Squalane is a popular ingredient and for good reasons. It is a nice emollient that is absorbed by the skin and seems to occur naturally in the skin. This emollient is unlikely to be comedogenic and is compatible with every skin type. 

While I was preparing this post I went to my beloved Pubmed to fetch more info about squalane and guess what there is basically nothing about squalane. 

One of the oldest papers that I came across was about lipids on human skin from 1989 and they have used squalane as a based for their moisturizer. Surprisingly, I’ve found only one article mentioning that squalane naturally occurs in the skin, despite all the hype online. However, its analog Squalene is well studied. 


Squalene is an interesting lipid that has pros and cons. It naturally occurs in the sebum at 13% on average. It is important to note that in our skin we have the epidermal lipids and the lipids made from the sebaceous gland. Sebum is linked with acne. 

Squalene has been extensively studied in humans. It seems to be a precursor of cholesterol. Many properties were reported about squalene. 

Squalene seems to be a natural UV filter for the skin and provide some degree of protection. It could protect the other skin lipids from peroxidation and would act as an antioxidant. Those data are quite robust. 

There are also reports to show how squalene and squalane are both beneficial to maintain skin hydration as they are fantastic emollients.   

However, squalene can undergo photodegradation to UV exposure. The degraded squalene is thought to be involved in Acne by triggering inflammation. However, squalane is the hydrogenated form of squalene and doesn’t undergo peroxidation which more indicated in skincare formulation. 

An interesting feature of squalene is that it is only found in the sebum. Squalane may naturally occur but there is a lack of scientific literature. Still, squalane is a fantastic emollient that is not greasy at all. 

Watch my video to know more.  

Thank you for your time. 



I only quote a few articles but not all the ones that I’ve read to make this post. It is to credit the authors that have helped me the post to make this post. 


DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-416003-3.00014-7 


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