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Beauty Buzzwords: Squalane

Though oils are not new to the beauty counter, there is still little information about squalane. A synthetic version of a substance called squalene, an effective emollient and antioxidant that naturally occurs in the body and diminishes with age, squalane was historically used by doctors to treat wounds and skin problems. But it came to the forefront of beauty with Korean skin care.

Squalene and squalane are often used interchangeably in the realm of skin care, given their parallel beauty benefits. But there is a big difference. Though squalene is part of skin’s own natural moisture, representing 12 percent of our sebum, it lacks the stability needed for shelf life. That, coupled with the demands of our sustainable culture — no one could live with the hunting of sharks to extract liver oil to retrieve squalene — led to the creation of squalane. Plant based and lighter in weight than its counterpart, squalane is a humane approach to this skin care blockbuster.

The Benefits

Squalane absorbs easily and penetrates deeply, replenishing the skin barrier and leaving skin supple. It protects against sun damage — uneven skin pigmentation, scars, and age spots — while also reducing inflammation, regulating oil production, and boosting the effectiveness of other skin care products.

Best Bets

Initiate deeper hydration with squalane products, such as Peter Thomas Roth’s 100% Purified Oilless OilBiossance 100% Squalane Oil, and Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion. Or enhance your skin care regimen with squalene products that also combat aging. We like Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol SerumPerricone Hypoallergenic Nourishing Moisturizer, and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

Photo: Deagreez

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