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Review
. 2009 Jan 23;14(1):540-54.
doi: 10.3390/molecules14010540.

Biological and Pharmacological Activities of Squalene and Related Compounds: Potential Uses in Cosmetic Dermatology

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Free PMC article
Review

Biological and Pharmacological Activities of Squalene and Related Compounds: Potential Uses in Cosmetic Dermatology

Zih-Rou Huang et al. Molecules. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Squalene is a triterpene that is an intermediate in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. It was so named because of its occurrence in shark liver oil, which contains large quantities and is considered its richest source. However, it is widely distributed in nature, with reasonable amounts found in olive oil, palm oil, wheat-germ oil, amaranth oil, and rice bran oil. Squalene, the main component of skin surface polyunsaturated lipids, shows some advantages for the skin as an emollient and antioxidant, and for hydration and its antitumor activities. It is also used as a material in topically applied vehicles such as lipid emulsions and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs). Substances related to squalene, including beta-carotene, coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) and vitamins A, E, and K, are also included in this review article to introduce their benefits to skin physiology. We summarize investigations performed in previous reports from both in vitro and in vivo models.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Chemical structures of (A) squalene, (B) β-carotene, (C) coenzyme Q10, and (D) vitamins A, (E) E, and (F) K1.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Sectional view of the skin with sebaceous glands.
Figure 3
Figure 3
A potent drug carrier vehicle: lipid emulsions.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Three different types of nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) compared to the more or less highly ordered matrix of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs). The three types of NLC can be summarized as: (A) the amorphous type, (B) imperfect type, and (C) multiple type. This figure is modified from reference [24].

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