Squalane oil is a natural oil that is effective in helping to treat seborrheic dermatitis. Topical application can help improve inflammation, redness, and scaling. Squalane oil is a hydrocarbon without fatty acids so it won’t feed Malassezia yeast. Plus, squalane resembles our natural sebum and may help with oil control.
(you may also be interested in the safest carrier oils for seborrheic dermatitis)
Check out my video. It’s about the best face oil for seborrheic dermatitis (spoiler alert: It’s obviously squalane):
Let’s take a deep dive:
- What is squalane oil?
- Is squalane oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?
- Is squalane an antifungal?
- What is the best way to use squalane oil for seborrheic dermatitis?
What is squalane oil?
Squalane is a byproduct of squalene. Our body produces squalene naturally, which is why squalane is such an excellent emollient for our skin and hair. In fact, squalene is found in our natural sebum.
However, squalene oxidizes quickly and is too unstable to be used in skincare products. Therefore, squalene is processed to becomes squalane, a stable form of the molecule.
Or buy it directly from The Ordinary
Commercial squalane oil is mostly derived from 3 sources:
- liver of sharks
Squalane acts a barrier to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL), keeping skin hydrated and healthy.
Is squalane oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?
Squalane oil has been used in skincare products for many years because of its various benefits. One such benefit is that it helps soothe and nourish the skin, reducing inflammation.
The light-weight oil absorbs easily into the skin of your scalp and face. It also helps control dry, frizzy hair and prevents breakage and split ends.
Squalane oil is a non-comedogenic and has low immunogenicity. This means that it will not clog your pores or cause an allergic reaction. In fact, squalane oil can help with blackheads, clogged pores, and acne.
Even though it’s oily, squalane oil is not a fat. It’s a hydrocarbon without fatty acids so it will not feed Malassezia yeast.
However, seborrheic dermatitis can still occur even if you use squalane oil. Other ingredients that can help treat seborrheic dermatitis include tea tree oil, zinc pyrithione, and anti-fungal creams.
Further reading: Best carrier oils for seborrheic dermatitis
Is squalane an antifungal?
Squalane may have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. For this reason, there is some emerging evidence that it could help treat seborrheic dermatitis.
However, squalane’s anti-fungal abilities isn’t confirmed outside the test tube. It’s possible that squalane could play a role in treating SD but we’ll just need to watch this space.
For now, I continue to use anti-fungal creams and tea tree oil.
What is the best way to use squalane oil for seborrheic dermatitis?
Squalane oil is a great choice for seborrheic dermatitis, perfect for both cradle cap and adult-onset seborrheic dermatitis.
Using squalane for cradle cap
For babies, you can massage squalane oil into the scalp to soften the SD scales. Then wipe away with a warm wash cloth.
Using squalane on the face
You can use squalane oil on the face in a number of ways:
- as an oil cleanse to remove makeup and dirt before your gel cleanser (micellar water is also a really good option for a pre-cleanse)
- as a moisturizer – especially if you have dry, dehydrated skin
- as a ‘serum’ – mix a few drops of squalane in your regular moisturizer for a boost in radiance
Let your skin decide how often you use squalane. If your skin starts to feel a bit oily, cut back on the amount and frequency of oil application.
Using squalane on your scalp
You can also use squalane oil as a carrier oil for essential oils like tea tree oil, oregano oil and geranium oil to treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp.
Massage the oil into the scalp as a pre-shampoo treatment and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes before shampooing with an anti-dandruff shampoo.
Squalane oil can also be used as home-made hair oil. Apply a little to the ends of dry hair to nourish hair and strenghten it.
What are the side effects of squalane oil?
Squalane is pretty safe for all skin types, including senstive skin. It’s really rare to get any kind of irritation or allergic reaction to squalane.
However, as with any skin care product, possible reactions include:
If you do get a reaction to squalane, stop using the product immediately. Also check the ingredients list as there is a pretty good chance you’re reacting to something else in the product rather than squalane.
What is the difference between squalane, squalene and hemi-squalane?
Squalene is a natural lipid compound produced by own own skin cells. Unfortunately, it oxidizes very quickly and goes rancid. Its instability means it clogs pores and can’t be used in commercial products.
Squalene is hydrogenated into squalane, a stable form of the molecule. Because of its stability, squalane will last longer on shelves without going bad.
Hemi-squalane is a lighter version of squalane. Both are easily absorbed and don’t clog pores. However, hemi-squalane has a lower molecular weight, is lighter in texture and feel on the skin and is absorbed better, leaving a dry feeling.
Or buy it directly from The Ordinary
To wrap up
Squalane oil can be an effective treatment for seborrheic dermatitis when used in combination with other treatments. It’s a non-irritating, lightweight oil that helps to moisturize the skin and improve its barrier function.
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