Squalane is a cherished Kiehl’s ingredient formulated to help retain moisture and leave skin feeling velvety soft.
If you are addicted to Kiehl’s cult-classic Ultra Facial Cream or end each day with a few drops of Midnight Recovery Concentrate, you may have wondered about the benefits of Squalane. A signature Kiehl’s ingredient, we first began formulating with Squalane in the 1970’s. Today, it is infused into more than 75 of our skincare formulas!
Squalane is a highly-refined botanical lipid with a molecular structure that is very similar to skin lipids. With a natural affinity to skin, this lightweight lipid absorbs easily without leaving a greasy residue. An effective emollient, Squalane has been traditionally used to help protect skin’s barrier and seal in moisture for softer, smoother skin.
Not only is Squalane good for your skin–it is actually naturally present in skin. Found plentifully in your skin’s sebum until your early 20s, Squalane begins to deplete with age which can leave skin prone to rough and dry areas. Using lotions, serums and moisturizers with Squalane can help replenish skin for a soft, smooth and healthy appearance.
While they are definitely related, Squalane and Squalene are not identical. Squalane is the hydrogenated form of Squalene and is more commonly used in skincare products. Squalane has been used in traditional medicine for decades. First discovered in 1906 by Japanese Chemist Mitsumaru Tsujimoto, Squalene has been used in traditional medicine for decades. When it was first discovered in skin (it makes up about 13% of skin’s sebum), it began to be explored for use in cosmetics and skincare. However, Squalene is highly unstable and prone to oxidation – meaning it will eventually darken, become viscous and emit an odor.
The first production of Squalane from Squalene was reported in 1916. With many similar benefits for skin, Squalane is stable against heat and oxidation making it ideal for skincare formulations. It also has an imperceptible odor, clear color and is highly compatible with skin.
Overall, the key differences between Squalene and Squalane are:
With emollient characteristics, Squalane is a beloved ingredient for smoothing and softening skin. Within our formulas, Squalane is known to:
As a beloved Kiehl’s ingredient, we conducted testing on 100% Squalane and discovered new efficacious results. From our research, we determined Squalane is clinically-demonstrated to:
Beyond moisturizing, these proven benefits of Squalane are part of why we love infusing it into our unique and efficacious formulas to promote smooth, firm, and younger-looking skin.
For decades, Squalane has been used in skincare products formulated to help moisturize skin. Squalane is found in a wide range of skincare formulas from lotions to body moisturizers to facial oils and serums.
We first began using Squalane in our formulas in the 1970’s in our Ultra Facial Moisturizer and Creme de Corps body moisturizer. Even before we began formulating with this botanical lipid, we used to sell 100% Squalane in apothecary bottles in our old-world apothecary in the East Village. With our extensive experience with this ingredient, we continue to infuse Squalane into more and more of our formulas.
At Kiehl’s we use 100% plant-based Squalane. From the initial sourcing through the final formulation, we have developed extensive safeguards to ensure that we are using a quality ingredient derived entirely from plants. Olives have been found to contain a large amount of Squalene as compared to other botanical oils making them a key source for developing Squalane. After pressing olives to obtain oil, the remaining is isolated and then converted to Squalene. The Squalene is then transformed into Squalane through a hydrogenation process. We also use sugar-derived Squalane in many of our formulas.
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