• Olive Squalane is a luxurious emollient used in a wide range of cosmetic and personal care formulations. Its unique chemical and physical characteristics, along with its beautifying properties for the skin, hair, nails, and lips, have made it a popular ingredient used extensively by both cosmetic manufacturers and skincare enthusiasts.

  • Squalene, a component of human sebum, helps lubricates and moisturize the skin and scalp while acting as a natural guard against external irritants and pollutants. Olive Squalane, on the other hand, is less prone to oxidization which improves its stability and shelf life for commercial applications.

  • Some of the properties of Olive Squalane that make it appealing for cosmetic manufacturers include its excellent chemical stability, attractive physical properties (it is light, colorless, and odorless), and its strong compatibility with other commonly used cosmetic ingredients such as essential oils, fragrance oils, vegetable oils, and organic solvents.

  • For the skin, Olive Squalane deeply soothes and moisturizes without leaving an oily finish. It helps slow down transepidermal water loss and boosts skin moisture, making the complexion look more radiant and nourished.

  • For hair, Olive Squalane can act as a great conditioner while helping to restore any lost lubrication on the scalp. It softens hair texture and adds shine without making the hair strands greasy.

  • For nails and lips, Olive Squalane helps fight excessive dryness that lead to symptoms such as chapped lips, cracked cuticles, and chipped nails. .




Olive Squalane is a cherished ingredient used extensively in the cosmetic and beauty industry. It is a cruelty-free, plant-based source of the compound Squalane that is derived from natural olives.

In recent years, the popularity and demand for Olive Squalane has been steadily on the rise. It rose to fame mostly in part due to the extraordinary benefits it offered, coupled with its mass consumer appeal. Olive Squalane is a lightweight, transparent, tasteless, and odorless liquid that reflects the Squalene component of human sebum. Its highly valued chemical properties help moisturize and deeply hydrate the skin, hair, and body without leaving a greasy, oily finish. It also acts as a great emollient; Olive Squalane flows in between the cells of the epidermis to smooth out and significantly soften the texture of skin. It additionally creates a natural, protective barrier on the skin’s surface to slow down transepidermal water loss.

Olive Squalane is ideal for use in skin, hair, nail, and lip care applications. It is especially suitable as an ingredient in formulations that aim to condition, moisturize, soothe, or replenish the appearance of the aging face and body. Currently, Olive Squalane is extensively incorporated into personal care products such as emollients, facial creams and serums, hair conditioners and oils, lip moisturizers, cuticle creams, sunscreens, and other dermatological products for inflammatory conditions such as eczema.




Squalene (with an ‘e’) is a polyunsaturated hydrocarbon that is naturally abundant in both plant and animal life. In humans, Squalene is produced by the liver and released mostly by the sebaceous glands located on the skin and scalp. Indeed, the sebum of human skin is composed of approximately 12% Squalene. It acts essentially as the skin’s personal guard, functioning as a natural barrier that protects the skin from water loss and external irritants.

As individuals age, the natural, internal production of Squalene declines – a process that can begin as early as the 20s. The relative deficiency in Squalene can cause the skin to look dry, dull, and textured. The hair can also feel dry, stringy, and lack shine. At the same time, the skin and scalp can be more at risk of being harmed by potential external irritants such as the weather, pollution, and harsh cleansing or styling products. As it became more and more desirable for the natural loss of Squalene to be replenished by external sources, the cosmetics and beauty industry started gaining interest in this compound to formulate commercially into creams, lotions, moisturizers, and oils.

Unfortunately, Squalene cannot be used directly in cosmetic formulations as it oxidizes and turns rancid in a short amount of time. Squalane (with an ‘a’) is simply the hydrogenated version of Squalene. Through hydrogenation, the unsaturated Squalene is transformed to a saturated compound that is more shelf-stable for manufacturing and packaging purposes. It is important to note that the hydrogenation process does not modify the effectiveness and biology of the end product for its intended use. Currently, the popularity of Squalane extends well beyond the cosmetic sectors as well; there are various additional markets that have an eye on this valued skincare ingredient, including the pharmaceutical, textile, and food and supplement industries. As of 2017, North America consists of the third dominant consumer of Squalene (and its derivative Squalane), superseded by Europe and the Asia Pacific.




The global attention Squalane has received – along with its precursor Squalene – has prompted many lines of research for stakeholders to identify the most cost-effective sources while balancing the needs and requirements of consumer preferences. Squalane can be sourced from both plant and animal sources; shark liver oil is particularly rich in Squalene, while small amounts are present in vegetable resources such as olives, sugarcane, and amaranthus seeds (these plant-based varieties are sometimes referred to as ‘phytosqualane’). In the past, the cosmetics and beauty industry relied heavily on shark liver oil to source Squalene due to the higher percentage of the hydrocarbon and relatively cheaper extraction process. However, due to immense pressure driven by environmentalist campaigns and a shift in consumer ethics and values, cosmetic companies had to hone in on Squalene sources that were more sustainable, vegan, environment-friendly, and cruelty-free. Olive Squalane represented a viable, profitable alternative to address the ethical and environmental concerns related to use the of shark liver oil.

Olive Squalane is not sourced directly from olives. The reason for this relates to the relatively low amounts of squalene present in Olive Oil (roughly 500 mg/100 g in Virgin Olive Oil, and 300 mg/100 g in Refined Olive Oil), which makes direct extraction solely for Squalene an expensive and unsustainable process. However, during the Olive Oil refinery process, the by-products created during the final stages provide a valuable source of Squalene that is more cost-effective and eco-friendly. The Olive Oil deodorizer distillates in particular can consist of up to a third of Squalene. These secondary materials are separated and then undergo a purification process to produce Olive Squalane.

  1. Great for vegan/cruelty-free branding, and appeals to consumer mindsets that demand ethical manufacturing practices.
  2. Sustainable and environmentally friendly sourcing methods relative to shark liver Squalane.
  3. It is a derivative of an ingredient already present in the body, with the added benefit of not being as prone to oxidization.
  4. Can enhance the absorption of other cosmetic ingredients.
  5. Further supports the stability of the end product when included in a formulation.
  6. Gentle enough to be used ‘neat’ in topical applications.
  7. Exceptionally skin-friendly - can be incorporated in formulations for all skin types, is non-comedogenic, and presents a low risk of irritation.





Olive Squalane offers a number of benefits for both beauty enthusiasts and cosmetics manufacturers. It is highly emollient and structurally similar to natural Squalene present in sebum, which helps it get easily absorbed to provide a smooth, silky, non-greasy finish. Olive Squalane also coats the surface of the skin to lock in moisture, slow down water loss that leads to dry skin, and soothe the skin from external irritants. Furthermore, it is believed to possess antioxidant properties that guard the skin against free radicals that deteriorate the health of the skin over time, making it useful for antiaging applications.

Olive Squalane can be applied ‘neat’ to the skin, or it can incorporated into natural skincare formulations with concentrations ranging from 0.5%-100%. The liposoluble quality of Olive Squalane makes it an excellent carrier for other liposoluble cosmetic ingredients.

It is worth noting that Olive Squalane is sometimes not advised for those suffering from acne. This is due to sebum (which Squalene is naturally a part of) being involved in the pathophysiology of acne. Because of this, some believe that individuals with acne may find excessive use of Squalane products can contribute to their acne symptoms. While this is true for Squalene, it is worth noting that Squalane is non-comedogenic and is relatively safe to use on all skin types, including oily skin.

  1. Moisturizes and soothes dry, rough, and textured skin.
  2. Helps retain skin moisture by preventing excessive transepidermal water loss.
  3. Enhances skin’s natural barrier against external irritants and pollutants.
  4. Helps restore the concentration of natural squalene to more youthful levels.
  5. Can improve the appearance of skin to make it brighter, more radiant, and healthy-looking.
  6. Contains toning properties that can help improve skin firmness and elasticity over time.
  7. Can improve the appearance of skin by decreasing redness and irritation.


The sebaceous glands located on the scalp secrete sebum and coats both the hair strands and the surface of the scalp itself. A lack of an adequate amount of sebum can lead to conditions such as dry and brittle hair, split ends, hair damage, dandruff, itchy scalp, and dull or frizzy hair. Harsh weather and the use of heating tools and certain styling products or hair treatments can further strip the hair strands from much-needed moisture. For individuals who suffer from hair dryness or damage, products formulated with Olive Squalane can help. There are now a wide range of hair products available on the market that are formulated with Squalane, including hair conditioners, oils, masks, and shampoos.

Olive Squalane can also be massaged directly into the scalp or applied to dry or wet hair strands.

  1. Deeply conditions and moisturizers the hair, making it look shiny and radiant without feeling greasy.
  2. Helps replenish the lack of healthy oils on the scalp.
  3. Soften and smoothens out the hair strands.
  4. Helps prevent further dryness and/or damage to the scalp and hair strands.
  5. Reputed to provide some heat protection against styling tools.
  6. Reputed to help reduce hair breakage by providing intense hydration.


Dry lips can be a common issue for both men and women. Signs of dry lips can include the cracking or chipping of the skin of the lips, bleeding, soreness or pain, and an itchy or burning sensation. Certain lip balms and lipsticks can be particularly drying, further exacerbating the issue. Olive Squalane can be an excellent alternative to lip balm, particularly in dry or cold weather. It can also be a nourishing emollient to incorporate into lipsticks or lip serums and oils.

Coupled with gentle lip exfoliation and plenty of hydration, the application of Olive Squalane or lip products enriched with Olive Squalane can be an effective solution to dry lip issues.

  1. Deeply moisturizes and softens the texture of the lips.
  2. Soothes dry, chapped, or irritated lips.
  3. Helps seal in moisture while reducing chapping, cracking, and/or flaking of the skin.
  4. Helps safeguard the lips against external irritants and pollutants.
  5. Can improve the appearance of the lips by making them look more plump and rosy.


Olive Squalane has a number of properties that make it ideal for nail care. The fingernail is composed of keratin and water, but it also contains approximately 5% of fats, including squalene and cholesterol, which originate from the nail bed. Frequent washing of the hands and the use of harsh hand cleansers and certain nail care products, including acetone nail polish removers, can strip the nails from its natural oils, leading to dry, brittle nails that break or chip easily. The cuticles and surrounding nail bed can also suffer from various ailments such as dryness, damage, cracking, or painful peeling. The application of Olive Squalane or Olive Squalane-enriched products can help replenish the fats needed for softer and healthier-looking nails.

  1. Helps fight dryness of the nails and cuticles by deeply soothing and moisturizing the nail bed and surrounding skin.
  2. Helps improve the appearance of nails and cuticles by reducing redness, chapping, or chipping.
  3. Nourishes and relieves pain associated with dry or cracked cuticles.
  4. Reputed to diminish nail breakage caused by excessive dryness.
  5. Helps safeguard the nails against external irritants and pollutants.




For high performance and integrity of your cosmetics, here are some factors to keep in mind when sourcing Olive Squalane.

  • Always go to a reputed company that has set procedures and regulations in place to ensure the product does not compromise on quality.

  • Verify the source or origin of the Squalane. It is possible to have sellers supplying ‘plant-based’ Squalane that is actually adulterated with shark liver Squalane. Ensure you look for appropriate evidence that authenticates the origin of your Squalane to be purely from plant sources.

  • Check to ensure the availability of Certificates of Analysis, statements about the production process as well as quality and regulatory information, including claims related to the presence of preservatives, by-products, impurities, and allergens.

  • The product should be free from – or have as little as possible – residual solvents from the production process.

Check out the full cosmetic raw materials supplies section. 




As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Olive Squalane is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes.

This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Olive Squalane, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Olive Squalane must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Olive Squalane should not be applied to the unclean skin, to open or infected wounds, or to skin that is exuding any type of fluid discharge.

In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IMPORTANT: All New Directions Aromatics (NDA) products are for external use only unless otherwise indicated. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or under the care of a medical practitioner. Please refer to our policies for further details, and our disclaimer below.

Read Disclaimer
Copyright ©1997-2024
New Directions Aromatics Inc.
All rights reserved.