First of all there is a difference between Squalane and Squalene. Squalene is naturally occurring in our skin’s sebum and hence is a part of our skin’s own moisturizers. Squalene is also an antioxidant and is a precursor for steroids. The most common confusion (I didn’t know the difference for a long time either) is between Squalane and Squalene. You can buy both Squalene and Squalane, both are nowadays mostly vegetable derived. But Squalane is a stabilized form of Squalene. Unfortunately this means it lacks the antioxidant capacity of Squalene. .
Ok, so why buy Squalane and not Squalene? Well, you don’t have too! But Squalene oxidizes easily when exposed to light. When it oxidizes certain reactions/breakdown products form that can trigger inflammation (bad news!). Some research also suggest that people with acne have elevated levels of Squalene in their sebum that may then trigger inflammation by this process. Applying squalane is hence safer and it also has a longer shelf life. .
Because of its structure Squalane is an excellent oil as a moisturizer/occlusive for all skin types, even oily and acne prone. My experience is that Dermatologists disagree whether or not to use oil and or oil containing moisturizers when you have oily skin. It depends: if you dry out your skin with foaming cleansers you might have to add some oil but if you use very gentle non stripping cleansers an oil-free product might be all you need if you have truly oily skin. In my own experience oils should be used in small quantities, 2-3 small drops is all you need (and not a replacement for humectant based products). I have seen friends and family members go bananas when they incorporate a lovely fragrant oil blend and literally apply a tablespoon thinking more is better. This can cause brake outs (I have witnessed this myself). The skin is not a Swiss schnitzel (!) it can not soak up an ocean of butter. Applying too much can lead to clogged pores, acne brake and milia. .
Don’t get me wrong, oils are great when used properly! Squalane almost has the texture of something between a gel and silicon. It absorbs really well and leaves a velvet finish and a healthy glow.