"Squalene is a natural fat found in the sebum of our skin and is commonly used in skincare products because of its emollient effects, helping to soften and protect the outer skin layer,” explains Dr. Joshua Zeichner, skin expert and Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital. As we get older and our natural ability to produce squalene decreases, its topical use can aid in the skin’s barrier support and hydration.
Sourcing squalene responsibly is difficult, as it is most commonly derived from shark livers. However, a very similar and often more shelf-stable ingredient called squalane, that can be derived from plant sources like sugarcane and olive, is available. As Dr. Zeichner explains, "it provides almost identical benefits and can be sourced in a more responsible way - it is a great ingredient for dry or even sensitive skin.”
Below, some of our favorite moisturizing SHEN products that use Squalane to plump and nourish skin.
Along with the brand's signature reparative ingredient, TFC8®, this do-it-all serum helps tighten, brighten and encourage overall skin health. It is quickly absorbed upon application - squalene is naturally produced by our sebaceous glands, so it is very easily absorbed - and leaves behind smoother, softer skin.
Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Super Anti-Aging Eye Cream targets fine lines, wrinkles and dryness and is safe for sensitive eyes that may be prone to stinging. A unique cocktail of ingredients, including Persian silk tree extract, red ginseng, and marine plankton, reduce puffiness and firm the skin while squalane and hyaluronic acid plump.
Phyla Phluff Moisturizer
New-to-Shen brand Phyla focuses on maintaining balance within the skin's microbiome. Their Phluff Moisturizer is soothing and hydrating, thanks to jojoba oil and squalane, but won’t clog pores - making it ideal for oily or acne prone skin.
As its name would suggest, this cream is chock full of collagen boosting peptides along with protective antioxidants, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and squalane. Don’t let its light texture fool you - this product is best suited for mature, dry skin types or those needing an extra boost of moisture.
Moisturizing enough to be dabbed onto lips, this super buildable color is a handbag essential capable of taking your makeup look from day to night. The silky texture leaves skin looking dewy (not greasy) and nourishes skin with jojoba esters and squalane.
This gentle body cleansing bar is coconut-based and packed with moisturizing squalane, olive and marula oil. Its citrus scent is subtle but complex, with notes of bergamot, orange blossom and cardamom, and would be an energizing start to any morning.