What Is Squalane? – Kaja Beauty

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What Is Squalane?

What Is Squalane?

Have you heard of squalane? If you’re not a scientist or paying close attention to what’s in your beauty products, you’re probably confused. Squa-what?

Squalane is a trendy ingredient in beauty products due to its ability to help soften, nourish, and moisturize skin. It’s an amazingly versatile ingredient that shows up in lip glosses, face oils, lotions, and so much more! Read on to find out what squalane is, where it comes from, and how it can be used. 

But Actually… What Is Squalane?

Our bodies naturally produce fatty oils to help keep our skin hydrated. One of the oils produced is squalene, which differs from squalane by only one letter! Squalene’s main purpose is to nourish our skin and help maintain its barrier. Our skin’s barrier is important to keep germs and other icky substances from entering our bodies, so it’s extra important to keep it protected!

Squalane (with an “a”!) is the hydrogenated version of our body’s oil that mimics the natural oil almost exactly. Extra hydrogen is added to squalene (with an “e”!) to make it more shelf-stable, which allows it to keep its benefits when added to beauty products.

Your body naturally produces squalene, but production drops off after age 30. Without this oil, your skin could become drier and less supple. As your body stops producing this, it’s especially important to add squalane into your beauty routine to help make up for the loss. 

Where Does Squalane Come From?

Squalene is actually found in high concentrations in sharks. I guess sharklene didn’t sound as good!

Because sharks swim in cold waters, they need extra insulation to stay warm. Their bodies naturally produce the fatty oil squalene to help line their liver and keep their bodies warm. This liver oil can be removed and hydrogenated to produce squalane to use in beauty products.  

If you’re a little freaked out about the idea of shark liver oil (ew) being rubbed on your skin or your lips, don’t worry. Most beauty companies are no longer using shark products to create their squalane. What a relief!

You don’t have to worry about your favorite beauty product using animal oil, as most companies now are getting squalane from plant oil. Olive oil is a popular source, as are other plants such as wheat germ and sugar cane. This allows many of the beauty products using squalane to remain vegan items. We like that much better than sharks!

How Does Squalane Work?

If you’ve ever had dry skin or chapped lips, you know how frustrating and painful that can be. Lotion or lip balm can help provide relief, but have you ever thought about how those work? When your skin or lips get dry, the outer layer of skin peels away which can leave cracks behind. In order to repair dry skin or chapped lips, you need to fill in these cracks. 

An ingredient called emollient helps fill and reduce the appearance of these cracks with a fatty substance to help smooth your skin or lips. An emollient is able to squeeze into these tiny cracks and keep moisture in your face. Think of an emollient as spreading butter on toast and allowing it to melt into the cracks. 

Squalane acts as an emollient in lip gloss, smoothing and hydrating your lips. The skin on your lips is extremely delicate, but squalane is gentle enough to add hydration without causing damage to the delicate skin. Sounds pretty amazing to us!

When added to a lotion or face oil, squalane serves the same purpose. It can help fill in the cracks on your dry face or body. Squalane helps provide moisture to your skin without being heavy and weighing your skin down. 

What Else Can Squalane Do?

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! It seems like all we’ve been discussing is squalane’s amazing ability to hydrate and moisturize your skin, but there are so many more benefits!

Squalane is also a natural antioxidant, which means it has the ability to help your body fight off free radicals. Free radicals can harm your body if too much build-up, so antioxidants are extremely important to keep the levels down. You might already eat certain foods or take a multivitamin to get antioxidants, but this is another way to help!

You might not realize it, but each day your skin is exposed to harm caused by the sun, pollution, and more. This pollution can dry out and damage your skin. Luckily, we have squalane to the rescue! It can help protect your skin from environmental damage and carcinogens. 

Collagen is a protein naturally found in our bodies that helps keep our skin firm and helps with nail and hair growth. Squalane and collagen go hand in hand to help maintain your skin’s appearance. Is there anything this wonder ingredient can’t do?

Where Can I Find Squalane in Beauty Products?

Now that you know all the amazing things squalane can do, you probably won’t be surprised to find that you can find it in many beauty products! With that many benefits, it’d be a shame to not include it. Some of the major products using squalane are listed below. 


Dry, chapped lips can be uncomfortable. If your lips are too dry, your lipstick can  clump up, which won’t allow for seamless application . Cracks in your lips also won’t let your favorite gloss go on smoothly. 

Nourished, hydrated, and healthy lips can help make all your lip products work much more effectively and make your lip product application much easier ! Squalane can be found in high-quality lip gloss to help soften your lips as they become glossier. What a winning combo! 

Lipsticks and lip balms can also include squalane as a moisturizing ingredient. You might have tiny cracks in your lips that you can’t even see. Squalane will help fill those cracks while adding your favorite color. 


Squalane’s benefits are so amazing that it would be hard to find a facial moisturizer that doesn’t include squalane. It can help your face to become hydrated and supple and give a youthful glow.

Other body lotions and creams will also include squalane for its moisturizing abilities. Especially in the winter, you might notice dry patches of skin on your hands, elbows, or legs. Choosing a lotion with squalane will help fill in these dry patches and any cracks in your skin. 

For extra dry skin, some people choose to use face or body oil. These oils provide more hydration than a lotion and are often full of squalane. If you checked the products in your cabinet now, I bet you’d find squalane in tons of them!


We focus a lot on moisture when it comes to our skin, but it’s also important to have hydrated and moisturized hair. Dry hair can break apart at the ends causing split ends and damaged hair. 

Hair products, such as serums or oils, often list squalane as an ingredient. As we mentioned earlier, squalane acts as an emollient to help fill the cracks, including in your hair! It can coat your strands with an oil that will keep them hydrated and smooth. Think of this as an extra powerful conditioner. 

The Importance of Ingredients in Your Beauty Products

When you pick out new beauty products, what do you use to pick products? Their cute advertising, perhaps? Or maybe how the packaging looks and how the lip gloss comes in just the right color. It’s almost important to factor in the quality of ingredients in your products as well. 

When you pick a beauty product that uses high-quality ingredients, you’ll be able to serve multiple purposes with one use. In addition to just the right shade of lipstick, you can also moisturize your lips and make them healthier. Instead of just defined and popping eyes, the right mascara can also nourish your lashes and keep them strong. 

Take a look at the products you already have and examine their ingredients. Make sure your product is serving dual purposes so you can get your money’s worth! If the product uses squalane or other beneficial ingredients, you know it’s a high-quality item that you can invest in. 

Who Knew Makeup Was a Fun Science Lesson?

Did you learn something new today? You should be pretty impressed by everything squalane does, as well as pretty impressed with yourself for learning so much!

Squalane is a wonder ingredient designed to mimic our body’s natural functions and provide extra assistance when needed. It’s a natural product that can be found in makeup, skin, and hair products to provide moisture, hydration, and nourishment. And best of all, it’s shark-free!



Squalane Benefits For Skin And Hair | Healthline

Squalane vs Squalene | Allure

What Is Squalane Oil In Skin Care? | Self

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