Using ingredients in your skin care routine that naturally occur in the body has become a growing beauty trend. And while hyaluronic acid has been the undisputed champ over the past few years, squalane is making a move for its spot. The moisturizing ingredient is also lightweight and non-irritating, making it suitable for all skin types. That means that finding the best squalane oil for your skin is simple — you can either stick to a 100 percent squalane formula and cocktail it with other products in your routine, or choose a squalane oil that's already paired with some other good-for-skin ingredients.
When it comes to application, you can apply squalane oil in the morning and at night because it's so lightweight. You should always apply the oil to clean skin, but if you use a toner or serum, you'll want to apply those (and your eye cream) beforehand. You can use squalane on its own, or you can double up on the moisture by finishing with a night cream. Or, kill two birds with one stone by mixing a few drops of your squalane oil directly into your moisturizer.
Also, be sure that you're looking for products with squalane oil and not squalene oil (note the different spelling). While the one letter difference might not seem like a big deal, squalane is a much more stable byproduct of squalene oil because it's hydrogenated, which means it won't break down as quickly (aka squalane equals a longer shelf-life).
Though traditionally sourced from shark liver and used in traditional medicines across Asia, today, skin care professionals source squalane in a much more environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free way, from plants like olives, rice bran, and sugarcane.
To add plant-derived squalane to your skin care routine, check out five of the best squalane oils available on Amazon.
1. A Budget-Friendly Option That Amazon Reviewers Love
Timeless Skin Care Squalane 100% Pure
Proof that good skin care doesn't have to break the bank, Timeless Skin Care Squalane 100% Pure is under $15. The 100 percent olive-derived squalane formula has nearly 600 five-star reviews on Amazon, praising it for being able to do everything from moisturize skin to fade acne scars and quell breakouts.
"I have seborrheic dermatitis, so I can’t use very many products without aggravating it," writes one Amazon reviewer who calls this squalane oil "a must-have," adding, "It doesn’t clog my pores or cause breakouts, [and] it sinks right into my skin and makes it glow."
2. The Cult-Favorite Squalane Oil
Biossance 100% Squalane Oil
Biossance was ahead of the hype on this one with their 100% Squalane Oil that can be used on skin and hair. To provide all of squalane's hydrating and soothing benefits, the Biossance scientists developed a sugarcane-derived squalane that feels weightless and never leaves skin oily. This plant-based form of squalane is eco-friendly, and the formula is also vegan and cruelty-free. And if you can't get enough squalane oil, Biossance's entire line contains the ingredient, formulating it into everything from a rich night cream to a brightening vitamin C oil, and even an eye gel.
3. The Best Squalane Oil With A Retinoid
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% In Squalane
The Ordinary shook up the beauty industry by creating formulas with skin care's most effective ingredients and making them affordable. The brand's Granactive Retinoid 5% In Squalane pairs two of those ingredients — an advanced retinoid complex and plant-derived squalane oil — in one product that costs less than $30. While the retinoid helps to speed up cell turnover and increase collagen production, squalane thoroughly moisturizes skin to minimize typical signs of irritation that come with the retinoids (dryness, redness, and flaking).
4. A Squalane Option Packed With Other Good-For-Skin Oils
Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Face Oil
Another squalane multi-tasker, Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Face Oil combines the It ingredient with 19 other oils to boost the antioxidant factor. Chief among them are moisturizing, UV-blocking, and soothing oils like raspberry seed, sweet almond, and tamanu oil. Even with combining oils, several Amazon users note skin "doesn't look or feel oily" after using it.
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