Squalene is a great pick when it comes to skin hydration and emollients.
It’s an oily natural stuff that originally comes from shark liver but luckily it can also be found in a couple of plant oils. Olive (0.6%), peanut (0.1%) and pumpkin (0.35%) oils contain it, though not in huge amounts.
What contains more of it, is the sebum (the oily stuff) that our skin produces. About 13% of human sebum is squalene, which means that it’s an important skin-identical ingredient and NMF (natural moisturizing factor).
There is also research showing it has antioxidant properties.
On the negative side, squalene is less stable than its hydrogenated form squalane. If squalene is in the ingredient list look out for tubes and pumps that protect the product from air and light.
- European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, Volume 111 (5) – May 1, 2009, Squalene: A natural antioxidant?
- Advances in food and nutrition research., 2012;65:223-33., Biological importance and applications of squalene and squalane.