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Squalane can benefit all skin types and is a staple of many skincare routines. The plant-derived oil is gentle on skin and remarkably compatible with lipids (our natural skin oil) making it a hero moisturising ingredient for glowing skin.

squalane benefits

Beyond using squalane for dehydrated skin, there are a few other radiance-boosting benefits you may not be aware of. Keen to know what else the ingredient does to maintain brightened and bouncy complexions?

To help you get the most out of this supportive oil, we’ve broken down squalane in this comprehensive guide. Explore how it can assist with mild acne-prone concerns, anti-ageing and more, and see where squalane vs hyaluronic acid and other ingredients stand.

What is squalane in skincare?

Squalane tends to feature in moisturising skincare steps like facial and body oils, face creams and hydrating cleansers. Squalane is found naturally in our skin’s sebum but begins to deplete from our early 20s onwards. The decreased production can lead to dryness and rough textured skin – but fortunately it can be supplemented via skincare. Squalane oil is a refined botanical lipid – meaning that it’s sourced from plants such as olives and rice bran. What makes it such a good hydrator is its natural affinity to our skin, meaning it can mimic our oils and improve moisture content.

Squalene vs squalane meaning

You may have seen two different spellings of this skincare ingredient. Squalene, aside from being unstable and prone to oxidisation, is sometimes sourced from shark liver, making it an animal-derived ingredient. The squalane oil version used in Kiehl’s skincare is derived from plants – plus, it has a longer shelf life. To make the stable, skin-friendly version of squalane, the oil must be hydrogenated, which transforms it from an unsaturated to saturated oil.

Is squalane good for skin?

Because of its intense nourishment, many of us use squalane for dehydrated skin in winter months or when skin is feeling a little dry. However, this ingredient has a few other supportive uses – and can also benefit those with oily, mild acne-prone, sensitive and mature skin types. See what implementing squalane oil can mean for your skin below.

1. Deeply moisturises

Squalane oil is an emollient – an ingredient which creates a protective and moisturising barrier on skin. Emollients improve the feeling of skin by softening the surface layer. By adding to our natural oils, squalane ensures that skin stays hydrated for longer. Alongside moisture implementation, the oil also helps to prevent loss of hydration – by strengthening the all-important skin moisture barrier. Humectants like hyaluronic acid typically have a watery texture and help to retain moisture. When using squalane vs hyaluronic acid, we recommend implementing squalane oil-infused moisturisers like Ultra Facial Moisturizer afterwards. This helps seal in moisture.

2. Anti-ageing

As our natural production of collagen, hyaluronic acid and squalane depletes, skin becomes more prone to dryness. A lack of moisture in skin exacerbates and magnifies the appearance of wrinkles. Fortunately, supplementing hydrating properties like squalane oil, moisture can be absorbed deeply into skin and bring about the following results in anti-ageing skincare routines:

  • Visibly minimise wrinkles around the eye area
  • Visibly minimise the appearance of crow’s feet
  • Help improve skin’s firmness and elasticity

  • 3. Non-comedogenic

    Moisturising typically oily skin or mild acne-prone skin can be tricky to get right – but the skincare step is just as important for these skin types. Excessive oil flow and breakouts are due in part to imbalanced moisture. By implementing healthy moisturising properties, skin’s natural oil production can be regulated. Squalane-infused moisturisers are an ideal option, as the oil is non-comedogenic. This means that it won’t clog or block pores.

    Kiehl’s squalane skincare

    Now that we’ve established what squalane in skincare is, let’s walk through how to implement. Suitable for use year-round, squalane oil provides optimal moisture content without overwhelming or blocking skin. See Kiehl’s supportive squalane products below.

    Ultra facial cleanser

    Ultra Facial Cleanser

    Our foaming squalane oil-infused cleanser clears debris, impurities and sweat which accumulates throughout the day and as we sleep – without reducing natural oils found in the skin. Suitable for all skin types, this gentle cleanser combines squalane benefits with avocado oil and apricot kernels to further nourish and refresh skin.

    Discover Ultra Facial Cleanser.

    Ultra Facial Toner

    Toners help to hydrate and prep skin for proceeding steps. After cleansing, this toner with squalane helps to moisturise and comfort skin whilst refining skin texture. pH balanced and supportive of other skincare ingredients, our toner won’t dry out skin. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive.

    Discover Ultra Facial Toner.


    Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane

    Our #1 moisturiser, this squalane-infused day cream helps to maintain the skin’s moisture barrier. The result? Bright and softened skin that benefits from an ultra-lightweight texture. Our moisturiser for all also includes glacial glycoprotein, extracted from the micro-organisms in sea glaciers that thrive in extreme climates. Used daily, every skin types can experience visibly healthier looking skin that’s protected from external stress and dehydration.

    Discover Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane.

    Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane

    Ultra Facial Overnight Rehydrating Mask with 10.5% Squalane

    Our skin cells work to recover from daily stress while we sleep. To support this part of the skin cell cycle, overnight masks can be implemented. Our 10.5% squalane mask deeply hydrates alongside glacial proteins and desert plant extract to help you wake up with refreshed, healthy looking skin.

    Discover Ultra Facial Overnight Rehydrating Mask with 10.5% Squalane.

    Midnight Recovery Concentrate Facial Oil

    Facial oils help to replenish hydrating properties to skin, and seal in moisture from previous steps like moisturiser. In our evening facial oil, squalane oil is combined with lavender essential oil and primrose oil to promote deep hydration and youthful looking skin. Used as part of anti-ageing routines or to refresh tired skin, the oil also contains a relaxing scent to help as you head to sleep.

    Discover Midnight Recovery Concentrate Facial Oil.

    Found this article helpful? Discover the benefits of salicylic acid next.


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