Facial Oils: Coconut and Squalane Oils

Let’s make my biases clear from the start: I love and indulge in face oils! I share Ray Peat’s point of view when it comes to face oils as well. Having clarified my standpoint, I can now proceed to discussion of face oils.

To start with, let’s break down face oils into two major categories:

Saturated oil

Unsaturated oil

Saturated oils have single bonds within their acid chains. This makes them very stable and resistant to attacks by free radicals.


Saturated oils have high melting point and do not easily go rancid

Unsaturated oils have at least one double bond in their fatty acid chains. The more double chains, the less stable the oil is.

With this in mind, unsaturated oils are divided into:

–          Monosaturated oils which contain only one double bond

–          Polyunsaturated oils which contain multiple double bonds. Polyunsaturated oils easily and spontaneously oxidize when they are exposed to heat and oxygen


The higher the saturated fat content, the heavier the oil is likely to feel. Example, coconut oil and squalAne oil Most of the face oils (argan oil, rose hip oil, almond oil, etc) available in the stores are actually polyunsaturated oils. If you remove them thoroughly, they are ok to cleanse your skin with. However, if you apply them as a moisturizer, you have to remember that they oxidize on your skin which only aids in premature aging of the skin… Also, many citrus oils can be problematic when exposed to the UV light, possibly changing skin’ color


Now that I had a chance to narrow it down to 2 facial oils to choose from, I ll focus on each one of them.


SqualAne Facial Oil

SqualAne oil is created as a result of hydrogenation processing of squalEne oil which naturally has double bond structure. This process turns squalene oil from unsaturated to saturated oil. As much as I love coconut oil, I am considering changing my alliances slightly: coconut oil is 87% saturated oil while squalAne oil is 100%.

Just to avoid the confusion between the squalAne and squalene oils, I’ll summarize it here:

SqualAne oil

Squalene oil


Saturated facial oil which is derived when squalene oils undergoes hydrogenation processing. It is a stable facial oil which has a long shelf life Unsaturated oil which is produced by our own skin cells and can also be found in olives, sugarcane, rice bran, palm trees and shark liver. Beauty companies use plants to extract squalene oil



–          Prevent skin irritation

–          Fight bacteria: squalene oil just like coconut oil is naturally antibacterial

–          Soothing: squalene oil helps to heal cracked skin and sooth eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis

–          Hydration

–          Non – comedogenic: Theoretically, any oil can be clogging but squalene oil is said to be the least likely to cause that issue.

No benefits

How to use squalane oil:

You can use squalane oil as a moisturizer for the face including the areas around the eyes and lips. Squalane oil is super hydrating and fast – absorbing so you can use between 1 – 3 drops of the product.

Squalane oil unlike other oils is said not to form a skin barrier preventing absorption of other skincare products. As such, you can use it underneath a heavier facial cream, if you are using one. Cream- and lotion- textured moisturizers are likely to contain heavier barrier oils so it is best to use squalane oil before you apply a moisturizer.


Coconut oil

Coconut oil has 87% saturated fat content which makes it amazing and solid facial oil among other things. Coconut oil is an all-natural and by far the best moisturizer I have ever had until squalane oil joined the club of the favorites!

Benefits of coconut oil:



Moisturizes and soothes the skin


Protects from sunburn Just to put in perspective, face moisturizers produced by reputable beauty companies contain SPF 10 – 15 by default and coconut oil naturally contains SPF 4. Coconut oil might not provide enough protection for the sun radiation if you are planning to spend a day on the beach; however, I personally find it amazing for my Monday – Friday SPF needs


Repairs the sun damage UV rays damage the skin cells triggering the formation of large number of free radicals. The antioxidant properties of the coconut oil can reduce the oxidative stress and stop chain reaction. Coconut oil will also reduce inflammation and pain caused by the sunburn


How to use coconut oil:

If you have never used coconut oil, the first thing that you will notice is that it changes the texture depending on the temperature. Coconut oil maybe solid at a room temperature and tends to be liquid in a warmer climate. Whatever is the consistency of the coconut oil, it will easily melt on your skin so application process feels very soothing and comforting.

Coconut oil is saturated oil which moisturizes deeply and thoroughly. That being said, coconut oil is very rich which is why you have to monitor your skin reaction to it and understand what is going on.

If you have dry skin, you can apply coconut oil as a moisturizer. Coconut oil spreads really well so you only need about ¼ teaspoon of oil in order to moisturize your face, neck and chest areas. Give 10 – 15 minutes for the oil to absorb into the skin and then pat your skin with towel / paper towel in order to take away excess oil.

If you have oily skin, you will need to be more cautious with coconut oil application due to potential clogging of the skin. In case of the oily skin, you can make use of moisturizing effect of the coconut oil by following the procedure: liberally apply coconut oil on your clean skin, leave it on for 15 minutes to absorb, and finally wash your face with warm water and dry ski with a soft towel. Repeat this for several days to condition your skin and observe your reaction: it is possible for you experience initial flare up of acne but you can ignore it unless it is too severe. Your skin will eventually reduce sebum production. Remember that overproduction of sebum is often a result of inadequate skin hydration – it is body’s own attempt to prevent further dehydration. Extra sebum production can cause skin problems like comedo formation and acne; however, if you want to take control over your skin, I would suggest looking into your lifestyle choices, self-care habits and health patterns.

I personally use oil method for cleansing my face and coconut oil is indispensable part of that process. If you have oily skin and would like to condition your skin for smooth relationship with coconut oil as a moisturizer, you could try using it as cleanser first.

There is a huge amount of information regarding facial oils that are commercially developed and that could be mixed at home. I am learning my way around the world of beauty commerce and at the moment I identify with Ray Peat’s viewpoint on facial oils. My current skin care includes squalane oil as part of my morning routine and coconut oil as part of my night facial care regimen.

If you are looking for some info on the etiquette of application of skin care products, here is the post where I covered that in more detail: SKINCARE APPLICATION PROTOCOL


Thanks for reading

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