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.

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The squalene molecule (C30H50) is a major component of human sebum and the hydrolipidic film, and is also found in certain plants. Its applications are diverse, from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals. It is responsible for the integrity and healthy appearance of the skin’s surface. Our expertise consists of hydrogenating squalene extracted from olives to produce squalane. Sophim is now able to offer two grades of Phytosqualan: PHYTOSQUALAN, of olive plant origin & PHYTOSQUALAN VG, of soya/sunflower plant origin.

Insapolive : Unsaponifiables from Olive Oil Olea Europaea

Insapolive : Unsaponifiables from Olive Oil Olea Europaea

SOPHIM, leader in the production of vegetable squalene, offers INSAPOLIVE, an unsaponifiable fraction of olive oil, enriched in squalene. INSAPOLIVE is a natural ingredient obtained from renewable raw materials, derived from olive.

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What is squalane?

Squalane is often confused with squalene. To better understand what squalane is, it is important to define squalene correctly.

Squalane: a stable squalene derivative

Squalene is a low-viscosity oil that is present in the unsaponifiable fraction of the oil of certain plants, notably olive oil, and in the unsaponifiable fractions of soybean or sunflower oil. Its chemical formula is C30H50. The unsaponifiable fraction of oils generally represents 1%, and contains tocopherols (vitamin E), sterols and squalene.
One may wonder why squalene is not used directly in cosmetic formulations. As a natural compound, composed of an unsaturated carbon chain, squalene is subject to oxidation, and would be unstable if incorporated into a cosmetic formula. This is why formulators tend to look for Squalane, whose chemical formula is C30H62, a stable derivative of squalene.

Squalane: a definition

Sophim is the world leader in the extraction of squalene from olive oil and the production of natural squalane. We extract squalene from food industry co-products, and by hydrogenating it, we are able to produce its stable derivative: Squalane.
What is squalane oil? Squalane is the molecule that mimics our skin’s ability to moisturise and repair itself. Because it is composed of a saturated carbon chain, which means there are no chemical double bonds, it is more stable and therefore more likely to be incorporated into cosmetic formulas.

Benefits of squalane oil for the skin

Squalane is a widely known ingredient in the cosmetics market, and is included in many products from top beauty brands.

Squalane, skin affinity and emollient properties

Because it mimics our skin’s ability to moisturise and protect itself, squalane oil is highly compatible with the skin and hair. Its excellent affinity and emollient properties make it a very popular active ingredient in the cosmetic market, and is ideal for products such as cream and milk formulas for different skin types, massage and hair oils, and hair serums.

Benefits of squalane for the skin

Natural squalane is an ally in your cosmetic formulations, and it also has multiple benefits for the skin, including being an excellent moisturiser. Squalane helps restore the lipid barrier and protects the skin and hair from dehydration. It also has great moisturising properties and can be recommended in skincare products for different skin types, such as dry skin with a formula claiming a moisturising benefit, or with a facial for oily skin, as it is non-comedogenic.
Squalane oil also has anti-inflammatory properties which allow it to have effective actions on skin inflammations such as eczema or acne. It is also a great ally in anti-ageing skin care thanks to its highly moisturising properties and its protective action against external aggressions. It can easily be incorporated into a skin care routine as a key ingredient in eye care, facial care or serum formulas

Squalane, a sensorial asset

In the beauty sector, squalane is a sensorial asset. Despite the fact that squalane is a lipid and therefore an oil, its non-greasy feel and sensation on the skin offer a sensory experience to the consumer. It is the best ingredient to enhance the sensoriality of your product. Thanks to its spreading properties, it also brings comfort and ease of use to the final product, both in skincare and make-up.
In conclusion, thanks to its sensorial texture and its compatibility with the skin, squalane is a unique natural emollient base for beauty and personal care.

Sophim and Squalane

Natural squalane is at the heart of Sophim’s expertise. As early as 1996, we developed a process for extracting squalane from mainly plant sources, and more specifically from olive oil, which has the highest concentration of squalene compared to other plants. Today we are the leading supplier of vegetable squalane, and we also offer marine squalane from non-endangered species.

Through innovation and continuous process improvement, we are proud to offer high quality, Cosmos approved or certified squalane ingredients.


Phytosqualan® is a high-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 and more. It is solvent-free, GMO free, and Cosmos approved.


Insapolive® is a concentration of unsaponifiable olive oil, including 70% squalene. It has a powerful action on the hydration of the epidermis, and its applications in cosmetic products are numerous. It is Cosmos approved.


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

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