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Différence entre squalane et squalène.

What is the difference between squalane and squalene?

Squalane and squalene are both substances that visually improve the condition of the skin. Although they can be confused, these two elements are chemically different, even though they have quite similar benefits. Discover the differences between squalane and squalene, as well as their usefulness in skincare.


What are the differences between squalane and squalene?

Unlike squalane, squalene is a substance in the form of fat or lipid naturally produced by the human body. It is more precisely secreted by the sebaceous glands.

Squalene isone of the components of sebum, along with wax esters and triglycerides.

Its role is to form a protective barrier for the skin, but also to keep it hydrated. It also has antioxidant properties that combat the damage caused by free radicals.

Regarding squalane, it is a derivative of squalene. Indeed, in order to obtain it, it is necessary tohydrogenate the squalene. Squalene has a raw formula of C30H50 while squalane is written as C30H62.

These two molecules therefore have the same number of carbon atoms, but not the same number of hydrogen atoms. In fact, squalane is said to be saturated : oxygen atoms cannot attach to the carbon chain, and therefore squalane is much more stable than squalene. Conversely, squalene is described as unsaturated because it has carbon-carbon double bonds (C=C), which can react with oxygen atoms.

The squalane is a well-known ingredient in skincare. Its excellent affinity with skin and hair, as well as its emollient properties, make it a very popular active ingredient for cosmetic products, both in cream and milk formulas as well as in massage oils and hair oils, and also in hair serums. Squalane helps to restore the lipid barrier and protects the skin and hair from dehydration. It is particularly recommended in formulas intended for dry skin.

From squalene to squalane.

It's important to note that the production of squalene by the sebaceous glands significantly decreases starting in our thirties. This generally results in the skin becoming drier and therefore more marked with the appearance of dehydration fine lines . This is where squalane comes into play.

The production of squalane found in skincare products does not originate from the squalene secreted by the human body. While in the past, squalane was produced through the hydrogenation of squalene found in shark liver, this is no longer the case today. Indeed, for ethical reasons, vegetable squalane derived from olive oil began to be used as a replacement for animal-derived squalane starting from the 1980s.

Theplant-derived squalaneis obtained from squalene sourced from olive oil residues, sugarcane, rice, wheat, sugar beet, palm oil, or amaranth.In the case of olive oil squalane, the process involves recovering the unsaponifiable squalene using a distillation process aimed at removing the pulp from the olives that will provide the oil. The squalene is then hydrogenated into squalane. Hydrogenation involves combining a compound with a molecule of dihydrogen (H2). The entire process takes place without any solvents. Furthermore,olives are the preferred source, with a particularly low environmental impact within the framework of sustainable or organic farming, which preserves biodiversity and limits the use of irrigation.

Our nourishing serum contains 100% squalane derived from olive oil. It is particularly recommended for dry skin, for daily application in the morning and evening.


  • ARADENIZ F. & al. Biological importance and applications of squalene and squalane. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research (2012).

  • DUCOS L. & al. Shark in our beauty creams, an exclusive study by Bloom (2015).


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