane posses oil-like properties, but it doesn’t feel oily, this is part of it’s appeal. Human sebum contains squalene, which explains why squalane is so quickly absorbed, over time the body produces less and less squalene which is what makes squalane interesting for anti-aging (do notice the attention I am paying between making sure I correctly differentiate between squalane and squalene, it ain’t easy!).

I first became aware of squalane as an ingredient in 2010 where I was looking to use it in a formula for haircare.

In skincare it penetrates the skin very deeply improving the look of fine lines. There are also claims that it is non-comedogenic. In the age of layering skin care, it should be no surprise that more and more pure squalane products are popping up in the market. Anything that is labelled as 100% squalane is pure squalane and regardless of the differing prices, they are the same thing. The best comparison product I can think of in everyday use is granulated sugar. Regardless which brand you buy, or what price you pay, they are the same thing, they work the same way, they do the same thing.

There is therefore no need to pay over 30 USD for an ounce from one brand versus paying 10 USD from another brand. You can be frugal when shopping for squalane and you will get exactly the same thing.

In particular I would like to highlight Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil™ 100 percent Purified Squalane which retails for 38 USD per ounce. Squalane is a pure cosmetic ingredient, there is no need to advertise with it being purified. This price is 4 times the price of the same product made by a competitor, it is exactly the same thing. Indee Lee also has a Squalane out retailing at 32 USD per ounce.  And this is where I get concerned about the integrity of brands.  In some areas there are comparable products around which can greatly vary in quality, like for example Vitamin C Serum.  I would like to think that when I buy one from these brands I am getting a super high quality product for the high price I pay, but now I am not so sure.

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