Here at Kyushi we believe that the base oil (the majority) is as important as the active ingredients (essential oils and vitamins) within the formula. Therefore we don’t believe in using cheaper oils or those that don’t fully serve your skin. There is a lot of fear surrounding face oils. A lot of carrier or base oils can cause the skin to purge (break out) as they can clog pores or work to pull the toxins from the skin. 

This is where our face oils are unique, every single oil we use in the formulas are designed to be non comodegenic – they wont block your pores. They will actually help to rebalance your own natural sebum production. This means they can be used by anyone, with any skin type, anywhere in the world. 

Three of our oils all have a base of Squalane, Orange & Neroli, Chamomile & Helichrysum and Jasmine, Lavender & Cedarwood. When formulating these oils I wanted to create something that skin would understand. Something that would enhance its existence rather than work against it. It confused me that we would put something onto our skin that our skin could possibly reject. My thought was that the closer the product is to our skins natural oils, the less chance there would be of break outs, and the higher chance of creating beautiful glowing skin. After a lot of trials Squalane became the obvious choice. 

So why Squalane?

Squalene notice the spelling is different, Squalane is derived by hydrogenation of Squalene. Was originally discovered in Japan from the livers of deep sea sharks. From ancient times, fishermen all over the world benefited from the properties of the oil extracted from the liver of sharks living beneath 1,000 m. They recognized the benefits of the deep-sea sharks liver oil, as a source of power, force, energy, and vitality, calling it “Tokubetsu no Miyage,” meaning “precious gift.” This oil was also known and used by coastal residents and fishermen in Micronesia, who referred to it as “miraculous oil.” Locals from Japanese peninsula Izu called this shark liver oil “Samedawa,” meaning “cure-all.” They accustomed themselves to use it to cure a wide range of conditions. However, extensive medical research did not begin until 1930, when it was noted that sharks do not develop tumors and are cancer free. Squalene is an extract of shark liver oil from the Aizame shark whose natural Pacific habitat is in unpolluted ocean depths of 1,000 m in 35 degree waters.

The centrophorus artomarginatus deep sea sharks live in waters 600 to 1000 m deep, without sunlight. How can they manage to survive under such harsh conditions, where pressure is consistently high and oxygen supply is very poor? The secret lies in their livers, which account for 25% to 30% of their total body weight.

A curious trait of the shark is its apparent immunity to cancer and disease. Once regarded as an enemy, a primitive and powerful hunter of the deep, the shark is now being heralded as a lifesaver.

This unique fish, which has remained structurally unchanged for 400 million years, may provide us with the knowledge to create the resistance we need to fight many of our most common modern diseases from colds to cancer.

As a vegan, cruelty free brand we do not use squalene derived from Sharks livers nor do we support it, we just feel its important to see and understand the journey.

Identified as Squalene, with a chemical formula C30H50, Squalene is an unsaturated hydrocarbon, which can easily produce oxygen by combining with water. Squalene has been extensively researched and, as an oxygen carrier, found to play a key role in maintaining health.

Dr. Noguchi once said that “the cause of all illnesses is lack of oxygen.”

Here at Kyushi we use squalane which is derived from Olives, other options would be from sugarcane or palm oil. We decided on the olive derivative due to the amazing health benefits of an olive oil based diet along with ecological and environmental factors. Comparative studies were made regarding the incidence of certain cancers between Mediterranean countries like Greece, Spain, or Italy, where the olive oil is a constant part of the daily diet, and Scandinavian countries and USA. While in Mediterranean area the daily uptake of squalene (from olive oil) reaches 200–400 mg/person, in US the average daily intake of squalene is about 30 mg/person. Incidence of the breast cancer in Greece is 65% lower than in USA. Analysing statistical health studies from Greece, Spain, and Italy comparative with USA, Newmark suggested that this protective effect of olive oil consumption could be related to the high concentration of squalene in olive oil. However whilst we want you to know this so you cover your salads in high quality olive oil to feed your skin from the inside, we want you to know why we want you to put Squalane onto your skin.

At the beginning of the 1950s it was discovered that squalene is an important component of human sebum. It is crucial in skin hydration, repairing of the damaged skin, and rejuvenating the ageing skin. The emollient and hydration properties of squalene and also its biocompatibility with skin make squalene an important component in cosmetical formulations (moisturizing creams, makeup, lipstick, and nail and hair products). It is considered one of the greatest natural emollients, being rapidly and efficiently absorbed into the skin, restoring its natural suppleness and flexibility, without back oily residues. All these characteristics make it an excellent skin protector, being used in healing eczema, damaged hair,  anti-aging and wrinkle protection. Squalene also plays an essential role in protecting skin from free radical oxidative damage. Squalene acts in skin as a quencher of singlet oxygen, protecting by this mechanism the skin surface from lipid peroxidation due to exposure to UV light.

Due to its antibacterial properties, squalene single or in a mixture with squalane is used for preparing a cooling composition for the local treatment of burns.

Scientists have discovered that, at the moment life appeared on Earth, microorganisms, and later in Precambrian the cells’ membrane of higher organisms, contained, in a great proportion, squalene, a substance likely to be essential to their survival in that hostile environment free of oxygen.

Among the human beings, it seems that the newborn have the greatest concentration of squalene in their blood, but the reserve begins to drop suddenly between late 20s and 40 years. In human body squalene is synthesized by the liver and is secreted in large quantities by the sebaceous glands. Sebum keeps the skin supple and forms a protective bacterial and fungicidal coating on the skin and in the pilosebaceous apparatus. This fatty cover helps to keep moisture on the skin surface. It is transported in the blood by the small and very small density lipoproteins. It is interesting to notice that squalene represents 12% of the lipids secreted by the sebaceous glands and it is not transformed in cholesterol. The highest squalene concentrations in human is met in skin lipids, and in the adipose tissue; while in organs where the active biosynthesis takes place, the concentration is much smaller, as in liver or small intestine.

Highly refined Squalane from Olives demonstrate the most notable Squalene characteristic: its ability to completely and rapidly penetrate the skin at a rate of 2 mm/second.

How does it get from the Olive to the bottle? (This bit gets heavy on the science)

Most plant oils are obtained by mechanical pressing or by chemical extraction with organic solvents, like hexane.

The direct distillation of vegetable oils is not a suitable method to obtain squalene, as it is thermolabile due to its unsaturated linear chain. The literature in the field mentions some other methods for the isolation and/or fractionation of lipid fraction and purification of squalene, which can be applied also in industry. They could be divided into two main types:

a) organic solvent extraction, like extraction with hexane, followed by degumming and deacidification, if it is desired, and finally, the mixture is subject to molecular distillation

b) extraction from seeds and fractionation thereof with a supercritical fluid, in most cases this is CO2, so called SFE—supercritical fluid extraction, a method preferred in the last years but still expensive at industrial level

In order to avoid the use of toxic solvents like hexane and the oil exposure to high temperatures for long periods of time, today is preferred a “green extraction technology”, Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) with or without cosolvent. As solvent, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) is usually used because of its inertness, nontoxicity, high volatility, and low cost. Due to the relatively low critical temperature of CO2, SFE-CO2 is suitable for the extraction of thermally labile substances. Advantages of this extraction method can be mentioned: the high purity of the end product and the short processing time due to the fact that extraction and concentration are carried out in one step. This process yields to high quality squalene without use of toxic unallowable solvents. The efficiency of this extraction method can be improved, for example, if 10–15% ethanol is used as a cosolvent to increase the yield and to extract also polar substances. Anyway it is not economically effective to use SFE for direct extraction of squalene from seeds; it is suitable only for the extraction of squalene from the plant oil.

In conclusion we love squalane, we love sharks and we love olives. It may cost us a little more to produce but we love that the carrier oil for those wonderful essential oils is as amazing as it can be, your skin will thank you for it.