Main content

What Is Squalane and Its Benefits for Skin

Learn about the benefits of Squalane–a signature Kiehl’s ingredient. This beloved ingredient is infused in many of our skincare products!

skincare benefits of squalane

A staple of nourishing skincare routines, the benefits of squalane oil can be experienced by all skin types. Gentle, non-clogging and remarkably compatible with skin, we use squalane for skin across a range of Kiehl’s products. You may be aware of this moisturising oil - or even use it in your current routine. What you might not know is how many squalane skin benefits there are.

So, what does squalane do? To help you get the most out of this supportive oil, we’ve broken down the ingredient in this comprehensive guide. Explore how squalene can assist with acne, anti-ageing, moisturising and more, and learn how it can improve your skin.

What is Squalane?

A plant-derived oil, squalane is used frequently in moisturisers, facial oils, body oils and even cleansers. Technically termed a ‘refined botanical lipid’, squalane skincare is effective because of its similarity to our own skin. Essentially, when using squalane for skin, the ingredient mimics our skin’s natural oils, improving hydration. Squalane is also naturally present in our skin. Found in abundance in the skin’s sebum up until our early 20s, as we age, squalane depletes, leaving the skin prone to rough and dry patches. So, what can you expect to see from adding squalene to your skincare regime? Readily absorbed moisture with no greasy residue – and improved skin texture, in both look and feel.

Why is Squalane good for your skin?

Squalane is naturally present in the skin, where it is found in abundance in the skin’s sebum up until our early 20s. As we age, Squalane depletes, leaving the skin prone to rough and dry patches. By using a lotion, serum or moisturiser formulated with Squalane, you’ll help restore the skin to a healthier, softer and smoother appearance.

Where does squalane come from?

When present in skin, this oil is actually termed squalene. This version is highly unstable and prone to oxidation – meaning that it darkens in colour and decreases in efficacy. To reap the benefits of squalane for skin, the oil has to be hydrogenated. There are also other important differences between the two versions that should be noted.

Squalane vs squalene

Apart from being unstable and prone to oxidisation, squalene has been sourced from shark liver in the past. The squalane version is sourced from plants like olives and rice bran. Benefits of olive squalane oil for skin include a longer shelf life and being stable against heat and oxidation.

Squalane benefits for skin

Now that we’ve established its source, what is squalane good for? All skin types benefit from stable moisture content – when skin is properly hydrated, a range of individual concerns across oily, acne-prone, sensitive or skin are improved. Explore the other benefits of squalane in skin care below.

1. Moisturiser

Squalane skincare has great emollient and moisturising properties. Emollients improve the feeling of skin – making it bouncier and softer to the touch. By enhancing and adding to our natural oils, squalane ensures that we stay hydrated for longer, from the inside out. Alongside moisture implementation, the oil also helps to prevent loss of hydration – by strengthening the all-important skin moisture barrier.

2. Anti-ageing

Aside from the moisturising properties, the proven anti-aging benefits of squalane give reason as to why we love infusing squalane into Kiehl’s formulas. By promoting a healthy texture in skin both in look and feel, squalane skincare can bring the following anti-ageing benefits:

  • Visibly minimise wrinkles around the eye area
  • Visibly minimise the appearance of crow’s feet
  • Help improve skin’s firmness and elasticity

3. Non-comedogenic

For those with oily skin, applying more oil on top may seem antithetical. In reality, excessive oil production, shiny skin and breakouts are often due to imbalances in skin. By properly moisturising skin, our natural oil production is regulated. Squalane acne products are efficacious because the oil is non-comedogenic. This means that it won’t clog pores – so you can regulate and moisturise without blocking skin.

How to incorporate squalane skincare

Ultra Facial Cream

Ultra Facial Cream

A cult-favourite, this squalane-infused day cream helps to maintain the skin’s moisture barrier. The result? Smooth and softened skin that benefits from an ultra-lightweight texture upon application. Our beloved moisturiser also includes glacial glycoprotein, extracted from the micro-organisms in sea glaciers that thrive in extreme climates. Used daily, all skin types can experience visibly healthier-looking skin that’s protected from the harsh elements.

Discover Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane.

Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Midnight Recovery Concentrate

An evening facial oil that replenishes and restores your skin. Squalane benefits are combined with lavender essential oil and evening primrose oil, which work together to promote younger-looking skin. The luxurious scent also helps you drift off into the night and wake up feeling restored. Use in an anti-ageing routine or to re-establish moisture to tired, dull or dehydrated complexions overnight.

Discover Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

Creme De Corps

Créme De Corps

Formulated with squalane, this body moisturiser deeply nourishes skin without leaving a greasy residue. For all skin types (including particularly dry skin), our body moisturiser also includes cocoa butter and shea butter for a luxurious feel.

Discover Crème De Corps.

Creme de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil

Crème de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil

Our spray-on body oil is easy to apply, and leaves skin feeling hydrated and nourished after application. The formula is enriched with squalane and grape seed oil, which is rich in antioxidants. The end result - protected and hydrated skin.

Discover Crème de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil.

Ultra Facial Cleanser

Ultra Facial Cleanser

Our foaming cleanser removes debris, impurities and sweat that accumulate throughout the day or while we sleep – without reducing natural oils found in the skin. Suitable for all skin types, this gentle cleanser combines squalane benefits with avocado oil and apricot kernels to further nourish and refresh skin.

Discover Ultra Facial Cleanser.

Ultra Facial Toner

Ultra Facial Toner

After cleansing, our squalane-infused toner helps to hydrate and comfort skin while refining skin texture. pH balanced and supportive of following skincare steps, our toner won’t dry out skin. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive.

Discover Ultra Facial Toner.

Loved this guide? Learn more on how to help repair a damaged skin barrier


Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device