Meet the New Face Oil the Beauty World Can’t Stop Raving About

Updated: Feb. 26, 2021

Move over, argan oil. There's a new does-it-all oil in town. Read on to learn all about it.


Introducing squalane oil

Squalane oil is a plant-based saturated oil that can be used for treating cracked lips, eye-area dryness, eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis because of its moisturizing and antibacterial properties. It’s unique because squalane helps protect your skin from free radicals, which cause premature aging, says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist with the Schweiger Dermatology Group. Our bodies naturally produce the oil, so squalane oil will help restore moisture that is lost as our skin ages. Regular use of squalane oil might fade dark pigmentation over time as well. Meet the other essential oils that boost your beauty routine.


How to use squalane oil

While a few drops of this ultra-absorbant oil should do the trick, the irritation level is low, even if you overdo it. “You have it in your skin anyway,” says Dr. Nazarian. “It doesn’t get more natural than this.” The squalane oil will also help absorb other products. Sunscreen or moisturizer should be added several minutes after the oil has sunk in for extra protection against the sun or free radicals.


Beware of squalene oil

When buying squalane oil, make sure it has that second ‘a’ in the name. Squalene oil is an unsaturated oil that is naturally produced by our skin cells and can become rancid quickly. It is also found in olives, palm trees, and shark liver. Squalane oil is 100 percent saturated, which makes it stable and gives it a longer shelf life than squalene oil.


Best squalane oil products

There are very few pure squalane products out on the market, but companies are starting to advertise which products have it, says Dr. Nazarian. “Medically, it’s a very elegant type of oil,” she says. We rounded up the best squalane oil products, but Dr. Nazarian recommends bringing each product used in your skin-care regimen to a dermatologist to make sure everything is being used in the best way.

Best all around squalane oil

The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane ($20) has a very high emollience and helps prevent the ongoing loss of hydration that impairs dermal suppleness. The bottle comes with a dropper and should be used after water-based treatments. The face oil will keep anything else—good or bad—from sinking into your skin, so it should be the last step in your skin-care regimen. The squalane oil can also be applied to hair to increase heat protection, add shine and reduce breakage potential, according to the company.


Best anti-aging squalane oil

Derived from farmed, naturally sourced, sustainable sugarcane, Peter Thomas Roth’s Oilless Oil 100% Purified Squalane ($20) is another lightweight option for adding hydration to your beauty routine. The non-comedogenic face oil is made by pressing raw sugarcane into extra juice, which is then fermented; the squalane separates from the fermented matter to become the colorless oil that rids the skin of impurities. In a consumer study, 95 percent of women between the ages of 30 and 75 said their skin felt softer, moisturized and more radiant, and 91 percent said they saw a reduction in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet around the eyes.


A full line of squalane oil products

When Sephora can’t keep the product stocked on its shelves, that’s when you know you have a hit on your hands. Biossance has five squalane-based products: 100 percent Squalane Oil ($58), Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel ($54), Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil ($72), Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer ($52), and Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil ($30). The clean beauty brand has rave reviews on both its website and Sephora’s website, and it’s the only brand that incorporates squalane into products that aren’t strictly oils.


Best eco-friendly squalane oil

An eco-chic skincare collection, Indie Lee uses olive-derived squalane oil in its Squalane Facial Oil, aka “the moisture miracle worker.” This squalane oil ($32) promises to restore an even skin tone, diminish age spots, and boost your skin’s elasticity without clogging any pores. The company recommends that you apply two or three drops of the oil to freshly cleansed skin twice a day for ultra-hydration and anti-aging benefits.