Squalane is the stable hydrogenated form of squalene, which can be derived from plants such as olives and sugar cane.
Squalane usually appears as a pale yellow or clear liquid with a mild odour. Traditionally squalane was derived from shark liver oil, which contains high amounts of its parent compound squalene, however most production has shifted towards plant sources such as olive, amaranth, rice and wheat. The squalane we use is from plant (non-animal) origins.
Squalene is also found in the human body as a fat produced by oil glands to hydrate and protect skin. In its natural state it is unstable, rapidly depreciating, however hydrogenating the oil makes it stable for use in personal care products. Using hydrogen gas, a catalyst such as nickel, and high pressure, plant oils can undergo a hydrogenation process whereby they change from a liquid into a solid or semi-solid state - becoming hydrogenated oils. The hydrogenation process allows oils to remain solid at room temperature - an everyday example of which is margarine.
Squalane can be used in hair care products as an emollient and conditioning ingredient. While factors such as weather, age, diet, and heat damage can dry out locks, squalane can help replenish hair strands, hydrating and protecting hair from further damage. Squalane can also be used in skin care products as an easily-absorbed moisturising ingredient, nourishing skin and helping to prevent moisture loss.
Other names: C30H62, 2,6,10,15,19,23-Hexamethyltetracosane, Vegetable Squalane