Every few months, the beauty world vibrates with a new buzzword everyone can’t stop talking about, and in the last few years (specifically the last few months, actually), Squalane has led the charge. You’ve probably glossed over it in your skin care ingredients, not giving it too much thought -— but as the ingredient hype people we are here at Repêchage, we’re going to stop you right there and say that this incredible moisturizing and hydrating ingredient is one you won’t want to sleep on. Quite literally, too, we have overnight creams formulated with squalane that work wonders while you’re snoozing. And we’ll get into those products a little later on, but for now, let’s go over the basics of this beauty best-kept-secret.
Squalane versus squalene
So, for all intents and purposes, you should always be looking for products with squalene that’s been sourced naturally. Squalene is an oil or lipid that our own sebaceous glands produce instinctively to hydrate and keep our skin barrier intact and healthy (when our barriers are compromised, or there are breaks or tears in our skin, that’s when we can lose water/hydration and simultaneously let other toxins or contaminants in). This sebum contains triglycerides, fatty acids, wax esters, and cholesterol that moisturize and protect the skin; it’s a wonderful thing, but as we age and our skin matures, the amount of squalene we produce on our own starts to taper off — and by the age of 30, those natural, self-regulating hydration benefits are reduced significantly. As a result, our skin gets drier and drier.
Thankfully, science makes it possible to harvest squalene from plants (animals, too, but as an industry we’ve quickly moved away from unethical and nonsustainable means of getting our hands on these resources; squalene was once a scavenged component of shark livers, since the oil was highly concentrated there) like olives, rice bran, and sugarcane. It just needs to be converted — through a process of hydrogenation — from the less stable squalene into the highly stable squalane before it can be used in skin care. All of the squalane we use at Repêchage is derived from olives, which allows it to easily and completely absorb into the skin (without being greasy) and deliver all the moisture-replenishing essentials to our skin barriers.
It’s moisturizing, but so much more.
Squalane is heralded as one miracle moisturizing agent, and there is no doubt about that, but we’d be doing it a service if we limited its impact to moisturization alone. Here are a few other key squalane superpowers:
It’s an exceptional emollient: Meaning that when it’s used topically, it will soothe and soften skin, improve dryness or flakiness, all while locking in moisture to keep skin looking healthy, supple, and more radiant. It also plays phenomenally well with other moisturizing ingredients, so when it’s combined with other skin-friendly (antioxidant-rich and/or humectant-acting — helping the skin retain water) ingredients like seaweed extracts, shea or cocoa butters, or hyaluronic acid, for instance, it has a multi-faceted, regenerative effect.
It’s an adept antioxidant: Meaning that when it’s present in x, y, and z skin care products — from moisturizing cleansers to high-performing creams and solution-oriented serums — it can help fight free radicals (one of the leading anti-aging concerns) and allow skin cells to rebound/recover from simple processes of aging to more wide-ranging tissue trauma - be it from environmental, oxidative stress or self-imposed compromisation (using products - like chemical peels or abrasive exfoliants - that treat skin concerns harshly).
It’s an all-star anti-inflammatory: Meaning that as an active ingredient in your skin care, it can help calm redness, swelling, and other tried-and-true hallmarks of sensitivity. Though it’s an oil, squalane is noncomedogenic, so it treats and detoxifies without being pore-clogging and congestive, which makes it a great choice for nearly all skin types.
As our Executive Vice President, Shiri Sarfati, always says “Healthy skin is well-balanced skin and even acne-prone and problematic skin types need hydration. That’s why squalane is so incredible. It works for myriad skin conditions, from dry and dehydrated to sensitive and even oily complexions, with little to no risks or concerns.”
So, where can you find squalane in our Repêchage arsenal of products? These are just a few of our favorites (use our search bar to enter the keyword ‘squalane’ and you’ll be able to pull up all of our inclusive products). You’ll see, too, that just as we’ve mentioned, our squalane isn’t programmed solely for mature or super dry skin. In fact, we’ve been formulating with this powerhouse ingredient for so long (well before squalane became another buzzword in the beauty world) that we’ve found unique uses for it in almost all of our collections: Hydra Dew Pure, Hydra 4 Red-Out, Biolight, T-Zone, Vita Cura.
We even infuse squalane into our color products — like our 10-shade-strong Repêchage Perfect Skin Liquid Foundation. Our exclusive seaweed-based formula is enhanced with Vitamins A, E, and C, plus a healthy dose of skin-boosting squalane to create a full-coverage foundation that glides on smoothly, helps conceal imperfections with light reflective pigments that soften the appearance of flaws, and delivers a silky smooth finish that lasts all day. It’s truly for everyone!!