On Tuesday we talked about the pure squalane oil from Biossance, which is delightful and lovely and also $58/3.3oz, which is a decidedly unlovely price. AND SO, for SCIENCE etc, I ordered a less-luxe version of squalane oil to check out and compare to the fancy shiz. LET’S TAKE A LOOK.
WHAT THAT IS
Since we just covered the basics of squalane on Tuesday, we won’t revisit all that again here. The short version : it’s a very lightweight skin-friendly oil, and it’s a hydrogenated (to make it more stable and less inclined to oxidize) form of squalene, which occurs naturally in the skin and in a bunch of plants and stuff.
The Biossance squalane is produced from sugar cane, as is the version from The Ordinary. This stuff from Timeless, on the other hand, is extracted from olive oil. Does that make it any better or worse? Probably not. Near as I can tell, 100% pure squalane is going to be pretty much chemically identical regardless of whether it comes from sugar cane or olives (or shark livers) (but we don’t want that kind because sharks are nice and also endangered).
Note that their packaging claims that squalane “helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles, prevents UV damage” — okay, well. It’s got antioxidant properties and beneficial fatty acids; anything that keeps your skin moisturized and plump is at least going to diminish the appearance of fine lines, but I think “prevents UV damage” is a bit of a stretch. This is not sunscreen. The antioxidants and such might help your skin combat hyperpigmentation and other sun damage, but again — NOT SUNSCREEN.
WHAT’S IT LIKE THO
To me, it’s pretty much indistinguishable from the Biossance squalane. It’s got a very thin (almost watery) texture, similar to my Algenist oil, which is a whopping $82 per ounce. Like the Algenist stuff, this absorbs into the skin quickly and (assuming you haven’t overapplied it) doesn’t leave the surface of your face feeling greasy at all. Also like the Algenist (and like the Biossance pure squalane), it doesn’t really have a scent, and it plays nicely with everything I’ve combined or layered it with — including other moisturizers, serums, and foundation.
The packaging is nicely minimal/functional — frosted glass bottle, glass dropper with a rubber squeezey bulb at the top. The only “oo, watch out” issue here : the consistency of this stuff is so thin (unlike a lot of my similarly-packaged serums) that it’s inclined to drip down the outer sides of the dropper if I’m not fast/careful or forget to let it drizzle into the bottle for a sec when I pull it out. Obviously this will be less of an issue once I’ve used up a bunch of it, and if I cared LOTS I’d just keep decanting it into smaller dropper bottles. On the other hand, this stuff is pretty cheap, so I’m happy to just rub any excess drips into my hands/cuticles/hair*/whatever.
* Supposedly this is also good for hair! I’ll report back once I’ve actually tried that out.
THE VERDICT : Super good. I love it, my skin loves it. Lightweight, silky, doesn’t break me out, apparently makes my face pretty happy. After using the Biossance twice daily for two weeks, I switched to this stuff about a week ago, and I haven’t noticed any difference/changes. And at $11.38/2oz, it’s less than a third of the cost per ounce of the Biossance squalane, which it’s indistinguishable from. WINNER.
Tried it? Gonna? Discuss!