What is Olive Squalane?

Posted by Emily van Oosterom on

Olive squalane is a popular ingredient in skincare products, known for its ability to deeply moisturise and protect the skin. In this blog post, we'll explore the constituents, processing, uses, and benefits of olive squalane in functional skincare.

What is Olive Squalane?

Olive squalane is a natural, plant-based oil derived from olives. It is a saturated hydrocarbon, which means it is very stable and resistant to oxidation. It is also very similar in structure to the squalene that our skin naturally produces, which is why it is such an effective moisturiser.

Processing of Olive Squalane

Olive squalane is extracted from the unsaponifiable fraction of olive oil. This is the part of the oil that cannot be turned into soap, and includes a range of beneficial compounds such as phytosterols, tocopherols, and polyphenols. The unsaponifiable fraction is separated from the rest of the oil and then distilled to create pure squalane.

Olive Squalane Constituents and Skin Benefits:

The primary constituent of olive squalane is squalane itself, a fully saturated and stable form of squalene. Unlike squalene, which is highly unsaturated and prone to oxidation, squalane is stable and resistant to oxidation, making it a favored ingredient in skincare products.

When it comes to benefits for the skin, squalane is renowned for its moisturizing properties. It mimics our skin’s natural oils, making it an excellent emollient. Squalane penetrates the skin easily and does so without leaving an oily residue. It's also odorless and colorless, which makes it a perfect ingredient for a variety of skincare products (Pavicic et al., 2007).

Squalane also enhances skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its molecular structure is similar to the skin’s own, enabling it to penetrate the skin deeply and quickly, enhancing its plumping and softening effect on the skin (Downing, 1996).

Squalane also has antioxidant properties and can protect the skin from free radicals that can cause premature aging. It plays a role in protecting the skin from damage caused by UV light, reducing hyperpigmentation and evening out skin tone (Chiba et al., 2000).

Olive squalane has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to regulate the skin's natural oil production and soothe skin conditions such as acne and eczema (Kim et al., 2010).

Uses of Olive Squalane in Skincare

Olive squalane is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a range of skincare products, including moisturisers, serums, and facial oils. It is particularly effective for dry, sensitive, and ageing skin, as it helps to hydrate, nourish, and protect the skin. It is also lightweight and non-greasy, making it a great option for all skin types.

Benefits of Olive Squalane in Skincare

  1. Deep Hydration: Olive squalane is a highly effective moisturiser that can penetrate deep into the skin to hydrate and nourish it from within. This helps to improve skin elasticity, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and leave the skin looking plump and youthful.
  2. Protection: Olive squalane is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from free radical damage. This can help to prevent premature ageing, reduce inflammation, and improve overall skin health.
  3. Non-Comedogenic: Olive squalane is non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog pores or cause breakouts. This makes it a great option for people with acne-prone or oily skin.
  4. Enhances Skin Barrier Function: Olive squalane can help to strengthen the skin's natural barrier function, which helps to protect against environmental stressors such as pollution and UV rays.



    1. Squalane. (n.d.). The Dermatology Review. https://thedermreview.com/squalane/
    2. Costa, C., & Zaffe, D. (2016). Olive oil: The best-known fat for human health. In Olive Oil and Health (pp. 1-26). Springer, Cham.
    3. Davis, E. C., & Callender, V. D. (2010). Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: a review of the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment options in skin of color. Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 3(7), 20-31.
    4. Chiba, K., Yoshizawa, K., Makino, I., Kawakami, K., & Onoue, M. (2000). Comedogenicity of squalene monohydroperoxide in the skin after topical application. Journal of Toxicological Sciences, 25(2), 77-83.
    5. Downing, D. T. (1996). Lipid and protein structures in the permeability barrier of mammalian epidermis. Journal of Lipid Research, 37(12), 2473-2491.
    6. Kim, S. K., Karadeniz, F., & Kim, J. B. (2010). Squalene isolated from the viscera of the ray, Taeniura meyeni inhibits the vascular inflammatory process via suppressing adhesion molecule expression. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 20(9), 1355-1365.
    7. Pavicic, T., Gauglitz, G. G., Lersch, P., Schwach-Abdellaoui, K., Malle, B., Korting, H. C., & Farwick, M. (2007). Efficacy of cream-based novel formulations of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights in anti-wrinkle treatment. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 6(9), 879-886.

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