Squalene and squalane are the two forms of a colorless poly-unsaturated hydrocarbon. Normally, the origination of these hydrocarbons is possible from many animals, plants, and also from the human sebum. In general, this hydrocarbon occurs in fishes, especially in a shark as liver oils. Yeast, plants, fungi, and deep-sea sharks are the natural sources which provide high accessibility of squalene among other sources. Immense developments in the synthetic biology coupled with engineering-based strategies are improving the large scale production of squalene through natural sources rather than from shark species. These two forms of a moisture-locking ingredient are highly in use as an effective emollient and natural antioxidant in the skincare products. This is because they lock the moisture of the skin, ease dry patches, and are also helpful in restoring fine lines. Oily skin people choose to apply squalane oil, which is boosting the growth of squalene skincare. Squalene is highly preferred to maintain extra dry skin. In addition to this, squalene offers the perfect mixture of hydration, SPF, and natural look & glow to the face. Antioxidant properties of squalene are attracting the consumers as these properties protect skin against solar radiation, inhibit the growth of skin cancer, and also maintain the hydrated layers of the epidermis. Apart from being an excellent hydrating agent, current applications of squalene-based products in treating skin disorders such as acne, xerosis-related skin lesions, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis are leading to an increment in the squalene market revenue.

Moreover, squalene plays diverse biological roles, which include anti-cancer agent, antioxidant, chemopreventive agent, age defyer, anti-bacterial agent, detoxifier, and adjuvant for vaccines and drug carriers. Furthermore, the intake of squalene-rich food reduces the signs of aging. Therefore, all these factors are raising the demand for squalene as an ingredient in cosmetics and dermo-protective creams, lotions, and ointments. The squalene market size stood at $142.5 million in 2018 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period 2019-2025.  

Widespread application of Squalane and Squalene in varied formulations of cosmetics and personal care products such as hair products, eye makeup, bath oils, makeup foundations, lipstick, suntan and sunscreen products, nail products, body powders, and moisturizing, cleansing, and skincare products is upscaling the global squalene market demand. Thus, the rise in demand for application of squalene, particularly in personal care & cosmetics end-user industry is set to grow with a CAGR of 7.5% over the forecast period 2019-2025. Moisturizing and restorative properties of squalene are increasing the prominence and adoption of creams and lotions worldwide. This is because of its proven capacity to prevent moisture loss and wrinkles highlighting. Squalene and squalane are the two oily liquid hydrocarbons that are highly adopted because they act as lubricants on the skin surface, provide a soft, smooth appearance to the skin, and also to offer high-end facial cosmetics.

Additionally, these ingredients also act as hair conditioning and skin conditioning agents in the above-mentioned end-user industry. Consumers and cosmetic products manufacturers are highly accepting these ingredients in the manufacturing process of products because they are less toxic and are nonirritant to the eyes and skin. The use of squalene is notable through the developments not only in anti-cancer applications but also in enhancing influenza vaccines for superior efficiency. Henceforth, squalene demand is increasing in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Europe Dominance in the Global Squalene Market:

As of 2018, Europe is recognized as the leading region, which accounts for a share of 35% among other regions in the global squalene market. According to Eurostat, progressive growth in the number of aging people in Europe’s total population is leading to the rise in demand for anti-aging cosmetics in this region. In 2018, 65-79 years age group population held a share of 14.2% in the total EU’s population, and it is estimated to reach 17.9% by 2040. Thus, this rise in the aging population of Europe has widened the scope of squalene market by providing a significant number of opportunities for the cosmetic manufacturers to develop ubiquitous formulations in anti-aging cosmetic products to satisfy the older people demand. Presently, olives are acting as the largest source for plant-based squalene in Europe region.

Trends in Squalene Marketplace:

·     Anticancer Agent: Cancer is one of the life-threatening diseases in which uncontrolled growth of cells dispersion throughout the body takes place. Therefore, it is necessary to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Several research studies state that it is possible through the regular ingestion of squalene because it helps hamper the proliferation of tumor cells, particularly among breast, colon, pancreas, and melanoma. These studies also presented that consumption of a high amount of olive squalene oil and squalene rich diet aids results in a decrease in the mortality rate of cancer patients. Therefore, the prevalence of squalene as a chemopreventive agent is driving the growth of the global squalene market.

·     Squalene role as a Drug and Vaccine Carrier: Recently, a conducted study has represented that a group of researchers is involved in the development of a squalene-containing solid lipid nanoparticle formulation. Design of this formulation represents the added advantage of steam sterilization along with the yeast vaccines. Thus, it is suitable to store in powder form coupled with the vaccine or in a freeze-dried form. The focus of these studies for innovative formulations are indirectly supporting the squalene market demand.

·   Cosmetic Industries: Presently, squalene is majorly used as a natural emollient and moisturizer, and there is a huge scope for squalene to explore its widespread application in the cosmetic sector. Plant-based squalene is a growing trend in the cosmetics industry in comparison to shark-based squalene. It is due to the increasing consumer awareness regarding the inhumane practices during the extraction of shark liver oil coupled with the regulations in some companies to source the squalene only from plants is encouraging the plant-based squalene products demand in the cosmetic industry.

Patent Activities - Squalene:

Globally, registration of 687 patent activities is evident within five years 2015-2019. China, U.S., Japan, Korea, and France are the top five countries with patent activities for squalene market. As per the IPC code, 177 patents are assisting cosmetics or similar toilet preparations. China Tobacco Guangxi Ind Co, Guangdong Branch China Tobacco General Co Ltd, Univ South China Agricult, Novartis AG, and Nucelis Inc. are the five primary applicants in squalene market.

Major Players in Squalene Market Include:

Amyris Biotechnologies, Arista Industries Inc., Nucelis LLC, Empresa Figueirense De Pesca Lda, Maruha Nichiro Corporation, Arbee Agencies, Sophim, Gracefruit Limited, VESTAN Squalene Hydrogenation and Purification, SeaDragon Marine Oils, and Kishimoto Special Liver Oil are some of the notable players which are operating in the global squalene market. These players are coming up with developments to mark their position in the squalene market. For instance, a recent development in squalene marketplace is listed as below:

Amyris Biotechnologies is popularly known for its sustainable sourced squalene production. It uses patented biotechnology and sugarcane syrup as the fermentation feedstock in the manufacturing process of squalene. On February 12th, 2019, Amyris, Inc., and IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute) announced regarding the receipt of a $4.4 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to discover sustainable alternatives to shark squalene to use as vaccine adjuvants. The main target of this new project is to discover a novel squalene production using bio-engineering, particularly for vaccine adjuvant applications.

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