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Squalene is an oily liquid 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)

Chemically speaking, it is an unsaturated (has double bonds) hydrocarbon (contains only carbon and hydrogen) molecule, that can undergo oxidation. On the pro side, this means that squalene can act as an antioxidant (while its no-double-bond version sister, squalane cannot) that might be useful for dry skin types, but on the con side, oxidized squalene (called squalene peroxide) is thought to be a strong acne-trigger, that makes squalene less ideal for acne-prone skin.

Having double bonds, and being prone to oxidation also means that squalene is a less stable molecule with shorter shelf life, so its more stable and awesome sister, squalane shows up more often on ingredient lists. Read about squalane here >>

Show me some proof

  • 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.

Products with Squalene

Chanel Huile De Jasmine Cover fx Custom Infusion Drops F + Neroli Elizavecca Natural 90% Olive Cleansing Oil Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil ARGANICARE Anti-Aging Cream ARGANICARE Firming Night Cream ARGANICARE Nourishing Hydrator ARGANICARE Nourishing Night cream Vitamine C ARGANICARE Supreme Hydrator Cream for dry skin Argani Care Anti-aging cream Dr's Secret Skinrecon T4 Frank Body Everyday Face Moisturizer Lululun Precious Face Mask Green Manna Luxus Arcelixír MooGoo Blemish Cleansing Moisturiser ARGANICARE Olive Restoring & Firming Night Cream Amazinc! Mineral Sunscreen Lotion Spf 50 Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream Dewy & Bae Raw Glow Nourishing Face Serum Dr's Secret Eye Cream Lululun Moist Gel Cream Pharmamel Mel13 The Jojoba Company Ultimate Youth Potion Yara Botanica Age Perfect Facial Oil Ahava Mineral Mud Brightening & Hydrating Mask Babyganics Daily Lotion Biologique Recherche Creme Contour Yeux Et Lèvres Biofixine Ceramiracle First Night The Serume Dermadoctor Calm Cool & Collected Tranquility Cream Ere Perez Calendula Powder Foundations Ere Perez rice powder blush Goodin By Nature Fresh Start Cleansing Balm Gunilla Deep Skin Moisturizer With Ceramides Hada Labo Kouji Treatment Cream Hada Labo Kouji Treatment Night Cream Kiehl’s Nourishing Dry Body Oil PELLAMAR Biome Rationale Dna Night Cream Rohto Hadalabo Shirojyun Ultimate Whitening Cream Shea Moisture Cannabis & Witch Hazel Skin Rescue Facial Oil Spa Pharma by Arganicare Anti-Aging Serum Spa Pharma by Arganicare Anti-Aging Firming Q10 Serum Venusia Squalane Aloe Vera and Vitamin E Acetate Cream Vitaskin Vitamin A Rejuvenating Night Serum AN NiCE' Placenta Collagen Cream Ahava Apple Of Sodom Deep Wrinkle Filler Ahava Extreme Day Cream Arbonne Nourishing Facial Oil Dr. Scheller Argan & Amaranth Anti-Wrinkle Face Oil