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Squalane: Our best friend if you have dry skin

Squalane: Our best friend for dry skin | blog |


What is it?

Squalane became something of a beauty buzzword a few years back, and this ingredient has since lived up to the hype and become a favourite of many – and a particular friend if you suffer from dry skin. This natural lipid helps to hydrate your skin and keep your oil levels balanced. Derived from animal or plant-based sources, squalane is more stable than squalene (more on this later) and therefore the preferred ingredient in skincare. 

Want to know a little more science behind it?

To get to know squalane, it’s good to start off with a little introduction to squalene (notice the tiny spelling change): a compound that’s produced naturally by our sebaceous glands. And yes, those glands are best known for being the place that sebum comes from. In fact, sebum is made up of wax esters, triglycerides, and squalene. Sebum has unhappy connotations when it comes to skincare – you may associate it with pimples rather than glowing skin – but that’s not entirely fair. While a sebum buildup can cause trouble, it plays an important part in keeping the skin’s outer layer moisturised, and forming a protective barrier. 

Squalane, the hydrogenated version of squalene, provides the help that skin needs to keep that barrier intact.

How does it help your skin?

Rajani Katta, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with a specialisation in sensitivity and allergic reactions, cautions that there’s still little research into all of the benefits that squalene may be able to offer. But, a squalane user herself, Katta is willing to vouch for its moisturising benefits. "Because of the fact that it’s such a strong lipid, it should help lock moisture into the skin,” she says to Self. “I'd feel comfortable recommending it for that purpose."

Is it for you? If you already suffer from very oily skin, probably not. But if you have dry skin that needs some help keeping all the moisture in and staying radiant, this ingredient may be just the thing. 

WHERE ITS FOUND: Olives, rice bran and sugar cane

BENEFITS: This powerhouse ingredient locks in moisture for healthy, balanced and radiant skin. Squalane is suitable for all skin types, but its antibacterial properties make it that much more ideal for acne-prone skin. If you use it regularly, squalane can increase collagen production, leaving you with firmer skin.

SHOP PRODUCT: Active Brightening Facial OilRetinol Renew SerumAlpha Arbutin Serum