Over the summer, I discovered the beauty of Squalane. Back in the day, when my mother had her health food store, we sold squalene, and we stopped selling it because of the nature of its source, which were sharks. Not to be confusing but shark squalene is only one source of squalane. There are plant sources, and I will get to that.
Anyway, back to this summer, I was having some sort of issue with acne on my skin (not just from mask wearing but something was off). I don’t have acne very often on my face so it usually means it is something new I am trying. I decided to experiment with using neat oils (alone no blends or mixes). I have always loved argan oil, but it’s a little heavy to use alone. I tried several oils and finally found a favorite, Squalane.
I fell in love for a multitude of reasons. So let’s take a look, stay with me, because I have decided to add this beautiful oil to the QuickSilverHair family of products.
First, let’s understand where squalane comes from:
What is Squalene?
Squalene is a natural precursor for the synthesis of all plant and animal sterols (cholesterol and steroid hormones inside the body.) The highest concentrations in animals are usually found in the liver.
Squalene was first discovered by Japanese researcher Dr. Mitsumaru Tsujimoto, in 1906. Dr. Tsujimoto was an expert in fats and oils; he extracted Squalene from the livers of sharks, Squalidae is the shark family scientific name and how he named the oil.
Squalene has since been found in most forms of life on the planet. In fact, Squalene is as ancient as life itself. An essential substance of cells, it has been found in the very first cells of the first living organisms on earth.
What is Squalane?
Squalane is hydrolyzed squalene. Hydrolyzing it increases its shelf life and stability in formulas.
Squalane is a clear moisturizing oil that mimics the sebum found in sebaceous glands. Squalane oil is very soothing, moisturizing, lubricating, and protective to the skin while rarely causing any irritations.
What is the difference between Squalene and Squalane?
The myth out there is that squalene comes from sharks, and squalane comes from plants.
- Squalene is produced by all animals and most plants.
- Squalane can come from ANY form (plant or animal) of hydrolyzed squalene.
Humans are born with an abundance of squalene in their blood, as with most things though; it starts to decline after the age of 30. The human liver synthesizes squalene in the liver and secretes most of it through the skin (sebaceous glands). It makes up about 10-12% of human sebum, thus its popularity in the cosmetic industry.
Could this be what helps make a baby’s skin so soft and supple? And why our skin gets so dry and loses its suppleness as we age? It seems, it is one contributor, alongside the lack of collagen in the skin as we age.
Squalene and Squalane in the Cosmetic Industry
Squalene became highly sought after in the supplement and cosmetic industry because of its ability to mimic natural sebum in skin and on hair. Sharks are the richest source of squalene and have some of the highest concentrations of squalene in their livers to keep them buoyant and provide energy, which makes their squalene cheap and easy to obtain; and sadly, inhumane.
In addition, squalene is unstable, the cosmetic industry found that when you hydrolyzed squalene into Squalane it became more stable blended into formulas and the shelf life increased.
While plant based squalene is much more time consuming to extract and therefore more expensive. The time consumption and expense is getting easier and better as we discover more plants with higher concentrations. This is amazing news for those of us who find great benefit in the oil and even better news for sharks.
Benefits of Squalane for Skin:
- More stable than squalene, so better suited to skin and hair formulations
- Noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores)
- Nontoxic (low acute toxicity), actually showing detoxifying properties
- Safe for all skin types (oily or dry)
- Actually helps regulate skin oil production
- Sebum mimicker
- Natural emollient (moisturizer)
- Protects skin from free radical oxidative damage
- Rapidly absorbs into skin without a greasy feeling
- It helps lock in moisture, especially beneficial for our skin as it ages
Benefits of Squalane for Hair and Scalp:
- Soothes dry flaky skin and scalp (from conditions like inflammatory acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and rosacea)
- Nature’s silicone, can be used like silicone based hair serums
- It helps lock in moisture, especially beneficial for our silver hair
- Helps protect and strengthen damaged hair
- Provides heat protection for hair, because it is stable at higher temperatures.
- Clear oil so it is unlikely to stain white hair.
Why I Love Squalane and Why I added it to the QuickSilverHair Family of Products:
- It just sinks in.
- Doesn’t clog pores or cause acne.
- Leaves my skin feeling smooth and hydrated.
- Great for restoring moisture to dry-desert-living skin.
- I love it for my hair as a replacement to silicone based serums.
- It helps smooth flyaways and frizz.
- It is clear, which is great for white hair.
- It is an excellent replacement for coconut oil, and much lighter too.
- It mixes perfectly just like the QuickSilverHair Oil with the clay.
How to Use Squalane Oil:
- Use after you wash your face on clean skin
- Use alone or as a base layer under facial moisturizer
- Use as a replacement for hair serum
- Use before heat tools on your hair
*Potential Risks: While Squalane is highly beneficial to the skin and rarely causes, issues, as with any new skin care, wash your face before use. Should you notice any irritations discontinue use, it may not be right for you.
Shopping for Squalane Oil:
Even though we now have plant forms of it, you can still find shark squalene in supplements and cosmetics. Because the industry is widely unregulated, sharks are still harvested only for their squalene oil; so, many people avoid consuming squalene or using products with squalene because of this. It is important to note when sourcing products with squalane that they contain the Cruelty Free claims and plant based ingredients.
When you are shopping for Squalane, you want to know a few things:
- What is it derived from?
- Is it Cruelty Free?
- Where is it from?
- Is it 100% pure?
Plant Sources of Squalene:
The greatest source discovered so far in the plant kingdom is Amaranth Seed Oil.
Other Plant sources of Squalene include:
- Olive oil
- Sugar cane
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- 100% pure Italian Squalane
- derived from olives
- with a dash of French Highland Lavender oil.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share.
As always it is about so much more than the hair.
Studies and articles on Squalene and Squalane:
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