Squalane vs. hyaluronic acid: What are the differences?

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The beauty and skincare industry boasts a wide range of products and treatments that promise younger, more radiant skin. Among the star ingredients in these products are hyaluronic acid and squalene.

Both are known for their moisturizing and anti-aging properties, but they have significant differences regarding their structure and skin benefits.


In this article by Jess Beauty, we will further explore the differences between hyaluronic acid and squalene, so you can choose the one that goes better with your skin's needs.




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Hyaluronic acid is a molecule found naturally in our bodies, especially in the skin, connective tissues, and eyes. It is known for retaining large amounts of water, which gives it exceptional moisturizing properties.


As we age, the production of hyaluronic acid in our body decreases, which contributes to the loss of volume and elasticity of the skin. Beauty and skin care products containing hyaluronic acid replenish the skin's moisture levels and improve its appearance.


On the other hand, squalene is a natural lipid found in various sources, including plants and animals. In humans, it occurs naturally in the skin and is an important component of sebum, the oil produced by the sebaceous glands.


Squalene is known for its emollient and antioxidant properties. It helps keep skin hydrated and protected against free radicals that damage molecules and contribute to premature skin aging.


Although squalene has traditionally been used in skin care products, its popularity has increased recently due to its versatility and skin benefits.


Molecular structure


One of the main differences between hyaluronic acid and squalene is its molecular structure. Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide that is a long chain of repeating sugars.


Its gelatinous structure allows it to retain large amounts of water, which provides deep and long-lasting hydration to the skin.


Instead, squalene is a lipid, a fatty substance. Its chemical structure is similar to that of the lipids found in human skin, which allows it to be easily absorbed and distributed throughout the outer layer of the skin, creating a protective barrier and helping to keep it soft and supple.


Benefits to the skin


Both hyaluronic acid and squalene are beneficial ingredients for the skin, providing hydration, improving the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and protecting against environmental damage.


The choice between them will depend on the individual needs of the skin and personal preferences.


Hyaluronic acid benefits


  • Deep hydration: Hyaluronic acid can retain large amounts of water, providing deep hydration to the skin. It helps keep skin soft, supple, and radiant.


  • Wrinkle and Fine Line Filler: By hydrating the skin, hyaluronic acid can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Fills in areas where the skin has lost volumes, such as wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.


  • Improves elasticity: It stimulates the production of collagen, a key protein that provides elasticity to the skin. By improving elasticity, the skin becomes firmer and more toned.


  • Smoothes skin texture: Hyaluronic acid helps smooth its texture, leaving it softer and smoother by deeply hydrating the skin.


Squalene Benefits


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    Intense hydration: Squalene is an excellent emollient that penetrates the skin deeply and hydrates it intensely. It helps keep skin soft, supple, and moisturized.


  • Antioxidant Protection: Squalene acts as a natural antioxidant, protecting the skin against free radicals and damage caused by environmental factors, such as UV radiation and pollution. It helps prevent premature aging and signs of skin damage.


  • Improves the skin barrier: It helps strengthen the skin's protective barrier, preventing moisture loss and protecting it from external irritants.


  • Softens and Smoothes Skin: By penetrating the skin, squalene helps soften and smooth its texture, leaving it looking smoother and more even.


  • Non-comedogenic: Squalene is a non-comedogenic ingredient, which means it won't clog pores or cause acne breakouts. It is suitable for different skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive skin.

Products with hyaluronic acid



  • Moisturizing creams: ideal for keeping the skin hydrated throughout the day.


  • Face Masks: Hyaluronic acid-infused face masks offer an instant boost of hydration, like the Post Workout Gel Mask.


  • Lip balms: Some lip balms contain hyaluronic acid to hydrate and soften dry, chapped lips.


  • Eye Contour Products: Hyaluronic acid eye contour products help hydrate and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

Products with squalene


  • Face Oils: These are a common choice for moisturizing and softening the skin.



  • Cleansers: Some facial cleansers also contain squalene to cleanse the skin without drying it out. Looking for the best? Try Face Reset Cleanser.


  • Sunscreens: Some sunscreens also incorporate squalene into their formula to help protect skin from UV rays and provide hydration.

Can I combine both in my skincare routine?


Squalene and hyaluronic acid are compatible ingredients and can be used together in a skincare routine. Their combination can provide complementary benefits.


You can apply a serum or cream that contains hyaluronic acid as an initial step to provide deep hydration to the skin.


Then, you can add a few drops of squalene oil to seal in moisture and improve the skin's protective barrier. It will help maintain hydration and prevent moisture loss during the day or night.


Remember that the amount and frequency of use of these ingredients will depend on the individual needs of your skin and the specific products you are using.


In summary,  hyaluronic acid and squalene are popular ingredients in the skin care industry due to their moisturizing and anti-aging properties.


While hyaluronic acid is primarily focused on providing deep hydration and improving skin elasticity, squalene acts as an effective emollient and protective antioxidant.


Try the products with hyaluronic acid and squalene from Jess Beauty and give your skin the best.

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