Over the weekend, there’s a good chance you saw or were tagged in a post about a new face cleanser from cult skincare brand The Ordinary.
Even if you haven’t tried The Ordinary products, someone you know has, and it’s likely they rabbit on to you all the time about how bloody great they are.
For fans of the brand known for its scientific lotions and potions that look like they belong in a laboratory, any new The Ordinary product launch is very exciting.
This time, it’s The Ordinary’s first ever cleanser, The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser, $13.50.
If you’ve got no idea what this ‘squalane’ thing is, you’re not alone.
Currently, there is only one other squalane cleanser on the market, and you can’t even buy it little old Australia yet, which means you mightn’t have seen squalane on the shelf at your local pharmacy. You might’ve seen or heard of squalane oil, which you can buy as a face oil, but it’s still very much a mysterious skincare ingredient.
As someone who has tried The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser, I can answer all your burning questions, including what is squalane and why people are putting it on their faces? And most importantly of all, does The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser live up to the hype?
Side note – did you know you can help improve your skin while you’re snoozing? Check out our video below on seven things you didn’t know about skin and sleep. Post continues after video.
What is squalane?
This is going to sound quite strange, but essentially, squalane is lipid found in sebum… the oily stuff that can get clogged in your pores and cause pimples. Stay with us.
“Squalene is a type of chemical called a ‘lipid’, which is similar in structure to fats and doesn’t dissolve readily in water. It is a product that humans produce naturally as part of our sebum, the ‘oil’ that protects our skin,” Dr Deshan Sebaratnam, dermatologist and clinical senior lecturer at The University of Sydney, told Mamamia.
Northern Sydney Dermatology’s Dr Liz Dawes-Higgs added, “In humans, squalane is found in sebum, which is a yellow oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands in the skin to keep the skin and hair moisturised. In skincare products, squalane is an excellent moisturiser and lubricant.”
Another fun squalane fact: in cosmetics and health supplements, squalane was mostly sourced from shark livers. Yum. Now, products like The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser are made from sustainably sourced squalane from olive oil.
Just to confuse things a little more, you might see squalane spelt two different ways: squalane vs. squalene. That’s because they are two different variations of the same compound.
“Squalene is quite unstable, so trying to combine squalene into skincare can be a challenge. Instead of squalene, most skincare companies will use squalane, which is derived from squalene and is much more stable,” Dermal Distinction’s Dr Giulia D’Anna told Mamamia.