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What Does Squalane Do for Skin? The Surprising Answer

by Ella Goodman 07 Mar 2024

OK folks, it's time we have a real talk about skincare and one magic word: squalane

Hang tight, because we're about to dive deep into not-so-obvious knowledge about this unsung hero. 

Dare to delve into squalane's world and level up your skincare game!

What does squalane do to your face?

Let's get a little scientific to grasp why squalane is so good for your face. 

It closely mimics the natural hydration system of your skin—known as sebum. 

With an almost identical chemical structure, squalane can easily "skin" its way into your cells. Once inside, it is welcomed as a comrade and not a foreign agent. 

This mutual respect aids in boosting the hydration game, and voila! Your skin feels alive, dewy, and completely nourished.

Next stop, antioxidants. 

This is where squalane becomes the knight in shining armor on the battlefield of your face, helping to protect it from the onslaught of free radicals. 

These free radicals, formed due to exposure to pollutants, UV rays, and other environmental stressors, are notorious for stripping away the life of your skin. They do this by causing inflammation, uneven skin tone, and wrinkling. 

If taken lightly, these can leave your skin looking more like a crinkled prune than a fresh peach. 

But fret not, squalane is here to the rescue. 

As a potent antioxidant, it neutralizes these free radicals, ensuring they do no harm. Regular use of squalane can keep your skin feeling refreshed and glowing, defending your facial citadel against any potential oxidative stress.

But the gifts of squalane don't stop there. 

This Omniscient Oil (yup, we should totally trademark that) also has compelling anti-inflammatory properties, which can help detox your skin and cease breakouts in their tracks. 

In other words, it's the perfect antidote to acne. Moreover, with its anti-bacterial traits, it’s like an invisible army fighting off the microorganisms that could cause future flare-ups. 

Finally, let's talk about collagen. 

It's that marvel that keeps the skin plump, firm, and elastic. As time goes by, the production of collagen begins to decline. 

But here's the good news - Squalane can intervene once again. 

Repeated application may help stimulate collagen production, ensuring you retain that plump, youthful look. Talk about serving fresh-faced beauty!

Now, are you ready for the cherry on top? Squalane is wonderfully weightless. 

Yes, unlike most oils that leave an annoying greasy residue on the skin, squalane absorbs quickly and leaves no trace behind, effectively working as that silent ninja correcting, protecting, and brightening your skin, while you sleep or conquer your day.

Well, it seems our skin has found a true ally in squalane. An emollient, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory hero, stimulator of collagen production, and a lightweight skincare superhero. 

To recap: It fights skin dryness, wards off harmful free radicals, boosts collagen production, and does so while feeling feather-light. 

That's squalane for you. It’s not the alien ooze that its name makes it sound like, but a certifiable skincare powerhouse!

Is it OK to use squalane everyday?

Indeed, the question of the hour— is it OK to use squalane everyday? 

An emphatic yes from us! 

Squalane has the charm of being as indispensable as your favorite pair of jeans or that perfect cup of coffee in the morning. 

Why, you ask? 

Let’s dissect the science.

And we’ll start with a closer look at exactly what this stuff is.

Squalane is a hydrocarbon derived from squalene, a natural compound produced by our own skin cells. 

But the twist in the tale is this— as we age, our skin's squalene production wanes, taking a toll on our skin's hydration. 

And voila! Here’s where squalane steps in.

Packed with the power to mimic your skin's natural oils, it offers a hydration boost and promotes a youthful glow. Yes, say goodbye to those telltale signs of aging! Or at least reduce them.


What's more? Squalane doesn't play favorites— it’s a friend to all skin types. 

Whether your skin is as dry as the Sahara or as oily as a slice of New York-style pizza, squalane can bring balance and vibrancy to your skin. It's the all-accommodating party guest who gets along with everyone!

And for those of you with sensitive skin doubling as minefields, ready to break out at the slightest provocation— rejoice! Squalane prides itself on being non-comedogenic, meaning it won't stage a coup and block your pores. 

Instead, it's a humble, respectful guest that will leave without causing unnecessary mess or drama. 

The result? You’re less likely to experience those unwelcome skin eruptions or acne breakouts.

Skin protection is another feather in squalane's cap. 

It acts like a knight in shining armor against environmental stressors. Consider it your very own skin-bodyguard, fighting off damaging free radicals and preventing moisture loss. Daily application will help keep your skin’s defenses strong and steady.

So, can you use squalane every day? Absolutely! 

Think of it as turning up the volume on your skin's favorite soothing tune. It won't harshly blare out, disturbing the peace, but rather play a harmonious melody that your skin will thank you for. 

Integrating daily squalane use into your morning ritual or your evening relaxation routine can indeed be a game changer for your skin health.

Not just that—versatility is another of squalane's virtues. Use it as a stand-alone moisturizer, combine it with your favorite foundation for a dewy glow, or cocktailing it with other skincare products. 

The possibilities are endless, much like the roles in a Shakespearean play. How romantic!

Cap the day with squalane's gentle touch or kickstart your morning with its hydrating hug. It’s as enthused about being part of your PM regimen as it is about greeting the sun with you.

Should I apply squalane before or after moisturizer?

Moisturizer is an essential part of your routine, ramping up the hydrating energy—but not before the squalane solo has had its standing ovation.

Saturated with hydrocarbon goodness, squalane boasts the ability to mingle and bond with your skin's own lipids. 

This superstar ingredient, derived from squalene (note the subtle 'e' to 'a' name flip - this actually denotes a crucial molecular shift from being unstable to fully stabilized), is not just a fleeting skincare trend, but rather the archetypal rockstar of oils, harmonizing with your skin's natural rhythm.

The limelight awaits this lightweight, non-greasy performer which is biocompatible and mimics your skin's own oils. It sinks deep into your skin's layers, smooth as a power ballad on vinyl, helping impart moisture, replenish dull cells and boost your skin's natural barrier against outside variables. 

Its hydrating skills are its main act, but as we’ve seen, its antioxidant properties render it a skincare virtuoso. It scavenges free radicals like an eager groupie, helping thwart oxidative stress and premature aging. 

Applying this crowd pleaser first, before the drum roll of your moisturizer, is a well-conceived strategy based on the understanding of molecular sizes and the laws of chemistry. 

In the absorbing world of skincare, the science dictates that smaller molecules penetrate skin better than larger ones. 

Squalane, with its smaller (let’s call it a bass-treble) molecular structure, infiltrates your skin more readily, especially when it gets to groove against a fresh, clean face.

Following the opening act, it's time for the thunderous debut of the next performer: your moisturizer

Think of it as the drum solo that sets the stage ablaze post the maiden performance. 

Your moisturizer not only offers its own hydration harmony, but also cleverly encapsulates the squalane beneath it, effectively trapping the oil and securing its mighty mollifying powers within your skin's layers. This allows for a more prolonged and intense hydration concert within your skin.

The moisturizer's molecular structure being larger than squalane's means it works on a different level, both alleged enemies and allies of these smaller molecules. 

In the case of allies such as squalane, the moisturizer creates an encompassing barrier preventing the oil from evaporating away, instead forcing it to do a deep dive, amplifying its beneficial features. As a result, you'll be left with the front row feels of a deeply moisturized, supple and radiant skin.

Now that you've had a backstage tour of the precise sequence of this skincare gig and its leading stars, it's time for their encore. 

To bring it back full circle? Apply your squalane before your moisturizer, not after.

Savor the bigger picture informed by little molecular details and engage in careful layering for that maximum headlining performance. In the domain of skincare, details like these aren't just filigree, but play a crucial part in the choreography of an efficient routine.

Is squalane better than hyaluronic acid?

Debate around this question is like an elegant Viennese waltz; they don't compete but rather, harmoniously weave around each other to enhance the overall beauty. 

Think of squalane and hyaluronic acid not as contenders in a boxing ring but rather as two components of a world-class symphony, each offering their unique melody.

Now, let's dissect this scientifically. 

Squalane, produced either from olive oil, sugarcane, or even shark liver (yup, not our cup of tea, but that’s a thing), is an emollient moisturizer par excellence. 

With its astonishing power to mimic your skin's natural oils, it harbors the knack of softening and smoothing your skin, reducing roughness and patchiness while also creating a protective barrier. 

This master locksmith can seal moisture in so it doesn't escape, counteracting dryness and promoting supple and hydrated skin.

Conversely, the point of strength for hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally occurring in the body, lies in the domain of hydration. 

In fact, HA is a humectant, so mighty that it can draw in and conserve water like a magnet on steroids. Think of it as those magic beads that swell in water; each HA molecule can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. 

This prodigious capability translates into an impressive benefit on our skin: it facilitates intense and lasting hydration, endorsing a plump, dewy, and youthful appearance that's downright irresistible.

Pondering over which one to choose is like asking whether your car needs an engine or wheels.  Both are distinctly beneficial and necessary—but for different purposes. 

So why not let them join hands (or molecules, in their case) and work together for a common cause - your flawless skin? 

Pairing squalane with hyaluronic acid combines the protective, smoothening qualities of the former with the intense hydrating property of the latter. 

This dynamic duo envelops your skin in a hydrating and smoothing cocoon, transforming it into a canvas of radiance, softness, and well-sustained hydration. It's a bit like an all-hands-on-deck approach to skincare.

So, here's the crescendo to our waltz – it's not about squalane replacing hyaluronic acid, or vice-versa. It's about harnessing the unique strength each brings to the table – selecting the golden nuggets from each to form a winning team tailored to you. 

Allow squalane and HA to harmonize on your skin, for an orchestra of benefits. 

So the next time you ask "Is squalane better than hyaluronic acid?", remember that the question isn’t quite right. It's not about rating one over the other, but about blending the two skillfully, letting the symphony play and enjoying the melody of nourished skin.

Now we’ll raise a squalane mask to that.

And on that lovely note, my dear glow-getters, happy skincare-ing!

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