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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 Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil Frank Body Everyday Face Moisturizer Lululun Precious Face Mask Green MooGoo Blemish Cleansing Moisturiser Dewy & Bae Raw Glow Nourishing Face Serum Yara Botanica Age Perfect Facial Oil Ahava Mineral Mud Brightening & Hydrating Mask Kiehl’s Nourishing Dry Body Oil Ahava Apple Of Sodom Deep Wrinkle Filler Ahava Extreme Day Cream TRUE BOTANICALS Moisture Lock Overnight Mask innisfree The Green Tea Seed Oil Ahava Extreme Firming Neck & Décolleté Cream Ascool Placenta Cream Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Barrier Lipid Complex Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Turbo Face Serum Marie Veronique Treatment Serum Valmont 24 Hour Hada Labo Gokujyun Perfect Gel Asarai Response Theory Serum Eva Naturals Vitamin C Serum Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes Skinfix Lipid-Boost Jelly Skinfix Lipid-Hyaluronate Serum Ahava Extreme Night Treatment PCA C Quench Antioxidant Serum Ruby Rose Base Soft Matte Sarah Chapman Morning Facial 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 SeneGence Nangai Oil 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 Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Essential Moisturizer Philosophy Pure Grace Urtekram Vanilla Shea Butter Lip Balm ZUII Organic Flora Gradual Tan Body Lotion ZUII Organics Flora Luminising Creme Dr. Medica Dermatological Anti-Acne Face Cream Jullai Super 12 Bounce Cleansing Oil Naobay Equilibria Gel To Milk Schaebens Vitamin C Konzentrat Skinfix Barrier+ Foaming Oil Cleanser Urtekram Shower Gel Children Organic