Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil
Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil performs well, but the impressive results are saddled with ingredients that can irritate skin, making it a less-than-ideal choice for all skin types.
This comes in a green-tinted bottle with a pump dispenser and is easy to use; simply massage it across dry skin, then rinse with water, which emulsifies the formula, allowing for easy rinsing.
We found it does a good job removing dirt, oil, and makeup (even longwearing varieties), and it rinses cleanly. Thanks to moisturizing ingredients like squalane and antioxidant-rich moringa oil, it doesn’t leave skin feeling dry afterward, but also isn’t overly emollient.
While that’s all good news, what isn’t good is that some of the oils included in this cleanser will do skin more harm than good. There are two kinds of lavender oil present, along with orange oil. Even though this is rinsed off, these oils (plus the additional fragrance ingredients limonene and linalool) put skin and eyes at risk for irritation (see More Info for details on the problems skin irritation can create long-term).
While we loved the way this performed, the potential for skin damage and eye irritation with each use simply isn’t worth it. There are better cleansing oil options on our list of best cleansers.
- Clean-rinsing formula does a good job removing dirt, oil, and makeup.
- Moisturizes skin without being overly emollient.
- Contains fragrant oils which can irritate skin and eyes.
- Includes fragrance ingredients that can trigger further irritation.
Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!
Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.
Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.
A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.
Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.
References for this information:
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
An antioxidant-rich, No Compromise™ cleansing oil that gently removes long-wear makeup and leaves skin with a beautiful, healthy look and feel. The lightweight oil lifts away makeup and impurities, then rinses completely clean with water. Formulated with our sugarcane-derived, sustainable squalane oil, it helps keep skin hydrated and feeling fresh.
Biossance is the commercial beauty arm of biotechnology brand Amyris. Amyris manufactures plant sugars (like that from sugar cane) into specialty ingredients for use by other companies, but chose to center Biossance around one ingredient in particular: plant-based squalane.
Each Biossance product prominently features squalane; so much that it’s in the name of every offering. Squalane has its merits—it’s an excellent skin-conditioning ingredient and has antioxidant properties—but skin needs much more than one focused ingredient to feel, look, and perform its best.
Thankfully, Biossance includes other ingredients in many of its squalane-centric products and these are also impressive, particularly bakuchiol (which has many retinol-like properties), antioxidants, and peptides. Unfortunately, the brand also uses a number of fragrance ingredients in many of its products, and whether naturally-derived or not, fragrance is known to irritate skin—even if you don’t see or feel the damage taking place. For this reason, most of the brand’s offerings wind up being middle-of-the-road, though there are a couple of standouts.
For more on Biossance, visit the brand’s website at https://biossance.com/.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.