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World Environment Day and Shark Tales

June 6, 2010

Squalane has long been a staple ingredient for the cosmetic chemist for its emollient and moisturising properties. It is 100% natural, found in human sebum (and therefore highly skin-compatable) and pretty inert or non-reactive meaning that it is unlikely to form any unwanted bi-products.  However, it’s often shark-based origin is not stacking up well with many ‘natural’ cosmetic lovers.

The Sharks are smiling thanks to Croda!

So what is it?

Squalane is a chemically modified (hydrogenated) version of Squalene which are both pretty chunky hydrocarbons (chemicals that consist of carbon and hydrogen only) other examples of chemicals fitting into this family would be things like beeswax, paraffin and caranuba wax and approx 1% of what makes up lanolin.   Both Squalane and Squalene  exist naturally but  it is mostly squalene that is farmed from sharks and then reacted by chemical manufacturers to form the more chemically stable cosmetic ingredient.  This squalene can be sourced from heaps of other non-animal sources including Olive’s, Rice Bran and Wheat Germ however, it has not always been easy for chemists and brand owners to be confident as to the origin of their ingredient. That is about to change.

Chemical manufacturer Croda just launched a fully traceable Squalane for cosmetics that uses a tracing method to insure that all of their squalane is animal free. We think that the sharks will be smiling about that one and hope that you will too!  This innovation will most probably remain fairly quiet for a while yet as many people would not even be aware that sharks ARE lurking in their bathroom cabinets but I wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t become quite a selling point in sometime over the coming year.

Just another way that the cosmetic industry are helping to save the world one shark at a time (OK, I get that they are NOT saving the world but it’s a start).  Take care and enjoy your shark-free skin care.

PS: For all of you Cosmetic Chemists the ingredient is PRIPURE 3759

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