My youngest has eczema in a bad way, and it’s especially attacking his chubby little cheeks. We have tried a kitchen sink worth of remedies and nothing has reduced it, at all. His doctor always calls it “dry skin” (is something getting lost in translation here?) and recommends moisturizer. Gee, thanks. I got a good product recommend from the skincare community on Instagram though, which got me researching squalane oil, something I hadn’t tried prior. I read some good reviews on (Japanese department store skincare brand) Haba Squalane oil, so we schlepped down to San-A (not available at Aeon, FYI) to grab a bottle. We’d tried everything else so what did we have to lose?
I’ve been putting it directly on his skin for about three days now, give or take, about three times a day. We follow up with a “sealing” product, either cortisone ointment or Aquaphor depending on how it looks at the time. So far … no change.
BUT … being the vain and curious beauty junkie, I have also been experimenting with it on my own face. I have used beauty oils in the past and liked them, but my current rotation is lacking one.
What is Squalane oil?
Indie Lee, which sells a competing oil, touts squalane oil as ‘promoting skin elasticity, diminishes age spots and hyper pigmentation, and boosts cell regeneration and oxygenation. Improves texture and tone.’ It’s also non-comedogenic, so acne-prone peeps can use it too. In fact, it’s supposed to help inhibit excess oil production and be antibacterial. Whew. Sounds amazing, right?
The oil I purchased is made from shark liver; however, squalane oil is also naturally produced by your skin (and like all good things in your skin, this diminishes with age. Boo). Hada Japan sells a vegetable based Squalane oil as well, Squalane II, made from olive oil (the US site only sells the original). The Indie Lee product is also made from olives.
How did Haba Squalane oil feel on my skin?
Short answer: awesome. I’ve only tried a handful of oils on my face: coconut (not my favorite), argan (blech, sits on my skin and never sinks in or hydrates shit), Fresh Seaberry ($52/50 ml, consists of a variety of oils, and I liked it ok but not enough to repurchase), and Paula’s Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster ($36/.67 oz, and another blend of oils, and yes yes yes, so much yes, this stuff is so amazing under the eye, everything is perfectly plumped and moisturized and, just yes).
Haba Squalane oil is my new favorite. It sinks in quickly, is moisturizing without being heavy, and my skin hasn’t freaked out anywhere. I haven’t used it long enough yet for long term results, but as a beauty oil, I think it’s up there as one of the best.
Price (in Japan):
15ml 1500 yen
30 ml (1 oz) 2700 yen ($24-25 USD)
60 ml 5000 yen
… and the big boy, 90 ml 9200 yen
This oil is 100% squalane oil. The vegetable-based version is the same price.
Haba is of course not the only company in this 100% squalane oil market:
Indie Lee: olive oil based, 1 oz for $32 USD.
Peter Thomas Roth: sugar cane based, 1 oz currently on sale for $28.50 USD.
Deciem’s The Ordinary: plant based (specific plant(s) not specified), 30 ml for $12.90.
Haba Squalane Oil Conclusion
Is Haba Squalane oil a magic bullet ingredient for eczema? It hasn’t been an overnight cure, not for us. Eczema is a tricky fish though, and it could work for others.
Is it a cosmetically elegant facial oil? For sure, yes. All of the yes. Will I be buying it again? Most likely, and probably I’ll go for the larger size next time. Haba’s Japanese website says it’s also good for hair and safe for babies and children so if it’s in your budget, it’s a nice thing to have around for sure.
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