Did You Know…
… that squalene not only soothes, protects, and hydrates the skin, but may also help to prevent certain cancers?
From skin emollient to cancer fighter, squalene (also sometimes spelled squalane) holds many health and wellness benefits, especially for the skin.
Human sebum (the substance in skin that keeps it moist and protected) is comprised of 13% squalene. However, squalene levels are high when we are newborn babies, peak in our twenties, and decline rapidly in our thirties and forties.
Laboratory studies attest to the anticancer, antioxidant, detoxifying, and hydrating properties of squalene. Whether you add it to your skin cream, or supplement with it as a nutrient, squalene is a must-have in your anti-aging arsenal.
Squalene is found in high concentrations in shark liver oil, which is also a rich source of immune-boosting alkylgylcerols. Alkylgylcerols trigger the production of red and white blood cells that help ward off infection and disease. Together, squalene and alkylgylcerols exhibit cancer-fighting properties as suggested by animal and in vitro studies.Human clinical trials on the anti-tumor effects of shark liver oil still need to be conducted, but these preliminary studies are promising. Squalene derived from shark liver oil has also been shown to soothe the symptoms of arthritis and subdue joint inflammation.
However, problems exist with using squalene from shark oil. Shark populations are drastically overfished, and overall sharks are near extinction. In fact, researchers predict that shark populations may be wiped out over the next 10 – 20 years due to negative human activities.
Shark Friendly Squalene
Two decades ago, scientists discovered that olive oil also contains squalene chemically identical to that of shark liver oil, and is a fish-friendly alternative. Squalene derived from olives can be readily found online.
In addition, olive oil itself offers myriad benefits thanks to its squalene content. In fact, epidemiologic and laboratory studies attribute the anticancer effects of olive oil to squalene.
Mediterranean populations that consume large amounts of olive oil have significantly decreased mortality rates and cardiovascular risks. Studies have shown that the incidences of cancers of the breast, pancreas, and colon decrease with an increased intake of olive oil… all due to olive oil’s plentiful concentration of squalene! For instance, Greek women are 65% less likely to develop breast cancer than American women because of their high consumption of olive oil.
For maximum benefit, purchase cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, which maintains the oil’s integrity and health benefits.
Squalene for Skin
The internal benefits of squalene are considerable, but squalene delivers multiple topical benefits as well, including:
- Guarding against free radical damage
- Protecting the skin from harmful UV rays and sunspots
- Stimulating new cell growth
- Preventing skin irritation
- Killing germs with its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
Squalene (or its more stable version squalane) is a coveted ingredient in luxury skin creams. With a neutral smell and color, skincare manufacturers add it to promote spreadability, as well as the absorption of active ingredients.
If squalene isn’t an ingredient in your favorite night cream, just add a few drops to your lotion or facial oil, mix, and apply. The added squalene will carry the active ingredients in your skin cream to the deepest layers of your skin.
Remember, after age 25 the levels of squalene in the skin decline, leaving us susceptible to fine lines, wrinkles, and dryness. All it takes is a moisture boost from squalene to deliver hydration deep into the skin’s layers to diminish the visible signs of aging.