A light, emollient and skin-friendly oil that works to moisturize and keep skin soft, smooth, and flexible. Squalane is a more stable form of squalene which is naturally found in human skin. Our skin’s production of natural squalene slows dramatically at around age thirty, thus contributing to dry skin and a compromised skin barrier as we mature. In skincare, it helps a formula feel silky and luxurious, without leaving a greasy residue on the skin.

Not only is squalane an excellent moisturizer, but it also functions as an antioxidant. It specifically helps protect the oils in the skin from undergoing a process called lipid peroxidation, which is believed to play a role in acne.

Traditional squalane was historically extracted from shark liver (which is sadly still done today). At Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty we use a vegan form of squalane derived via biotech sugarcane fermentation, using non-GMO sugar. Many consider biotech fermentation to be one of the most sustainable ways to source ingredients, and it also keeps each batch consistent in terms of purity and quality.

“Because squalane is so similar to squalene, a natural oil found in skin, it absorbs quickly, feels lightweight and it is instantly compatible with skin. It’s one of my favorite ingredients for sensitive or reactive skin, and even my acne-prone patients are able to use squalane without breaking out. Even though squalane is less susceptible to oxidation as compared to squalene, I still recommend looking for products that are packaged in opaque and airtight packaging.”

- Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty, Board-Certified Dermatologist, Scientist, Founder

ncbi 1
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sage journals
McPhee D, Pin A, Kizer L, Perelman L (2014). "Deriving Renewable Squalane from Sugarcane" (PDF). Cosmetics & Toiletries. 129 (6).
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