Ingredient Spotlight: Squalene

Squalene, ingredient spotlight

Squalene, to me, represents the perfect natural alternative to the most common ingredient in skincare, “paraffinun liquidum”which is from a chemical point of view a hydrocarbon, same as the squalene, which comes in liquid form due to its unique structure. I use the stable version which is called squalane.

I made it one of the twelve key ingredients because it protects the skin, thanks to the ability to regenerate the lipid film which prevents aggression by external agents. It is also moisturising because it reduces the evaporation of water from the deeper epidermal layers (Trans Epidermal Water Loss) which I mentioned in previous posts. It is all about the TEWL.

Over the years the sebum production of the skin is reduced, this is why, more mature skin usually feels drier. So it is a great addition to your regime in order to avoid dryness and also to provide elasticity.

Squalene is found in the unsaponifiable fraction of various oils (the most precious part of the vegetable oils and butters too) and represents an important content, mainly in olive, rice and pumpkin oil. Once again, quality and the extraction method is paramount, in fact there are studies that show huge differences in the amount of squalene from various suppliers of olive oil. In my opinion is better to choose unrefined versions, as they tend to use alkaline substances when the industry processes oils, which greatly reduces the content.

Just to get a bit skincare geek, below, there is a table where it shows the content of squalene in different oils,so you can get a better idea and make your own choices.

Olive 1360–7080
Corn 190–360
Cotton 40–120
Peanut 130–490
Soy 70–170
Sunflower 80–190
Sesame 30
Rice 400-3320
Grapeseed 70
Almonds 210
Coconut 20
Flaxseed 40
Pumpkin 400-3529

Summarising, squalene is part of the human sebum and it plays a key role to keep the acid mantle healthy. I use a high dose in the Rewarding Body Balm so it mimics the skin’s composition and in the Purifying Cleansing Beauty Cream, in this case, I aimed to minimise the damaging effects of cleansing by giving back to the skin some of their main components.

Thank you for reading me!

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