Review: The Ordinary’s Squalane Oil

Earlier this year, I started using The Ordinary’s skincare products, along with my main skincare line (Mary Kay Timewise collection). I had listened to Wayne Goss’s review of The Ordinary’s primers, and decided to give them a try. After liking how well the primers worked, I started experimenting with the Argiriline solution, the Alpha Arbutin, and the Niacinamide . Today’s review is on the 100% Plant-Derived Squalane Oil.


If you have never heard of squalane, join the club. I had no idea what it was, and I only purchased out of curiosity. After receiving the product, I looked up squalane and found out that it is an olive oil derivative. The Ordinary’s website mentions that the product is for “surface hydration”, which I take it means that the product locks in moisture.

Even though I have oily skin, I enjoy using a very lightweight oil during the wintertime, after doing my evening skincare routine. A little oil on top of all of my products seems to keep my skin from looking too weather-beaten. And, since the air is drier in the winter, a noncomedogenic oil acts as a great buffer against indoor heating (especially since I don’t normally use a humidifier). I also thought that testing oils now, before the chilly season arrives, would be particularly proactive of me. All in all, I figured squalane oil could be a good option, since “surface hydration” is what I desire, and testing the oil now seemed like a sound idea.

The directions for use are as follows:

“Apply a few drops daily or as needed to entire face ideally after water-based treatments.

So, the evening after I received the oil, I gave it a try. The product comes in a dark bottle (I assume that it’s light-sensitive) with an eyedropper to dispense the product. I got a dropper full of product and placed it in my palm. I noted the very thin, lightweight consistency and I was excited: I hate heavy oils on my face. However, the oil was so lightweight that my hands (which were squeaky clean and ever so slightly damp) soaked it right up! I had to get another dropper full in order for any of the product to make it to my face. But at this point, I’m still excited because the oil doesn’t feel greasy (another one of my oil “peeves”).


I applied the squalane oil after cleansing, exfoliating, and using two of my serums. That was a BIG mistake: the squalane made my serums clump on my face. I wasn’t expecting the oil to make my serums pill, so I stopped massaging it into my face and opted to pat it on. When patting, I noticed that the product didn’t seem to adhere to the surface of my skin at all. It did, however, make my eyebrows look very lustrous.

The next day, I tried squalane oil in the morning (when I use only one serum). The pilling occurred again. As a result, I decided that squalane may not be the oil for me. My serums aren’t oil-based, but they aren’t watery enough to prevent the squalane oil from making them clump. I can just as easily find another lightweight oil that doesn’t interfere with the absorption of my serums and solutions.

So here are my squalane oil takeaways:

– The oil is odorless and colorless and, as previously mentioned, very lightweight.

–  The product absorbs easily into product-free skin.

– The product can be applied over other products, but patting is the best application method (massaging will make the previously applied products clump on the skin’s surface)

– The oil is not greasy.

I am still using the oil, but I keep it at my desk and apply it to my hands only. It is great as a hand moisturizer because it’s not greasy (no oil stains on the papers I handle!), odorless (no offending my officemates with strong fragrances) and the eyedropper dispenser makes it easy to apply the oil precisely where you need it (for me, usually the skin between my fingers). If you have dry skin on your face, this would be a great final step for locking in the moisture before applying a heavier moisturizing product.

The Ordinary’s Squalane Oil retails for $7.90, so I think it’s a great price for a good product. If you want to learn more about squalane oil, check out this article. Try it and let me know what you think!


(all photos from The Ordinary’s website)



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