Squalane Facial Oil
Indie Lee’s Squalane Facial Oil is a simple yet beneficial, fragrance-free facial oil whose sole ingredient is squalane. While squalane is excellent at nourishing dry skin, keep in mind that takes more than one ingredient to address skin’s complex needs.
Squalane Facial Oil comes in a frosted glass bottle and is dispensed via dropper. Because squalane is a source of antioxidants, it’s best to store the semi see-through bottle away from light (i.e. in a drawer) to prevent premature degradation. That’s important because those antioxidants help repair skin and defend it from environmental stressors, which is a bonus benefit on top of the emolliency that squalane oil provides.
One thing worth mentioning: Indie Lee claims this product can help balance excess oil, but that’s not really how it works. Squalane delivers replenishing fatty acids that help maintain a healthy moisture balance, but that doesn’t translate to inhibiting excess oil production. And even though squalane may feel slightly less greasy than some other facial oils, you’re still adding oil to skin’s surface. (Squalane is a natural component of our skin’s own oil, so it stands to reason you’d be making oily skin worse, not better.)
That aside, Squalane Facial Oil earns our praise for helping skin feel soft and supple while adding reparative benefits that keep skin looking healthy and young. It only falls short of our top rating due to the fact that it’s a one-trick pony (because skin needs more than just one ingredient to function at its best). Not to mention, you can find pure squalane oil from other brands charging a fraction of the cost (and with superior light-protective packaging).
- Squalane delivers moisturizing fatty acids that replenish dry skin.
- Provides antioxidants that defend and repair skin.
- Helps skin feel soft and supple.
- Fragrance free.
- One-note formula (skin needs more than just one ingredient to functions at its best).
Helps provide hydration, balance excess oil, soothe, and promote a plump, firm appearance.
Indie Lee positions itself as brand focused on clean and natural skin care products. “Clean” is an unregulated term (there is no standardized definition), so how it’s defined varies from brand to brand, and is completely at their discretion. In this case, they choose to formulate their products to be free from ingredients “that have been questioned over recent years.” As they put it, “we at Indie Lee believe in taking a more cautious approach.”
Some of the ingredients they avoid align with published research attesting to the problems they can cause for skin, but regrettably, others are mislabeled as bad despite current scientific literature proving them to be safe as used in cosmetics. We can agree to disagree on that point—what really matters is whether Indie’s products are effective and non-irritating for skin. Unfortunately, the formulas turn out to be hit-or-miss.
While many of the products feature beneficial ingredients, they are often paired with potently fragrant extracts and essential oils proven to sensitize skin. Even though these ingredients are plant-based, this is a classic example of why natural ingredients aren’t always better for your skin, and how many brands touting “clean beauty” keep missing the research showing that some natural ingredients are actually problematic for skin. Other irritants, such as high amounts of skin-drying alcohol, appear in select Indie products. We’re all for safe, effective products that contain natural ingredients (there are tons of good ones) but to our way of thinking, clean beauty shouldn’t mean risking irritated skin.
It’s not all doom and gloom. Indie Lee has some good products too—you’ll just have to sort through the skin-irritating ones to find them. Luckily, we’ve done the detective work for you. Learn more about this brand at www.indielee.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.