If you’re even slightly into skincare, you’ve probably heard of squalane by now. It has popped up on label after label in the beauty industry over the past few years and with good reason. Squalane is one of those rare ingredients that seem to be well-tolerated by all skin types. Derms love it, editors love it, and if you haven’t given it a try for yourself, let me have a minute of your time to convince you. Still not sure what I’m talking about? No worries—this article will explain everything. 

I asked a couple of my favorite derms to give us the full scoop on this one. According to them, squalane is a hydrogenated form of squalene. “Squalene is a naturally occurring, organic compound in our skin, but it is unstable in its pure form,” says board-certified dermatologist Lauren Penzi, MD. “It’s also found in plants, including olive, palm, wheat germ, amaranth, and rice bran. In order to stabilize squalene and harvest it for use in skincare products, it is converted to squalane.” 

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know on this ingredient, including the benefits of using it, the whole squalane-versus-squalene debate, and the best products to buy containing it. Keep reading.

Shawna Hudson

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