Squalane is a popular skincare ingredient for its ability to nourish and protect your skin without feeling like a heavy oil.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is a unique plant-based oil that harnesses the power of this ingredient in its purest form.
In this The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane review post, I’ll dive into the benefits of using squalane on your skin, share my personal experience with The Ordinary’s plant-based squalane, and discuss similar squalane products.
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Squalane is a saturated hydrocarbon, which is a molecule made of carbon and hydrogen. It has a very lightweight and oil-like texture even though it is technically oil-free.
For the purposes of this review, I’ll call it squalane oil since it’s often referred to as an oil.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is multi-purpose and suitable for all skin types.
Squalane helps balance combination skin, while oily and acne-prone skin will appreciate that it won’t clog your pores, has a non-oily feel, and provides lightweight hydration.
Squalane is the stable version of squalene (with an e), a natural lipid found in our skin and an unsaturated hydrocarbon more prone to oxidation than squalane (with an a).
As we age, squalene production in our skin greatly decreases, which contributes to dry skin as we age.
That’s where squalane comes in. Squalane can be applied topically to help restore our skin’s natural moisture barrier and combat transepidermal water loss from our skin, helping it stay hydrated and soft.
The Ordinary’s squalane is 100% pure plant-derived, ECOCERT approved, and a USDA Certified Bio-based Product.
You can also use The Ordinary’s 100% Plant-Derived Squalane on your hair to prevent breakage, increase shine, and boost heat protection. All without weighing your hair down or making it feel greasy.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane Review
The first thing I noticed with this squalane oil is the texture.
As you can see from the image above, The Ordinary squalane looks almost like water. It is very lightweight and non-greasy, which I love since my skin leans toward the oily side.
It absorbs quickly into my skin without leaving an oily residue, which makes it feel comfortable to wear under makeup or sunscreen during the day while layering well with other skincare products at night.
Squalane has a light enough texture that allows it to be applied under my moisturizer without making my skin feel weighed down or blocking the benefits of my moisturizer like other oils can.
You can see above how it leaves a nice glow after it absorbs into your skin.
Depending on your skin type (i.e., combination/oily/very oily), you might even want to use squalane as your only moisturizer. If you have dry skin, squalane could be a great add-on to your regular moisturizer.
I’ve tried several different brands of squalane, and The Ordinary is one of the most thin and lightweight textures.
If you don’t love the feel of face oils on your skin like me, you might consider giving this squalane oil a try. You might be surprised. It could become one of your favorite lightweight hydrators.
How To Use The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
Apply a few drops of The Ordinary Squalane to your face and neck in your morning and/or evening skincare routines.
The Ordinary notes that squalane should be applied after water-based serums and before your moisturizer. Some people prefer to use it after their moisturizer, though.
You can try before or after your moisturizer and see what works best for your skin.
When my skin is dehydrated or irritated, I like to use The Ordinary Squalane after The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA as the last step of my evening skincare routine to lock in moisture.
The shelf life of The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is 6 months after opening.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane Conflicts
Luckily The Ordinary Squalane doesn’t conflict with other products, so you can safely use it with your other skincare products without any conflicts.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to patch test any new skincare product before using it for the first time to avoid an adverse initial reaction.
Alternatives to The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
If The Ordinary squalane oil isn’t for you, many other affordable squalane oils are just as effective:
The Inkey List Squalane Oil
Like The Ordinary, The Inkey List Squalane Oil contains 100% plant-derived squalane. The non-greasy oil improves skin hydration while smoothing the look of fine lines and supporting oil control in your complexion.
It’s a few dollars more than The Ordinary Squalane and isn’t quite as lightweight on my skin, but it’s still a great value and does an excellent job of moisturizing my skin.
You can apply 1-2 drops of this squalane oil onto your skin after any skin care treatment products or mix 1 – 2 drops with your moisturizer.
You can read my comparison between The Ordinary Squalane and The Inkey List Squalane in this post: The Inkey List vs The Ordinary.
Acure The Essentials 100% Plant Squalane Oil
Acure The Essentials 100% Plant Squalane Oil contains 100% plant-based squalane like The Ordinary. While it feels slightly richer than The Ordinary Squalane on my skin, it’s still very lightweight.
This squalane oil’s texture allows for layering and daytime wear, and like all the squalane oils in this post, it’s a great option for those who don’t like the feel of a typical face oil (that would be me!).
One benefit this squalane has that all the other brands don’t is the pump bottle. It’s really quick and easy to use. But it’s more expensive, too.
You can read more about this and more Acure products in my Acure review post.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane supports a healthy moisture barrier while leaving a dry oil-like finish on your skin.
Hemi-squalane has a lower molecular weight than squalane, which makes it feel lighter on your skin and allows it to be more easily absorbed.
I didn’t think I could find an oil that feels lighter than squalane, but wow, hemi-squalane is so light on my skin!
It’s an excellent option for those with combination skin or oily skin who want lightweight hydration without feeling like you’re adding a greasy layer of moisture to your face.
Like The Ordinary’s squalane, you can also use 100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane on your hair. It helps decrease frizz.
For more details on the difference between squalane and hemi-squalane, be sure to check out my post: Squalane vs Hemi-Squalane.
NOTE: If you prefer a different face oil, The Ordinary has several to choose from. You can get more details on The Ordinary oils in my guide to The Ordinary Face Oils.
The Benefits of Squalane
There are many reasons why squalane, a superhero hydrator, deserves a spot in your daily skincare line-up. This active ingredient:
- Has a lightweight texture
- Doesn’t leave a greasy residue
- Is non-comedogenic
- Is suitable for all skin types
- Can also be used on your hair
Suitable For All Skin Types
Squalane is ideal for all skin types, even oily skin, thanks to its non-greasy texture.
Squalane is an emollient that can help to balance out combination skin while providing enough moisture for dry skin types.
It’s non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores, which can lead to breakouts and acne, so it’s also suitable for acne-prone skin.
Squalane is even suitable for sensitive skin, as it won’t cause irritation, making it a great choice for those looking for a gentle moisturizing oil.
The Bottom Line: An Affordable Lightweight Moisturizer
Whether you’re dealing with dryness, acne, or fine lines and wrinkles, squalane could be the lightweight moisturizing solution you’ve been looking for.
I think The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is a no-brainer because it’s an affordable, effective, lightweight moisturizer.
Thanks for reading!