“It’s not squaLENE, it’s squaLANE,” I say to myself in the likeness of Hermione Granger while researching about Biossance’s star ingredient. What’s the difference? Well squalene is made from the liver of sharks (hence the name, as Squalus is a genus of shark) while squalane is a plant-based version of squalene.
But wait… what kind of skin benefits does it provide?
Squalene is a naturally occurring liquid that is naturally occurring in animal and plants, including human sebum. It is a lipid your body produces to lubricate and protect your skin that your skin has a tendency to produce less as you age. It helps lock moisture into your skin, reduces the look of fine lines and is a star ingredient in lots of skincare cult favourites, such a GLAMGLOW masques. Unfortunately, squalene is also made from the liver of sharks making squalene a non-vegan ingredient found in skincare. Harvesting squalene from shark livers isn’t just bad for the shark but has a devastating impact on the environment.
Squalane is 100% plant based, coming from sugarcane and its a sustainable, stable and lighter version of squalene. Squalane is also the superstar ingredient of new to Sephora, clean skincare line, Biossance.
(And just in case you didn’t know, I am a skincare nerd so considered yourself warned prior to jumping into a very long product review.)
Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil
Out of everything from the line that I had the opportunity to try the cleansing oil is probably the item I would say is a definitely repurchase for me as this may be a new holy grail. $36 CAD
Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum
This serum also contains hyaluronic acid so it helps create the ideal base for layering moisturizer on top of it. Now, this guy is pricey as all hell at nearly $100 for 1 fl oz, however like the cleanser you don’t need a whole lot of it, a pea size amount is more than enough for my entire face. The other downside to this product is that I personally do not care for the smell of retinol, plant based or otherwise. While the smell disappears quickly for a few moments it makes my face smell like dirt. Not dirty, but like actual dirt. Or maybe that’s just what plants smell like. Either way when it comes to repurchasing, $95 is a hard pill for me to swallow so it’ll be a pass for me. $95 CAD
Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
The moisturizer also left my skin instantly brightened and overtime I would say that my skin became accustomed to the moisturizer and also healthier because of it that I found myself using less of it the longer I used it. I am naturally very rosy however I did notice a significant reduction in my overall redness with continued use of this moisturizer. This moisturizer was also a favourite of mine for it’s ability to mix well with other (even non Biossance) products. The formula on its’ own packs a punch, but the consistency made it ideal to add a few drops of moisturizing oils in to create an overnight masque. $64 CAD
(There is a Squalane + Omega Repair Cream, $68 CAD. I didn’t get this one to try, however I did check it out at my local Sephora and took a tester home to try. The omega formula would be better suited for dry skin types as it is a lot heavier than the probiotic gel formula.)
Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel
I do believe that this eye gel reduced overall puffiness and toned down the dark shade under my eyes. The only thing about the packaging that I don’t like about the packaging is that it is opaque so I won’t known when it close to time to repurchase. $68 CAD
Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil
The Biossance site said that it could also be used in place of a foundation primer, however I still preferred regular makeup primers for makeup application. As much as I loved this product I’ve never been one to love the scent of roses and used the oil sparingly (every other day). A part of me wants to say I would repurchase this product, however the scent of roses would have to grow on me first. $90 CAD
100% Squalane Oil
The one downside to this product is that because I loved it so much and used it head to toe it is nearly empty after 2 months of continuous use. I used it after every shower and it left my skin feeling so smooth and extra nourished, especially on the days I wasn’t lazy and shaved my legs. I don’t know if I could justify the costfor a post shower moisturizer, but maybe this is something I’ll put on the holiday wish list and hope that some else gets for me *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*. $68 CAD
As you can see there was an immediate improvement in overall redness, overtime it improved skin texture, less oil production and reduced blemishes. My under-eye area was noticeably less dark and puffy with continued use. I was so impressed with how quickly I saw results, so much so that I don’t mind going makeup free occasionally.
Overall, the brand is a complete hit. I enjoyed all the products enough to continue using them and for the most part the only thing that would prevent me from repurchasing some of the items is the high price tag. My favourites were definitely the cleanser, moisturizer and eye gel. The oils and the serum I could probably do without. These 6 items were a great introduction to the brand and it even prompted me to buy their Squalane + Bamboo deodorant which smells like heaven. Biossance, if you’re reading this, please make that scent into a candle.