Upshot: I like this brand.
Favorite: The Eye product
Least Favorite: N/A
Overall: Feels great, sinks in, not oily, ingredients are nourishing, non-toxic, don’t expect miracles.
Reveal: Ioanna and I are partners with Alive Cosmetics. If you purchase from them and you tell them where you found them, we get a small percentage of commission.
Just a Customer
As much as I like natural products, I actually use very few skin care products.
When I was a teenager and a young adult, in order to control breakouts, while my friends used all manner of acne wipes and creams, I used to just wipe my face with warm water. Worked fine for me.
As I got older, I just used whatever natural body lotion I had lying around to put on my face. I never had a special “facial” line. I didn’t think I needed that.
About 15 years ago, I decided to go rogue and went red with my hair. I won’t tell you what brand I used. Sufficed to say it was commercial and bad for me.
It was a departure from my usual “go natural” approach, but my husband loved it and I thought it was fun. But it was really harsh for my hair; and, at exactly the same time, I began to experience contact dermatitis on my temples.
I lived with it, which was probably stupid (it was stupid). During the ensuing years, my naturally brown hair began graying, so I stayed with the red less for rogue purposes and more of an, “I’m not ready for gray,” attitude.
In an effort to find a balance, I switched from nasty chemical red dye to henna about 4 years ago. I thought if I used a natural product, my contact dermatitis would go away.
But no, it did not go away; it actually spread. I now have it on my forehead.
It’s really embarassing for me; but lately I’ve been practicing stepping into uncomfortable territory. I have pictures that I’ve been taking as I test the Squalan, so I’m going to show you a progression of pics below as I go through the review.
When I came to Amsterdam and started the practice last summer at Nieuwe Achtergracht 61, I rented the space from Daiva Luksyte, owner of Alive Cosmetics.
We shared our mutual love of natural products. Hers was particularly focussed on skin care, and she decided to start her own business selling her favorite skin care products. It was in this capacity that she let me know that if I sold any of her product in my capacity as chiropractor, I could earn a commission.
That’s nice, I thought. However, I didn’t want to sell the product to my patients without knowing anything about it, so I put the offer on the back burner, so to speak.
I met a cosmetic expert
Time rolled on, and the winter holidays came around. Daiva had a holiday party for her renters: me, massage therapists, and a skin care specialist named Ioanna Tsaousidou, an absolutely charming beautician from Greece.
Ioanna and I got to talking, and we decided to test some of the products that Alive Cosmetics sells so we could recommend them with authority. She published the results of her review on her blog, The Colourful Bouquet.
The next post here will be a guest post from her on the subject, as a Part II of our review of Squalan. Hers is more from a beauty expert’s point of view. Mine is more of a natural health geek point of view.
Squalan[TM] Skin Care
Squalan’s primary ingredient is squalane, an hydrogenated (therefore, oxidatively stable) form of squalene, Squalene is an isoprenoid compound similar to beta-carotene in structure.
It is found a variety of both animal and plant products; in Squalan’s case, according to their website, they derive theirs from sugar cane approved by Ecocert.
Squalane is an intermediate metabolite in the synthesis of cholesterol. Topically, it can act as a natural protection from UV rays. Clinically, it may help lower overall cholesterol and is thought to be a potential treatment in anti cancer therapies.
According to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database — a MUST for your natural health care resources — the ingredient is minimally toxic (see this link).
Squalane is an emollient, which means it can act like an anti-inflammatory on certain types of skin conditions such as papulosquamous disorders, which, for me, would differentiate my skin irritation with contact dermatitis.
In the latter case, a protein rejuvenator like keratin or collagen would probably be more appropriate .
But for me…
But for me, I wasn’t sure what was causing my rash. Evidence of henna causing contact dermatitis, until recently, was considered a very rare event if it was not mixed with other chemicals or when minimal pesticides are used [5,6]. Because that seems to have changed a bit, I will research more pure forms and more information.
But for now, not only did I want to see if Squalan helped my skin feel better and look younger, but did it help my rash?
Ugh. I hate looking at it. Sidesweep is a good thing.
I started by using the Eye serum and the Moisturizer facial oil.
The Eye serum is awesome. It was light, it only took a tiny bit to nourish my eyes, and it didn’t sting if I messed up. Look at the bottle. It’s 3 months later and I still have this much.
The Moisturizer was a bit heavy, though certainly not as heavy as my body lotions/oils I’ve used in the past. I mostly used it at night and after a shower, because in the morning I looked like I’d been running around the neighborhood once or twice.
I used the two of these for two months, before I met up with Ioanna again in April to go over our findings. At this point, my skin looked like this:
Not much better. My eyes look a little brighter, though.
So, I added these two products to my repitoire a month ago: Pure and the Cleanser
I’m not used to a cleanser, so it felt okay. It took a while to remove my eye makeup with it, but my skin did feel tighter. I continued to use the Eye serum, but I switched the product on my face to the Pure facial oil.
I definitely liked it better on my face. I started using the Moisturizer on my shoulders and arms, upper chest, and it was much better there. Not so well on my legs — too light.
So, here’s how my skin looked yesterday:
Maybe I’m looking too long at it, but my forehead looks a bit better, I think. My face and eyes look about the same, but I like the way they feel.
I am sticking with the Eye serum. I love it. The Pure facial oil is also nice, and deserves more of a trial, I think.
The Cleanser? It’s not bad, but I’m not a cleanser kind of person. However, I’m going to also give it more of a trial before I settle on mensa-mensa status with it.
Moisturizer, for me, too heavy for my face, but as a light moisurizer for chest, back and arms, not bad! If you don’t need much moisturizer for your legs after shaving, it’s okay. But I need more.
Tomorrow, I’m going to a local dermatologist to get a second opinion, and I may have to stop using Henna on my hair.
Oh, gosh. I know I like natural, but I don’t think I’m ready to go gray yet. Let’s see…you’ll know when I know! Will she go white?
I’ll post Ioanna’s review next time. In the meantime, you can read it for yourself on her blog, here.
If you want to help support Ioanna and me in our business efforts, and you’re moved to purchase any of these products, do us a favor and go here to Alive Cosmetics. Daiva is a true blue merchant anyway; its a nice mission she’s on. Be a hero and let them know where you heard about their products.
Talk to you soon!
 Kelly GS. Squalene and its potential clinical uses. Altern Med Rev. 1999 Feb;4(1):29–36. [PubMed]
 this is not to construe that the EWG Skin Deep database endorses the product in any way, shape or form. I am simply reporting on the feature ingredient.
 Sethi A, Kaur T, Malhortra SK, Gambhir ML. Moisturizers: The slippery road. Indian J Dermatol. 2016 May-Jun; 61(3): 279–287. [PubMed]
 SCCS (Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety), Opinion on Lawsonia inermis (henna), 19 September 2013. [SCCS]
 National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database; (accessed May 22, 2018). [NCBI]