• Base Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 1
  • Iodine number: 1 – 2.7.
  • Cosmetic use: Skin softening and smoothing lipid component; hair care.
  • Shelf life: Up to 12 months.


Extraction of squalane

Squalene is a hydrocarbon and an essential component of the skin’s own hydro-lipid film. The name squalen is derived from the Latin word »squalus«, which means »shark« because squalen was originally only obtained from the shark liver. Nowadays, however, squalene is mainly isolated from vegetable oils. It occurs in various vegetable oils such as wheat germ, rice germ, avocado, and olive oil. Amaranth oil has the highest proportion of squalene with up to 8%.

For the cosmetics industry, the naturally occurring squalene is converted into squalane. Squalene has the disadvantage that it can oxidize like all unsaturated fatty acids and is therefore only durable for a short time. Through hydrogenation, squalene then becomes the saturated and long-lasting squalane.

Cosmetic use of squalane

Squalane, or squalane oil, is a transparent, odorless oil. At 5-12 percent, it is one of the main natural components of skin sebum, which ensures that the skin does not dry out. Squalane reduces transepidermal water loss and therefore provides a better-moisturized skin, in which fewer wrinkles are formed. The oil also reduces the oxidation of the skin’s own fats. As a radical neutralizer, the oil is able to convert radicals into molecular oxygen and thus protect the skin.

The oil also has excellent spreadability, which leaves the skin soft and smooth. It thus improves the spreading properties of an emulsion without forming a fat film and gives the emulsion a silky finish.

Benefits of squalane for skin

  • is absorbed quickly
  • does not leave a greasy film
  • natural component of the skin
  • protects against moisture loss
  • prevents wrinkles
  • non-comedogenic
  • non-irritant

Internal use of squalane

During the regeneration of damaged cells squalane acts as an accelerator and supports the regeneration of these cells. It also acts as an antioxidant and counteracts mutations during cell division. It is also said that it can prevent the development of cancer, but there are no clinical studies on this.

Buy squalane – what to consider?

Squalane is increasingly becoming a component of high-quality cosmetic products. Pure squalane can be sold freely and is used very sparingly. It is usually available in small quantities and is easiest to find on the Internet.

If you value a vegan product, you should make sure that the squalane is of plant origin. To make the origin from vegetable sources clear (and not from animal sources like sharks), some manufacturers also use the name Phytosqualan.

Sources: Krist, Sabine (2013): Lexikon der Pflanzlichen Öle und Fett. Vienna: Springer Verlag. | Braunschweig, R. (2020): Pflanzenöle - über 50 starke Helfer für Genuss und Hautpflege. Wiggensbach: Stadelmann Verlag.

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