Maybe you’ve heard of squalane before—or maybe you haven’t. This quick-absorbing, long-lasting moisturizing ingredient, also sometimes referred to as squalane oil, has been a key player in gentle skincare for adults for decades. But squalane is more than just a great moisturizer for adults. It’s also uniquely suited to babies’ skin—which makes it a perfect fit for baby skincare. To understand why, let’s go back to the beginning: birth.
The vernix and squalane oil
When babies are born, their skin is often covered in a thin layer of a white substance called the vernix. The vernix is Mother Nature’s built-in moisturizer for newborns: It nourishes and protects babies’ skin through the final weeks in utero, and keeps skin hydrated in babies’ first few hours in the world. (The vernix also assists in wound-healing, temperature regulation, and lubrication during delivery; to learn more about its miraculous properties, read our vernix Q & A with vernix expert Marty O. Visscher, PhD, professor of skin pharmaceutics at James L Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati.) The vernix is made up of an assortment of beneficial antioxidants and lipids, and it turns out that squalene—a version of squalane that our bodies naturally produce—is the most abundant lipid found in the vernix. So when we say squalane oil is made for babies, it’s not just a turn of phrase—squalane is actually built to nurture newborns’ delicate skin, precisely mimicking the substance that brought them safely into the world.
How baby skin hydration works
In the first year of life, babies are still developing the skin they will grow into. That means that they don’t yet have a fully developed protective moisture barrier on their skin—i.e., the barrier keeps moisture in and skin irritants out. Because of that still-developing barrier, babies’ skin loses moisture much more easily than adult skin does, leaving it more vulnerable to a host of rashes and other newborn skin issues. But the good news about baby skin hydration is that baby skin also absorbs moisture more quickly too. That’s why moisturization is so important for babies—and where regular application of baby skincare products like lotions, oils, and balms comes in.
How squalane is perfect for baby skincare
Drawing on our parent company’s 20 years of clean chemistry expertise, our scientists innovated a brand-new, proprietary squalane that’s sustainably derived from renewable sugarcane crops. This ultra-moisturizing sugarcane-derived squalane is a more stable version of the squalene that protects newborns’ skin at birth—plus it’s good for the planet and clinically tested to be safe for babies. That’s why we’ve placed squalane at the heart of all of our formulas for baby, from our lightweight daily Baby Lotion to our bestselling Baby Shampoo + Wash to skin-soothing diaper essentials like Diaper Rash Cream and Baby Wipes.
In all our baby skincare formulas, squalane helps to replenish the essential hydration that babies’ sensitive skin needs—and because squalane perfectly mimics what’s found in the nourishing vernix, babies’ skin was born to love it (literally!). What’s more, studies done by our scientists have shown that squalane can help to reduce skin roughness, support the skin’s beneficial microbiome, balance the skin’s natural oil production, and reinforce the delicate moisture barrier. Squalane’s benefits don’t end there: In our baby-friendly Mineral SPF, squalane helps keep our sunscreen sheer, moisturizing, and blendable; and in hair care for babies and kids, squalane nourishes and conditions babies’ and toddlers’ delicate strands without weighing them down. In short, this multipurpose superhero is Mother Nature’s best moisturizer—and the number one ingredient that babies’ skin needs.