Skip to main content
SHARE
Skin Care

What IS Squalane, Anyway?

by Burt’s Bees | 3 min read

What IS Squalane, Anyway?

Learn the what, the why and the how behind this super hydrating ingredient.

No matter how many steps you have in your skin care routine, you’ve probably seen “squalane” on an ingredients label. Squalane has seen a major spike in popularity, and for good reason. But, before you start seeking it out, get the inside info on what it is and how it works.

Wait—Is it Squalane or Squalene?

Actually, it’s both. According to the National Library of Medicine, squalene (with an “e”) is found in certain fish oils—especially shark liver oil—in high amounts, and some vegetable oils (from things like olives, rice brand, amaranth seed and wheat germ) in smaller amounts. Human sebum (that’s the oil that your skin produces) is 13% squalene.

Squalane (with an “a”) is a saturated derivative of squalene, from the same sources. The process of hydrogenation is what “saturates” squalene into squalane.

Both are oils that have been found to have antioxidant properties in addition to being excellent skin-familiar hydrators.

(This hopefully goes without saying, but Burt’s Bees ONLY uses plant-derived squalane in our products. Sharks are for Shark Week, not skin care.)

Is Squalene or Squalane Better for Skin?

It’s the “a” version you want. When exposed to air, squalene oxidizes and loses its skin-loving benefits. The saturated squalane won’t oxidize, though, and continues to pack its punch even when exposed to air—which is why squalane is the version usually found in skin care.

The big benefit of squalane? Hydration!

How Does Squalane Benefit Skin?

Anything your skin makes on its own to maintain hydration and protect itself is typically a safe bet as a skin care ingredient. Squalane is no exception. The big benefit of squalane is hydration, and since it’s not a known irritant, it’s suitable for all skin types to use as a moisturizer. The antioxidants in squalane also help fight free radical damage. (City dwellers, take note.)

What Kind of Skin Care Includes Squalane?

You can find squalane in everything from cleansers to serums to body lotions. If you want to see how your skin feels after adding squalane to your routine, you can start with a few of our skin care faves. 

Squalane Favs
Discover More
SKIN CARE | 3 MIN READ

Confused by Your Combination Skin?

These tips and tricks will help balance in-between skin.

SKIN CARE | 2 MIN READ

What is Centella Asiatica?

Also known as Cica, this ancient herb has skin benefits galore. 

SKIN CARE | 3 MIN READ

Why Should You Care About Ceramides?

Learn all about these skin barrier building blocks. 

SORRY ABOUT THAT!
This item is currently not available for purchase, but don’t fret! Just enter your email address below and we’ll notify you when it’s available for purchase.
“You’re getting close to maxing out! Your cart that is. You currently have 95 items in your cart and we have a maximum of 100 per order. If you’d like to order more than 100 items, you will need to place two orders. Thanks for shopping on BurtsBees.com, we love that you love our products so much!”