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This One Cosmetic Ingredient Kills Over 6 Million Sharks Per Year

Laurelle Adjani

Posted on February 02 2021

Squalene and Shark Deaths

Squalene is a natural oil that the skin produces providing softer skin. It creates a natural moisture barrier protecting the skin from the harsh elements and pollutants. We naturally start losing squalene production by the age of 30.

Most squalene is derived from sharks, which doesn’t make this a vegan friendly ingredient. Over 6.6 million sharks are killed each year to produce the amount of squalene that is used by the cosmetic industry.

Don’t be fooled by squalene and squalane. One is just the hydrogenated form that makes it possible to have a longer shelf life. Both are derived from sharks.

Squalene can be come from plants, but there isn’t any way of truly knowing where your squalene came from unless you are buying vegan cosmetics. Some companies put a label on their products that say, “100% plant derived.” We recommend The Ordinary 100% Derived-Planted Based Squalane is a serum made with plant derived squalane.

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