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by Dr.Ying-Chin Wu

A comprehensive guide to understanding, using, and choosing squalene/squalane for ending skin dryness

There is virtually an endless range of hydration ingredients each claiming to do something unique, and among the most popular ones is "squalane," which is not new by any measure, but tends to be brought to attention particularly during autumn and winter. This is because squalane delivers many of the fundamental benefits that consumers would ask of in a skincare solution, including ease of use, instant hydration, significant improvement to dry wrinkles, high skin-affinity, and low irritation. In this article, we will explore what squalane is composed of, as well as its benefits to the skin besides those mentioned above!

What is squalane? What are its effects on skincare? 

Let's take a look at squalene first. It is a lipid that can be formed naturally by the human body and was first found in shark liver; over time, scientists have developed the ability to extract the substance from plants such as olive and sugar cane. Following a rise in ocean preservation awareness, most of the squalene found on the market today is derived from plant sources. Being one of the substances naturally found in humans, squalene makes up approximately 13% of the skin lipid, and its main purpose is to protect against oxidation and maintain suppleness and hydration of the skin. Squalene also reacts with other lipids of the sebaceous gland to form a protective barrier that locks in moisture to prevent vaporization and protects harm from UV ray. As we age, our skin loses its ability to make squalene, and this lack of material eventually leads to gaps in the protective barrier, causing a degradation in our ability to retain moisture, which exacerbates dryness and aging. By supplementing squalene through external application, we not only promote quick reaction with skin lipids to smooth dry wrinkles caused by dehydration, but also repair and strengthen the skin barrier to prevent loss of moisture while restoring the ideal oil-water balance needed to support healthy skin condition.   

What are the differences between squalene and squalane?

People who are troubled by skin dryness should already be familiar with squalane, as it can be found in many skincare products that claim to promote hydration and repair. However, some products label it "squalene" while others label it "squalane"; are these two substances one and the same? The answer is no, as squalane is the hydrogenated form of squalene. Although squalene delivers the benefits and effects explained above, the substance is unstable, susceptible to oxidation, and may even cause acne if oxidized. Through a hydrogenation process, squalene is turned into squalane, a stable state that makes it much more suitable for storage and making of skincare products, especially high concentration serum oil, without sacrificing skin affinity or hydration benefits. 

Which skin conditions are squalane serum suitable for?

Dry autumn and winter are the best times to use the serum, and here are few tips to make the most out of the serum. It is recommended to adjust your volume depending on the skin condition, and DR.WU's Intensive Repairing Serum with Squalane is formulated with plant-based squalane, which offers excellent skin affinity and makes it suitable for all skin conditions. For dry skin that requires constant hydration, use the serum as part of the morning and evening routines. Additionally, you may take half a pipette's volume of the serum and gently rub it onto the face as the final step of your routine, and wake up the next day feeling your skin relieved, smoothened, hydrated, and glowing with confidence. The serum not only locks in moisture, but also strengthens protective barrier and makes the skin more resistant against irritation after long-term use. It is suitable even for those with sensitive skin. People with combination or oily skin may use less of the squalane serum, considering that they already secrete abundant skin lipids. Simple warm up 1-2 drops of the serum in the palm and pat gently onto the face, or mix the solution into other skincare routines such as toner, lip care, or cuticle care. People who wake up with a skin condition that is too poor to put on makeup may put a few drops of the serum into the primer or the liquid foundation to make the makeup stick. It is a solution with many versatile uses.   

How should I choose my squalane serum? Simple follow the 3 points below 

There is currently a wide variety of squalane serums available from boutique brands, clinics, and pharmacies, and the following principles provide a useful guideline to choosing products that work and are friendly to Earth's environment:

1. Choose plant-based squalane

Aside from the fact that some studies indicate animal-based squalane being a possible source of allergy and discomfort, choosing plant-based squalane avoids over-fishing of sharks, prevents imbalance in the ecosystem, and provides assurance for vegetarians.

2. Are the raw materials certified organic

Organic certification ensures that raw materials are produced in a sustainable and environment-friendly manner, and we can support the cause by changing our consumption behaviors

3. Absence of alcohol, preservatives, artificial fragrance, and coloring

Eliminates unnecessary burdens to the skin

DR.WU Intensive Repairing Serum with Squalane - a light serum that is right for you

Despite the many benefits of squalane serum, a product may not appeal to users if it feels thick, sticky, greasy, uneasy, or full of residues after putting it on. This is why it is important to devote a significant part of the R&D effort towards optimizing product comfort and texture without sacrificing the efficacy of squalane.


DR.WU's Intensive Repairing Serum with Squalane is made with rigorous quality control starting from the raw materials. ECOCERT-certified olives grown at a constant temperature of 25 °C in century-old farms in southern France are handpicked to undergo a unique "Ultra Micro Cold Press" process that breaks squalane down to smaller molecules, which can be more easily absorbed through facial skin without causing stuffiness, stickiness, or acne. Considering that skin dryness is often accompanied with aging and wrinkles, DR.WU further infuses its Intensive Repairing Serum with Squalane with precious ingredients including argan oil, macadamia nut oil, and jojoba oil, thereby allowing the solution to spread and penetrate better. Lastly, the inclusion of reparative anti-aging ingredients such as brown algae extract, white lupin seed extract, and dunaliella salina extract helps strengthen elasticity and flatten wrinkles from within. This combination of plant oils and plant extracts provides a total solution to supple, brightened skin and reverses dryness associated with aging.


Whichever the skin conditions, DR.WU's Intensive Repairing Serum with Squalane provides excellent hydration to help improve dry skin when used correctly and at the right dosage and frequency. The solution can also be used in conjunction with a variety of skincare routines, making it one of the most versatile solutions available on the market!

台灣醫學美容教父 - 吳英俊 教授


  • 台大醫院皮膚科臨床教授
  • 英爵聯合診所院長
  • DR.WU品牌創始人
  • 法國國家醫學研究中心研究員
  • 台灣皮膚科醫學會理事長
  • 皮膚科學發展基金會董事長
  • 醫用雷射學會常務理事







  • 皮膚免疫學(異位性皮膚炎)
  • 雷射治療(色素斑、痘疤、回春)
  • 注射美容(肉毒桿菌素、玻尿酸注射)
  • 醫學美容(美白微雕導入)

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