You have heard of aloe vera and probably know all about hyaluronic acid. You also know that retinol has been one of the buzzwords in the skincare world for a couple of years. But have you heard of squalane? What exactly is it, and why has it gained so much attention? In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about squalane—from its origins to its benefits and how to incorporate it into your skincare routine. Let’s go.

In the simplest form, squalane is a powerful ingredient that hydrates and repairs skin. While the list of squalane benefits goes on, here is what is so special about this flagship ingredient.

What is Squalane?

Squalane is a versatile skincare ingredient that works wonders for your skin in multiple ways. It acts as an emollient (a type of skincare ingredient that helps to soften and smooth the skin by preventing moisture loss) and also restores suppleness. 

One unique aspect of squalane is that it’s a modified form of squalene, one of the key components in our sebum (oil). Since it makes up about 12% of human sebum, its chemical composition allows it to blend seamlessly with our skin, ensuring quick absorption without any greasy residue besides its sebum-like nature. This is because it’s an ingredient skin naturally knows how to use. 

Squalane is a hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, colorless ingredient that will not irritate your skin, while its texture is soft and it will not clog the pores of your skin. So light, yet so powerful!

Squalene vs. Squalane

Squalene, spelled with an “e,” is a type of fat that skin cells naturally produce. However, as we age, our body’s ability to produce it declines.
The peak of squalene production your body makes usually happens during your teenage years, but as you reach your 20s or 30s, this production slows down. Consequently, your skin tends to feel drier and rougher over time.
However, there are ways to increase your levels of squalene and thus replenish moisture in the skin with food and cosmetics.

Benefits of Squalane for the Skin


Since squalane is a natural component of sebum, it strengthens the skin barrier and helps the skin to retain moisture. It also helps your skin stay clean of impurities and pollutants. Squalane-based moisturizers are ideal for every skin type, but especially for dry skin.


Beyond the moisturizing properties, squalane doubles up as an antioxidant. The antioxidant benefit of squalane helps shield the skin’s natural oils from lipid peroxidation (which is a process that damages the skin’s surface and even reaches deep into the pores where oil originates). This has been linked with helping acne-prone skin.


Research has shown that squalane is also a detoxifier which helps with removing impurities, toxins and dead skin cells that may clog your pores.


Known as an effective antioxidant, squalane fights free radicals and slows down the aging process. The way it does that is by penetrating the skin deeply and distributing itself perfectly over the entire surface, which helps in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. With regular use, it will help boost collagen levels which results in firmer skin.

Products like FOREO SUPERCHARGED™ Serum 2.0 contain squalane as one of the main ingredients in their formulas because of all these amazing benefits. 

Formulated with 91% natural origin ingredients and free from harmful additives, this serum combines the power of hyaluronic acid, electrolytes, ceramides, and squalane to firm, renew, and replenish skin. 

It is developed specifically for use with FOREO’s BEAR™ range of microcurrent devices; however, SUPERCHARGED™ Serum 2.0 alone is a great skincare product that nourishes and hydrates your skin, combats dryness and fine lines.

FOREO SUPERCHARGED Serum 2.0 in an abstract space surrounded with colorful drops of serum

Anti-stain treatment

Squalane is also a great ally for unifying the complexion by helping your skin to eliminate imperfections, spots, or scars. Therefore, it is one of the often-used ingredients in anti-stain products and treatments.

Other Benefits of Squalane

Hair Protector

Using squalane for hair is one of the best things you can do when it comes to hair care. It gives your hair a silky and non-greasy touch while helping to strengthen the hydration of the scalp. Your hair will be revitalized, shiny, and beautiful.

Texture Agent

It is often used as a texture agent in many makeup products, such as lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, or foundation. It gives a natural finish without an oily shine, and it makes the application of certain products easier and smoother. Also, the pigments of the makeup product are better-distributed, thanks to squalane.

Squalane and Oily Skin

When you have oily or acne-prone skin, the number one thing you may do is avoid oils and oily products. However, squalane is safe because it is non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog your pores or cause breakouts. In fact, research has shown that squalane has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and swelling caused by acne and even other skin conditions such as eczema. 

Squalane is also antibacterial, making it perfect for skincare for acne-prone or eczema-prone skin. It purifies the skin while regulating excess sebum production.

Where Can You Find Squalene?

While it is found in the human body, interestingly, squalene isn’t unique to humans; it’s also found in olives, rice bran, and sugarcane. Additionally, it’s harvested from shark livers.


Squalene can be found in olive oil, rice, sugar cane, palm oil, or beets. It is extracted from these plants and cereals through a process called distillation, which involves heating the raw materials to separate the desired compound, allowing the isolation of squalene.

Shark Liver

Squalene, found primarily in shark liver, is the source material for squalane. While there are many less barbaric ways of supplying it, many manufacturers still use shark liver as the main source. So, before you start using a product, do your research and check if it is cruelty-free.

Hydrocarbon Synthesis

Synthetic squalane, an alternative to naturally occurring squalene, is also produced through a complex process involving the transformation of hydrocarbons into synthetic molecules of squalane. This process usually involves various chemical reactions to make a synthetic form of squalane that acts like the natural one.
This synthetic form of squalane is widely used in industries like cosmetics and skincare due to its stability and compatibility with different formulations.

In summary, squalane is a fantastic ingredient that offers many benefits. Whether it comes from sources like olive oil, rice bran, and sugarcane or made synthetically, squalane helps keep your skin hydrated, protects it from damage, and fights signs of aging. Just be aware that some products might still use squalane from shark liver, so it’s worth checking if you prefer cruelty-free options. Overall, squalane is here to stay.