PHYTOSQUALAN is a natural squalane, of plant origin, made from a renewable raw material, the Olive, and recognised as an essential ingredient of cosmetic formulations.

The squalene molecule (C30H50) is a major component of human sebum and the hydrolipid film, and is also found in some plants. Its applications are various, from cosmetics, to pharmaceuticals for instance. It is responsible for the integrity and the healthy appearance of the surface of the skin. Our expertise is to hydrogenate the squalene extracted from olive to produce squalane. Sophim is able to offer two grades of Phytosqualan today: PHYTOSQUALAN, of plant origin Olive & PHYTOSQUALAN VG, of vegetal origin Soya/Sunflower.



SOPHIM, leader in the production of vegetable squalene, offers INSAPOLIVE, unsaponifiable fraction of Olive oil, enriched with squalene.

INSAPOLIVE, is a natural ingredient obtained from renewable raw materials.


What is squalane?

Squalane is often mistaken for squalene. To better understand what is squalane, it is important to define properly what squalene is.

Squalane: a stable derived from squalene

Squalene is a low-viscous oil which is present in the oil’s unsaponifiable fraction of some plants, especially in olive oil, and in the unsaponifiable fractions of soya or sunflower oil. Its chemical formula is C30H50. The unsaponifiable fraction of oils generally represents 1%, and contains tocopherols (vitamin E), sterols and squalene.

We could wonder why squalene is not directly used in cosmetics formulations. As it is a natural compound, composed of an unsaturated carbon chain, squalene is subject to oxidation, and would be unstable if it were integrated to a cosmetic formula. This is why formulators tend to look for squalane, which chemical formula is C30H62, a stable derived from squalene.

Squalane: definition

Sophim is the world leader in the squalene extraction from olive oil and production of natural Squalane. We extract the squalene from the food industry’s co-products, and by hydrogenating it, we are able to produce its stable derived: Squalane.

What is squalane oil? Squalane is the molecule that replicates our skin’s ability to hydrate and repair itself. As it is composed of a saturated carbon chain, meaning there are no double chemical bonds, it is more stable and thus more likely to be integrated in cosmetics formulas.

Squalane oil benefits for skin

Squalane is a widely known ingredient on the cosmetics market, and is integrated in numerous products from the best beauty brands.

Squalane, skin affinity and emollient properties

As it mimics our epidermis ability to moisturize and protect itself, squalane oil has a great skin and hair compatibility. Its excellent affinity and its emollient properties make it a very popular active ingredient on the cosmetic market, and is well suited for products such as cream and milk formulas, massage and hair oils, and hair serums.

Squalane benefits for the skin

Natural squalane is an ally for your cosmetic formulations, and it also has multiple benefits for the skin.  Indeed, squalane helps restore the lipid barrier and protects the skin and hair from dehydration. It also has great moisturizing properties and can be recommended in skincare products for dry skin; as it is non-comedogenic, squalane oil can be used in care dedicated to oily skins too.  Squalane also has anti-inflammatory properties and thus is widely used in formulas dedicated to relieve skin inflammations, such as eczema or acne.

Squalane, a sensoriality asset

In the beauty industry, squalane is a sensoriality asset. Despise the fact that squalane is a lipid and thus an oil, its non-greasy touch and its skin-feel sensation offer a sensorial experiment to the consumer. It is the best ingredient to enhance the sensoriality of your product. Thanks to its spreadability properties, it also brings comfort and an ease in the final product use, in skincare as well as in makeup.

In conclusion, thanks to its sensory texture and skin compatibility, squalane is a unique natural emollient base for beauty and personal care.

Sophim and Squalane

Natural squalane is at the core of Sophim’s expertise. From 1988, we developed a process to extract squalane from plants source mainly, and more particularly from olive oil, which has the highest concentration of squalene compared to other plants. We are now the leader of vegetable squalane, and we also offer marine squalane sourced from non-endangered species.

Thanks to the constant innovation and improvement of our process, we are proud to offer high-level squalane-based quality ingredients, Cosmos certified.


Phytosqualan® is a premium-quality vegetable squalane, produced from unsaponifiable fraction of olive oil fatty acids. Its applications in cosmetics are numerous: face creams, dry oils for body care, makeup, sun-care…It is solvant-free, GMO free, and Cosmos certified.


Insapolive® is a concentration of olive oil unsaponifiables, among which we have 70% squalene. It has a powerful action on the epidermis hydration, and its application in cosmetic products are numerous. It is Cosmos certified.


Sophiderm® is a marine origin squalane, with a minimum level of purity of 99%. Obtained from the shark’s liver, it is sourced from non-endangered species, listed by CITES. As it is close to pure squalene, marine sourced squalane can be used in the pharmaceutical industry.


Squapure® is also a marine origin squalene, sourced from non-endangered species. As squalane is an antioxidant, it is a good dietary supplement. Squapure has a pharmaceutical application too, as it can be used in the production of vaccines for example.

Sophim also offers an alternative to silicones in its range of emollients. For any further information about our products, feel free to contact us.