It seems that every year or so, there is ingredient that enters the spotlight as the “must have” product to help benefit the skin in one or more ways. Over the last few years, Squalene has gained popularity in everything from lip balms, topical serums, masks, moisturizers, cleansers, oils, eye creams, sunscreens, shampoo, and even deodorant.
What Is Squalene?
But what is Squalene for those of us just now catching up? Our skin naturally produces oil, or sebum each day. Sebum lubricates and moisturizes our skin and is comprised of fatty acids, cholesterol, wax, esters of glycerol, and . . . squalene. Hence, Squalene is a natural substance found in our skin’s sebum. As we age, our skin’s production of Squalene tends decline, which contributes to drier skin. Enter supplemental Squalene. Squalene can be combined into various skincare products to mimic the function of our own natural oils. However, there are two different kinds of this substance to be aware of: Squalene and Squalane.
Where does it come from?
Many consider the use of Squalene controversial as it is commonly produced and derived from shark liver oil, which raises some ethical questions. This substance has a relatively short shelf-life and can be used as an emollient on people with dry skin.
Squalane, on the other hand, is derived from Squalene sourced from the oil of plants like olives and sugarcane, to name a few, and is used more commonly in skincare products. This substance is more ethically sourced and has a longer shelf-life and is lighter and more ideal for patients with oily and acne-prone skin.
What are the benefits of Squalene or Squalane?
These are substances known as emollients, which act to form a barrier to trap moisture into the skin, resulting in increased hydration and softness. They are also considered natural antioxidants which have an array of benefits that include boosting collagen, lightening skin hyperpigmentation, reversing UV damage and reducing the appearance of scars and fine lines and wrinkles. Squalane is often used in skincare products because of these amazing benefits and is not likely to aggravate acne-prone skin.
Should you use products with Squalane?
Absolutely! Squalane has our stamp of approval as an additive in many wonderful skincare products such as retinols, Vitamin C serums, cleansers, and moisturizers to name a few. However, we recommend that when choosing a product with Squalane, be sure that is certified as 100% plant-based so that you can ensure that it was ethically sourced.
The Derm NP
If you have any skin concerns or would like to be evaluated virtually from the comfort of your own space for treatment of acne or many other common conditions, visit our portal to schedule your telehealth visit today. Our dermatology-certified nurse practitioner has over seventeen years of exclusive dermatology experience.