Beauty / Society

Skincare science: everything you need to know about squalane and why Reese Witherspoon is a fan

By Fiona Embleton
reese witherspoon

Photo: Biossance

Consider squalane your ally for putting hydration back into winter skin

Our modern obsession with stripping away natural oils means we often overlook how much we owe to the sebum in our skin. It moisturises the skin’s outer layer, giving it a soft and supple quality. It feeds the flora in our microbiome, keeping it in balance, while also strengthening the all-important skin barrier.


So it makes sense that, when faced with winter’s punishing conditions, we call in reinforcements that mimic the effects of sebum when it’s in sparse supply. Meet squalane, a skin-identical moisturiser fast achieving skincare superstar status. Yet questions abound about what it actually is and its cruelty-free status, which we answer below:

Squalane vs squalene – what’s the difference?