Know Your Ingredients: Squalane Oil, Nature’s Super Moisturizer

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As people with extraordinarily elaborate skin-care routines, we pride ourselves on using products with the most effective ingredients around. Of course, this involves actually knowing what those ingredients are. And, boy, are there a lot of ingredients out there. In Know Your Ingredients, our new ongoing series, we'll be decoding the many oils, acids, extracts, and more that appear in our favorite products.
Squalane oil: We've been seeing this odd word appear all over the place, but as far as we know, we've never encountered a squalane. So, what's this oil business? According to Indie Lee, founder and CEO of her eponymous skin-care brand, "Squalane oil can be found in both plants and animals. And, in fact, it's produced naturally by the human body."
Yes, but what is it? Like all good things in skin care, it's a lipid. According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database, the squalane most commonly used in conventional skin care is derived from shark liver oil. The more you know.
Lee uses squalane oil made from sustainably farmed olives, so it's totally vegan. As for the benefits? She calls it nature's most perfect moisturizer and says, "It's proven to be especially effective for sensitive skin, or for people with issues like eczema, psoriasis, dry and rough skin, skin cracks, dermatitis, and rashes."
In addition to its moisturizing properties, Lee says that this ingredient is also an anti-aging all-star. "Our skin slows the production of squalane when we're in our early 20s. So, using products that contain squalane oil can help to combat the signs such as wrinkles and dryness that appear because of that decrease."
We're pretty much convinced that we need all the squalane, all the time. Lee says that it appears in everything from serums to balms to eye creams, so that shouldn't be hard to accomplish. The takeaway point, here? If you want to tackle dryness and fine lines, squalane seems like just the oil for the job.
Indie Lee Squalane Oil, $32, available at Indie Lee.

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