How Innovation Changed the History and Sourcing of Squalene

June 9, 2021

The History of Squalene

squalene vs squalane [1]

Squalene can be found in a variety of plants and animals, but is most commonly sourced from sharks. It is found in the shark’s liver and is a source of energy as well as responsible for their buoyancy and ability to float. Of the liver, 77% is composed of oil and almost 80% of the oil is squalene.

Being that the liver is a necessary part of the shark’s existence, using this as a source of squalene caused the population of sharks to rapidly decline. The sharp decline of sharks created concern, and companies began to look for ethical and sustainable ways to provide squalene.

This is where SOPHIM, a company that works to offer natural and sustainable alternatives, has thrived. The company decided to create an innovative way to source squalene from a unique, eco-friendly source: olives.


Olive Squalane

Olives trees require very minimal maintenance, relying almost entirely on rainwater as their water source. Because they grow on rocky, arid soils, they also contribute to slowing down soil erosion.

What makes Phytosqualan so unique, other than the fact that it is 100% natural and sourced from olives, is that the process is extremely sustainable and ethical.

Phytosqualan sourcing


The olives are sourced and extracted locally from Andalusia, Spain. Keeping sourcing local, this minimizes the energy used in transportation, and helps to provide jobs and boosts Spain’s economy. Once extracted, the olives can be left in its natural state of virgin olive oil, or refined. The process that refines olive oil creates a byproduct that would naturally go to waste, but part of this byproduct is made up 3-8% squalene. This is where SOPHIM’s expertise of new catalytic techniques and exhaustive hydrogenation comes into play!

The squalene byproduct is then transported to Peyruis, France, where it is transformed by SOPHIM into the highly stable form of squalene, squalane. This process requires no solvent and creates a high quality and safe product!

Bring high spreadability, quick absorption, and a non-greasy texture to your formulations while providing moisturization, firmness, elasticity, and barrier repair to the skin!

Want to sample Phytosqualan for your next project? Ask us in the chat!