Squalane For Skin: Moisturizers, Prevents Water Loss & More

Squalane For Skin: Moisturizers, Prevents Water Loss & More

Taking care of your skin and supporting your skin barrier is an important practice for your overall health, but it is often overlooked.

With tons of skincare products with ingredients for different purposes, like serums, cleansers, or lotions, finding products that work for your skin type and skincare needs can be confusing.

Luckily, squalane is a well-known ingredient known for its effective hydrating and moisturizing abilities, but what is it exactly?

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of squalane and how you can incorporate it into your everyday skincare routine.

What Is Squalane?

Squalene naturally occurs in the human body, alongside things like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. In fact, squalene is just one of the lipids produced for lubricating and protecting your skin. Squalane is a substance that is made from squalene. 

Squalane is similar to your skin's natural oils and is used mostly for moisturizing. It’s even safe to use for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Squalane also supports the elasticity and flexibility of your skin, which may help decrease visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.

Squalene, before it becomes squalane, has various sources ranging from plants to animals and is naturally found in our bodies as well.

Where Does Squalane Come From?

As mentioned before, squalane is sourced from squalene. Squalene is a type of hydrocarbon, also known as a fatty acid, that is found in high amounts in shark liver oil.

Sharks have high squalene levels in their liver oil because it helps them maintain buoyancy. Sharks that live in deeper water have higher levels of squalene, making them a target for sourcing.

Squalene can also be found in different plant sources like olives, wheat germ, and rice bran, and our natural body oils contain small levels of squalene.

Though the two have similar names, squalene and squalane oil are different. 

Though squalene seems like an effective ingredient for hydration and anti-aging, it cannot be used on its own for skincare products because it is not a stable compound.

When exposed to oxygen, squalene spoils, making it difficult for products to be made with squalene.

To make squalene more stable, it goes through a process that creates squalane.

How Does Squalene Become Squalane?

To create squalane, squalene goes through a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation occurs when hydrogen is added to an unsaturated substance to make it saturated and more stable.

With hydrogenation, squalene becomes a more stable substance that is extremely useful for skincare and anti-aging.

Unfortunately, sourcing squalene comes with an environmental and ethical cost.

Because the richest sources of squalene are found in shark liver oil, sharks are unnecessarily killed for products like lotion and lip gloss.

Squalene has other uses in the medical field, such as enhancing vaccines, but the beauty industry uses 90% of shark squalene each year. 

Even worse, around 2.7 million shark livers are taken annually to produce skincare products and to use in the medical field.

So, why is sourcing squalene from sharks such an issue? For starters, innocent lives are taken when there are other sources of squalene.

Sharks are known as apex predators and are towards the top of the food chain in marine ecosystems. Because of their high position, they help keep marine ecosystems balanced.

Marine ecosystems are crucial to the overall survival of the earth because they provide precious resources that we need to survive. They also are home to thousands of fascinating species of fish and other sea life.

Are There Alternative Sources of Squalane?

Thankfully, there are ways to source squalene that do not involve killing and exploiting sharks. In fact, squalene can be found in many plants and even algae.

The reason why squalene is predominately sourced from shark liver oil is that it is found in high quantities and is cheaper as well. 

Though more expensive, squalene sourced from plants such as sugarcane is just as effective and even more effective as well as a more consistent source.

Plant-based antioxidant squalene is a no-brainer from an ethical and environmental standpoint. 

Does Squalane Work as a Moisturizer?

Even though your body naturally moisturizes your skin, it may not provide enough moisture all the time. People with sensitive skin or who live in cold or dry climates may struggle with dry skin regularly.

Squalane imitates your body’s natural sebum or oils, keeping it smooth and moisturized. Squalane is also known as an effective emollient, meaning that it fills open spaces between cells in your skin which gives a moisturizing effect. After using squalane, don’t forget the broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage.

How Does Squalane Work for Hydration?

While it is important to moisturize your skin, hydration is also important. Hydration is different from moisturization because ingredients called humectants attract water from the environment and deep layers of the skin to the surface of your skin.

Hydration and moisturization work well together because hydrating ingredients attract moisture to the skin, while moisturizing ingredients help lock that moisture in. Having hydrated skin is having happy skin!

What Are the Benefits of Squalane?

In addition to its hydrating and moisturizing properties, squalane has a long list of wonderful benefits for your skin. Below is a list of just a few.

Anti-Aging Properties

Over time, our bodies produce less squalene, which is part of the reason why we develop wrinkles. 

Wrinkling can also come from prolonged sun exposure, so you may start seeing wrinkles pop up on your face and around your eyes.

While aging is a natural part of life, some people want to delay this process as much as possible. 

Because of its powerful hydrating and moisturizing properties, squalane is a great tool for anti-aging because it helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and create more supple, elastic skin.

Gentle on Skin

While many skincare products are formulated with harsh ingredients like parabens and alcohols that irritate and dry the skin, squalane is the perfect natural alternative.

Our bodies naturally produce squalene, meaning that it only helps to add an extra touch to the skin. It is important, of course, to always test products on a small area of skin to be sure that you will not react to any other ingredient in the product you are using.

Versatile for Most Skin Types

While we all have unique skin types and skincare needs (even breakouts), squalane is perfect for most skin types.

Squalane is light and leaves your skin feeling smooth, not greasy, meaning that it works well for all kinds of skin types, from dry to combination to oily skin. Squalane also does not clog your pores and is quickly absorbed into the skin, giving you fast and effective 


Reduces Redness

There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with dry, red, and cracked skin during cold months. Having skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis can also produce red skin that is flaky and dry, causing discomfort and itchiness.

Because of its soothing abilities, squalane is perfect for treating any dry skin that is red and irritated. Squalane can help soothe redness and irritation while also moisturizing your skin, which may help ease symptoms of certain skin concerns. 

Squalane is gentle and easy on the skin, making it an excellent moisturizer for people who have sensitive skin, skin conditions, or anyone that needs some extra moisture during the cold and dry winter months.

Because you can develop allergic reactions to any substance, speak to a dermatologist before using squalane if you have skin problems like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.

Kind to the Environment

Plant-based squalane has a longer shelf life and is a wonderful alternative to animal-based squalane. Vegan squalane is more efficient at minimizing dryness, and it softens the skin and helps keep sharks in the ocean — which means it stays out of beauty products, too.

Though vegan squalane is better for the earth, it is often put into products that are packaged in plastic. While vegan squalane helps keep sharks in the ocean, these animals and others are still swimming in plastic.

It is estimated that, by 2050, there will be more plasticthan fish in the ocean

With plastic bags and debris floating around, it is hard for fish to differentiate between plastic and food, so these fish end up consuming plastic made from harmful chemicals.

Luckily, there are ways to reduce your plastic waste.

At Bite, we understand how important it is to keep up with your skincare, but we also know how wasteful personal care routines can be.

That is why we have created a body balm that is ultra-concentrated and encased in a recyclable, refillable metal container.

Our Body Balm is a solid moisturizer that is made without fragrance and unnecessary fillers.

Many moisturizers are diluted with water, and these moisturizers can hold anywhere from 60 to 80 percent water. With a watery moisturizer, getting the maximum benefits of ingredients like squalane can be almost impossible, not to mention the need to apply moisturizer constantly.

With Bite, you can be confident that nutrients like squalane, vitamin E, and rosehip oil work together to give you soft and smooth skin.

Because of our ultra-concentrated formula, you only need to apply Bite’s body balm once a day to enjoy hydrated skin all day.

With Bite’s Body Balm, you can also cut down on your plastic use. One body balm refill is equal to five 8-ounce bottles of lotion. This means that you can save money, reduce waste, and have hydrated and happy skin at the same time!

We only have one earth to live on — it is imperative that we understand how the choices we make every day impact our planet. While a great deal of our consumption is damaging to the earth, we can make small changes like switching out personal care products that will leave a bigger impact than we think.

At Bite, we understand that taking care of yourself and the earth should work together. However, balancing self-care with caring for the earth is a difficult task. 

We make that balance a little bit less of a juggling act and more of a choice made easy.

The Bottom Line

Squalane is a nourishing and soothing moisturizer that is packed with benefits that reduce signs of aging, lock in moisture, and smooth your skin without leaving a greasy residue.

Thanks to plants, squalane can be used as a skincare essential without hurting sharks and their ecosystem balance. We at Bite use the power of plants to provide safe, clean personal care products that are gentle to you and the environment.

The choices that we make now will affect us both short and long-term. The products that we use can either help or hurt us and the environment — with Bite, making conscious choices to keep your body and the earth happy is made simple.

At Bite, we know that it is crucial to take steps to better care for your body and the earth. With our products, you can be confident that you are nourishing your body and helping the earth heal, one body balm refill at a time. 



Squalene | American Chemical Society

Shark Squalene | Oceana USA

Catalytic Hydrogenation of Squalene to Squalane | Organic Process Research & Development

Emollients and moisturizers (moisturisers) | DermNet NZ

How to Choose the Best Moisturizer for Your Dry Skin | Cleveland Clinic

5 things to know about shark squalene | Ocean Mimic

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