More and more skincare companies are harnessing the power of plant squalane in their products.
It’s a hydrating power-house molecule sourced from plants such as olive, sugarcane, rice bran and wheatgerm.
Squalane (with an ‘a’) is a stabilised version of squalene (with an ‘e’), an emollient that occurs naturally in our own skin’s sebaceous glands. The ingredient nourishes, hydrates and locks in moisture, as well as battling against UV damage.
As we age, our skin’s reserves of squalene diminish, so it makes sense to supplement.
Sadly, squalane can also be sourced from shark livers – so be doubly sure to check product labelling and only buy products that use plant-sourced squalene.
Here’s our pick of 10 of the best.
Scientists at clean beauty company Biossance have created a renewable, sugarcane-derived squalane that saves 2 million sharks every year. This ethical, vegan hydrator is at the heart of every one of their products – from serums to moisturisers, eye creams to cleansers. From £16, cultbeauty.co.uk
Typology Squalane 100%
Squalane oil and nothing else.. This serum sits perfectly under make-up, perfect for skin that feels tight and itchy until it gets a hit of moisture in the morning. £13.90, uktypology.com
No7 Advanced Ingredients Squalane Facial Capsules
Each capsule in the pot delivers a 3ml dose of lightweight plant-derived squalene. Airtight and plastic free, the capsules protect contents from the damaging effects of light and air so they’ll last a long while if you decide you don’t want to use the product daily. 98% of women said their skin felt softer and smoother after use. £20, Boots
Gallinee Eye Contour Cream
Packed with probiotics and probiotics to soothe sensitive skin around the eyes, this cream also contains squalane and shea butter to moisturise. A must-have after a long day staring at screens – whether the computer or that latest box set you’re bingeing on. £22 from gallinee.com
Q + A Grapefruit Cleansing Balm
Fresh and zingy, this cleanser is juicy-full of fruit, vegetable and kernel oils. It’s also wax-free, so won’t leave that film-like feeling on the skin which many balms do (meaning a lot of heavy wiping to get all product off). The addition of squalane made from olive oil to the mix means this balm won’t strip your skin of moisture. £9 from qandaskincare.com
Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum
If pigmentation and uneven skin tone are your gripe, then this serum contains ingredients that could help. Vitamin C works in synergy with Boerhavia Diffusa, a plant extract used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine. Squalane and Hyaluronic Acid help lock in moisture, so you glow. £32, balanceme.com
Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser
This gel-cream is a best-selling formula, not least because it hydrates with that essential non-greasy feel we all hanker after. That’s due to the – you guessed it – squalane it contains. It comes in 19 shades to suit all skin tones. £30, bareminerals.co.uk
Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream
This best-selling ‘ultra hydrator’ has won over 70 international beauty awards. Clinically tested by Kiehl’s chemists, the cream was shown to effectively hydrate multiple skin types – even sensitive. As well as olive-derived squalane, it contains glacial glycoprotein. This is derived from sea glaciers, which prevents water loss from the skin. £28, kiehls.co.uk
Neuroskinfeeds The Micro Oil
This is a nurturing mixture of squalane plus oils from the camelina sativa flower, sweet almond and plukentia volubilis plant. It is said to have a calming effect not only on the skin, but on your mind and mood, too. £49, neuroskinfeeds.com.
Syrene Aqualight Moisture Gel Lotion
Made in New Zealand, this silky smooth, lightweight marine collagen gel melts quickly into the skin. Containing a high percentage of plant squalane, plus flower and seaweed extracts, it leaves the complexion looking dewy all day. £23, syreneskincare.co.uk