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The Skincare Secret of Squalane

The Skincare Secret of Squalane

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 1970s.

What is Squalane?

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.

Is Squalane good for your 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.

Squalane vs. Squalene

While they are definitely related, Squalane and Squalene are not identical. Squalane is actually the hydrogenated form of Squalene.

When Squalene 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:

Squalene
  • Highly unstable
  • Easily oxidizes

Squalane
  • Stable against heat and oxidation
  • Imperceptible odor and clear color

What are the benefits of Squalane?

With emollient characteristics, Squalane is a beloved ingredient for smoothing and softening skin. Within our formulas, Squalane is known to:

  • Help stabilize skin’s barrier
  • Help skin maintain moisture
  • Absorb easily without a greasy residue

Squalane & Anti-Aging

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:

  • Visibly reduce wrinkles around the eye area
  • Visibly reduce crow’s feet
  • Help improve skin’s firmness
  • Help improve skin’s elasticity

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.

What are the common uses of Squalane?

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.

Kiehl’s & Squalane

We first began using Squalane in our formulas in the 1970s 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.

Carefully Sourced

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.

Kiehl’s Skincare Products with Squalane

Ultra Facial Cream

Ultra Facial Cream

Our #1 worldwide customer favorite, Ultra Facial Cream provides 24-hour hydration for all skin types–including sensitive skin. Our formula is infused with olive-derived Squalane, which is known to help maintain skin’s moisture barrier. Our beloved moisturizer is also infused with Glacial Glycoprotein, which is extracted from micro-organisms in sea glaciers and notable for its ability to thrive in extreme climates. With an ultra-lightweight texture, our beloved facial cream smoothes and softens for visibly healthier-looking skin.

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Midnight Recovery Concentrat

Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Wake up to younger-looking skin with Kiehl’s nighttime facial oil. Infused with Squalane, this replenishing elixir is also formulated with Lavender Essential Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. With a luxurious scent, this beloved facial oil helps restore skin’s appearance overnight for replenished, more radiant skin by morning.

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Creme de Corps

Creme de Corps

Rich and decadent, Kiehl’s Creme de Corps body moisturizer is a classic formula that smoothes and softens from head to toe. Infused with Squalane, this body lotion is also formulated with Beta-Carotene, Cocoa Butter and Sesame Oil. Nurture your skin with indulgent moisture with this beloved Kiehl’s body lotion.

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Creme de Corps Body Oil

Creme de Corps Body Oil

Inspired by our classic moisturizer, our spray-on body oil nourishes skin to leave it soft, supple and smooth. Enriched with Squalane, this formula is also infused with Grape Seed Oil. With a decadent aroma of Vanilla and Almond, this body oil leaves skin velvety-soft.

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