Does Squalane Come From Sharks? Debunking the Myths and Exploring Sustainable Alternatives

Discover the truth about squalane and its impact on sharks. Explore sustainable alternatives like plant-derived squalane for a cruelty-free skincare routine. #skincareroutine #squalane #sharks #skinca

Squalane, a popular ingredient in skincare and cosmetic products, has sparked a debate over its origin. Many people wonder whether squalane comes from sharks and if its production contributes to the endangerment of these magnificent creatures. In this article, we will explore the truth behind squalane and its impact on sharks.

What is Squalane?

Squalane is a natural oil that is highly regarded for its moisturizing and restorative properties. It is commonly used in skincare products due to its ability to deeply hydrate the skin and improve its texture and appearance.

Squalene vs Squalane: Spot the Small Difference

Before we dive into the controversy surrounding squalane, let's clarify the difference between squalene and squalane. Squalene is the precursor to squalane and is naturally produced in the livers of sharks. On the other hand, squalane is derived from squalene through a hydrogenation process.

The Truth About Squalane and Sharks

It is true that squalane was traditionally sourced from shark liver oil. The high concentration of squalene in shark livers made it a lucrative source for squalane production. However, the demand for squalane has led to overfishing and the unsustainable harvesting of sharks.

Sustainable Alternatives to Shark-Derived Squalane

In recent years, the skincare industry has made significant progress in finding sustainable alternatives to shark-derived squalane. One such alternative is plant-derived squalane, which is extracted from natural sources like olives, rice bran, and sugarcane.

The Benefits of Plant-Derived Squalane

Plant-derived squalane offers the same moisturizing and restorative benefits as shark-derived squalane. It is a cruelty-free and sustainable option that helps to protect sharks and preserve marine ecosystems.

How to Identify Shark-Free Products

If you're concerned about the presence of shark-derived squalane in your skincare products, here are a few tips to help you identify shark-free alternatives:

  • Look for products labeled as 'vegan' or 'plant-derived' squalane.
  • Check the ingredient list for squalane derived from natural sources like olives, rice bran, or sugarcane.
  • Choose brands that are committed to sustainability and have transparent sourcing practices.

The Power of Consumer Choice

As consumers, we have the power to make a difference. By choosing shark-free products and supporting brands that prioritize sustainability, we can create a demand for ethical alternatives and contribute to the protection of sharks and our oceans.


Squalane is a valuable skincare ingredient, but it's important to be mindful of its origin. Shark-derived squalane contributes to the endangerment of sharks, while plant-derived squalane offers a sustainable and cruelty-free alternative. By making informed choices, we can protect sharks and support a more sustainable beauty industry.

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