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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

Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil MooGoo Blemish Cleansing Moisturiser Dewy & Bae Raw Glow Nourishing Face Serum Yara Botanica Age Perfect Facial Oil Kiehl’s Nourishing Dry Body Oil innisfree The Green Tea Seed Oil Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Barrier Lipid Complex Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Turbo Face Serum Marie Veronique Treatment Serum Valmont 24 Hour Asarai Response Theory Serum Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes PCA C Quench Antioxidant Serum Manyo Factory Midnight Regenerating Cream Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Intensive Brightening Regimen 15% Red Flower Plum Blossom Silk Cream Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Micronutrient + Hydro Mask TRUE BOTANICALS Renew Pure Radiance Oil Urtekram No Perfume Baby Body Lotion Organic Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser Peter Thomas Roth Laser-Free Resurfacing Eye Serum Marie Veronique Treatment Oil Philosophy Pure Grace Jullai Super 12 Bounce Cleansing Oil Schaebens Vitamin C Konzentrat Urtekram Shower Gel Children Organic Yuri Pibu Grante Cleansing Oil High Beauty High Expectations Cannabis Facial Seed Oil SkinMedica Retinol Complex 1.0 Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm Paula's Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Moisturizer Snowberry Simply Delicious Moisturiser Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Primer Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence SkinMedica Tns Essential Serum HydroPeptide Face Lift Advanced Ultra Light Moisturiser SkinMedica Tns Eye Repair Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Serum (Supernatural Collection) Lululun Plus Mask Fresh Red Trufora Day Serum 85 Juice Beauty Signal Peptides Firming Serum PCA Rejuvenating Serum Novexpert Vitamin C The Peeling Night Cream Verso Lip Serum By Verso Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask Argan Hydrating And Detoxifying Treatment My Beauty Diary Squalene Sheet Mask Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Lift & Firm Moisturizer Hey Honey Colloidal Gold & Honey Beauty Mask
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