Serum bottle containing squalane for skin with the title "Hemisqualane Vs Squalane For Skin"

Hemisqualane vs Squalane For Skin

On the market today, there are a multitude of skincare oils that claim to give you glowing, healthy, and moisturized skin. However, it can be difficult to choose the correct oil for your skin type, especially if you have particularly reactive skin. One of the most popular oils on the market is squalane oil. It has a variety of beneficial properties. Recently, a similar oil known as hemisqualane has made its rounds among skincare enthusiasts, and rightfully so. Depending on your skin type, hemisqualane and squalane may be better for you. 

What Skin Type Should Use Squalane?

Squalene is a lipid that is found on the surface of human skin. It functions to aid in creating an epidermal lipid barrier.

This barrier acts as a safety net for the skin, preventing infections and other contaminants from damaging the skin surface.

The lipid barrier also provides hydration to the skin.

As we age, the amount of squalene produced by the human body is greatly reduced.

Therefore, mature skin can have beneficial results by using the topical form of squalene, known as squalane.

This man made form of oil is more stable than the naturally occurring form. In addition, squalane is well-tolerated by many.

It can be used to treat skin disorders such as seborrheic dermatitis.

This is a skin condition characterized by red, dry patches of skin, mainly on the scalp. It can be difficult to treat as the skin becomes very sensitive to external products used on the skin. Therefore, it is good for people with reactive and/or very dry skin.

What Skin Type Should Use Hemisqualane?

Hemisqualane is similar to squalane in which it provides the skin with moisture, lipids, and protection from environmental stressors.

The main difference is that hemisqualane has a lower molecular weight than squalane.

This means that it is a lighter formula and is suitable for those that enjoy a completely non-greasy, easily spreadable product.

The skin type that would best suit this oil is acne-prone skin. In addition, oily skin types would benefit from the texture of hemisqualane as it is lighter and feels completely dry once it sinks into the skin.

This would also benefit those with reactive and sensitive skin, as the oil is non-greasy and non-irritating. 

Can You Use Squalane As a Moisturizer?

While squalane is a perfect addition to your skincare routine, it may not be heavy enough to use as a moisturizer.

Moisturizers have emollient properties in which they soften skin cells.

While squalane also has emollient properties and contributes to the overall hydration of the skin, its lightweight feel and dry to the touch texture may not leave skin as moisturized as a regular moisturizer would.

It’s best to use squalane oil before your regular moisturizer to boost overall skin hydration. 

Can You Use Hemisqualane As a Moisturizer?

Likewise, hemisqualane is not a good option to use as a stand alone moisturizer, even more so than squalane.

The reason is because hemisqualane has a lower molecular weight than squalane. Therefore, it has an even lighter consistency and may not provide complete hydration of the skin.

To ensure skin is properly moisturized, use a richer moisturizer that includes emollients and humectants (such as hyaluronic acid). You can layer a thick moisturizer over hemisqualane oil for best results. 

What Does Squalane Do For Your Face?

Now, let’s dive into some of the science-backed benefits of squalane for the skin.

As mentioned previously, squalene oil is found naturally on the surface of the skin.

When manufactured, squalane is usually derived from plant sources.

This lipid can effectively penetrate the epidermis, allowing it to hydrate the skin.

It is also an antioxidant. This means that it can protect the skin from oxidative damage from UV rays and other pollutants. It stabilizes the reactive oxygen species (ROS) that would otherwise damage cell membranes.

With its emollient properties, squalane can treat dry skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis. 

What Does Hemisqualane Do For Your Face?

Since the main difference between hemisqualane and squalane is its smaller molecular weight, many of the properties of squalane stand true for hemisqualane.

It provides hydration, lipid protection, emollient properties, and functions as an antioxidant.

It comes in a lightweight texture that dries down quickly. It aids in moisturizing the skin. Hemisqualane is ideal for acne-prone skin types due to its light formulation and non-greasy feel. 


Moisturizers: The Slippery Road – PMC (

Squalene: More than a Step toward Sterols – PMC (

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *