Squalane is excellent at protecting and conditioning the skin and hair by coating them lightly and helping to retain moisture. It protects from the effects of cold and heat, prevents hair colour from fading and, as an emollient, helps the skin to remain supple.
Coming from the Latin word ‘squalus’, ‘squale’ is a French word that translates to shark. The name squalene, and later squalane, derived from there. In fact, squalene is a component of the oil extracted from shark livers which was used as a lubricant in the cosmetics, leather and marine industries for centuries. But squalene isn't just a shark business - the human body produces it too as part of sebum. It is also present in certain plants, and thanks to modern technology it can be extracted from them... For shark's sake!
If squalene is so famous and sought after in cosmetics, it is because of its similarity to human sebum which makes it well tolerated by the skin and hair. Squalane is an improved version of it because it combines the properties of squalene with higher resistance to oxidation, which means it has a longer shelf-life. It is obtained by hydrogenation of squalene.
The squalane that Lush buy is made from sugar cane. It doesn't bioaccumulate in organisms or interfere with composting systems as it breaks down into mineral components very quickly.