Squalane and squalene are two ingredients that sound very similar and can often get confused. Squalane is derived from plants and is slightly different in chemical structure and more stable than squalene. Squalene is found both plants and animals, and is even common in human skin cells!
Squalene has been in the spotlight for several years due to controversy over sourcing. Shark liver is an abundant source of squalene and deep sea shark fisheries provided ample supply of this ingredient. In recent years, increased awareness and voluntary bans on deep-sea shark fisheries spearheaded by efforts in the EU along with commitments from many cosmetics companies to source squalene from alternative sources have reduced over-fishing of sharks. Because squalene can be harvested from alternative plant sources, like olives, wheat germ, and rice, you can still find squalene and squalane in cosmetics products.