Squalane is a skin emollient that came out in the market in the 1950’s as a natural moisturizer. Do not confuse it with squalene, which is found more commonly in nature. Squalane is also available naturally in smaller amounts but requires a bit more work to produce. Since it has very low acute toxicity and isn’t irritating to the skin, it has proven to be very useful for cosmetics and skin care. This article will explain what squalane is, where it comes from, how it is used.
What Is Squalane?
Squalane is pretty much the same thing as squalene, and was originally derived from shark liver oil. Squalane is simply a more stable version. Unfortunately, it takes more than 3,000 sharks to produce just one ton of squalane. This presented something of a predicament since annual use was estimated at around 2,000 tons. It would have required 60,000 sharks to die to fulfill this need, which is unconscionable. As an alternative, experts have developed a method of manufacturing this oil from plant sources. Sunflowers, rice, olive oil and sugar cane can all yield this amazing emollient now.
How Does Squalane Work?
Squalane is found in our sebaceous glands and is a precursor to cholesterol. It is also very necessary to keep our skin soft, young and smooth. It is present in our sebaceous glands at its highest concentrations in our 20’s. After that, the level of squalane declines rapidly as we begin to notice skin aging. We must supplement it if we want to continue to enjoy its youth giving benefits.
What Is Squalane Used For?
Squalane is used to help us have smoother and softer skin without a greasy residue because it is absorbed well. Ultimately, squalane will:
- Reduce excess oil.
- Reduce wrinkles.
- Reverse sun damage.
- Reduce the appearance of scars.
- Lighten freckles.
- Reduce age spots.
It is also an amazing hair conditioner that leaves hair incredibly soft and shiny. Squalane can also be ingested internally to help reduce arthritis, cancer, rheumatism, shingles, psoriasis and even hemorrhoids.
Benefits of Squalane
Squalane’s largest advantage is that it has the ability to very rapidly penetrate our skin. This allows it to deliver its emollient properties to our deeper layers of tissue. The skin can immediately absorb even a very thick application in just two to three minutes. Once the skin thoroughly absorbed it, it delivers antioxidants and promotes healthy cell growth. It is also a potent anti-bacterial. This is extremely useful for healing irritated skin, especially since the product itself is non irritating.
Squalane also has some anti-carcinogenic properties, meaning that it can help eliminate cancer cells. Preliminary studies show that when combined with alkylgylcerols (which are found in shark liver oil), it triggers the production of immune cells that help to ward off cancer. Studies have also shown the emollient to ease joint inflammation and arthritis symptoms.
Disadvantages of Squalane
Squalane can be derived most easily from shark liver oil. Hence, the most serious precaution for this product is that it must be manufactured in a way that is cruelty free. Humans are quite capable of hunting sharks into extinction within the next two decades if we do not curb our hunting activities. Many products do not list where their squalane or squalane originated. It is important to use only products that list their origin as purely from a plant source and not sharks.
It’s not the easiest thing to find a squalane product that is derived from vegetable sources instead of animals. A good vegetable derived squalane will provide all the benefits of the healthy, youthful skin we all experience in our early 20’s without harming other animals. We definitely need squalane to keep our skin more radiant and healthy. This makes it worth it to find a source that’s both affordable and free of cruelty.