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Squalane + Tea Tree Balancing Oil

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 49.00
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Brand Overview

Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Balancing Oil contains some beneficial ingredients, but unfortunately, they are overshadowed by multiple irritants in the mix.

Things get off to a rocky start due to the namesake tea tree oil. While it can offer some benefits for breakout-prone skin as claimed, its volatile fragrance components can also be irritating to skin (talk about confusing).

The addition of potently fragrant lavender oil, limonene and linalool put skin at further risk of sensitization. We give an in-depth explanation of how these types of irritating ingredients make acne-prone worse via the More Info section.

This oil otherwise contains antioxidants and skin-replenishing ingredients, including sunflower seed oil and squalane. Interestingly, squalane’s chemical makeup is very similar to skin’s own sebum and putting it on already-oily, acne-affected skin risks making acne worse. It’s not a bad ingredient, but not the well-suited for the blemish-prone skin that Biossance advertises this product for (it’s best for normal to dry skin).

The packaging choice of a darkly tinted bottle (as opposed to a completely transparent glass) is a step in the right direction to help keep the formula’s light-sensitive ingredients stable. As an extra precautionary measure, store this type of packaging in a dark place (i.e. drawer) to help ensure maximum potency.

It boils down to this: Your skin deserves only the good ingredients—none of the bad. You can find those kinds of formulas on our page of top-rated face oils, and if it’s acne treatments you seek, we’ve got you covered there as well.

  • Contains beneficial skin-replenishing ingredients and antioxidants.
  • Fragrant ingredients (including tea tree oil) put skin at risk of sensitization.
  • Irritating formula may make blemishes worse—not better, as claimed.

More Info:

Not being gentle to skin can increase oily skin & breakouts: Using irritating ingredients is a serious problem for all skin types, especially for those with oily, combination, and acne-prone skin.

Research has clearly established that when skin is irritated, the oil gland at the base of each pore is stimulated to make more oil, creating a perfect environment for breakouts, white bumps, and clogged pores to get worse.

Using a product that is gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin—this is true even if you cannot see or feel the damage taking place.

It is also vitally important to use products that research has shown are beneficial for oily skin, clogged pores, and breakouts. The gold standard over-the-counter ingredients for these concerns are salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide.

References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2016, pages 25–30
Journal of European Dermatology and Venerology, May 2014, pages 527–532
Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, pages 433–438
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, April 2011, pages 41–53
Dermato-Endocrinology, January-March 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, page 764
Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422–427

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Weightless balancing facial oil with the power of tea tree to help reduce the appearance of blemishes, enlarged pores and other imperfections. With squalane to boost the performance of tea tree and restore hydration to skin depleted by harsh products.

Squalane, C13-15 Alkane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Physalis Angulata Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Limonene, Linalool.

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

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.

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