The global squalene market is poised to grow through increasing consumption of cosmetics and personal care products, with the European market expected to surpass US$110M by 2022, according to a new Global Market Insights report.

Squalene – conventionally obtained from shark liver oil – is widely used in emollients, lipsticks, lotions, and anti-ageing creams as it is said to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics.

However, the report said that over-exploitation of sharks had prompted many regulatory agencies to limit shark fishing, with companies such as Unilever and L’Oréal introducing initiatives to use plant-derived squalene instead.

Olive oil was the richest vegetable source, containing around 400mg of squalene per 100g, the report said. Vegetable squalene sources were expected to generate US$130M by 2022. The shark squalene market was forecast to experience moderate gains over the coming years. And the synthetic squalene industry was projected to generate demand of over 850 tonnes by 2022.

Overall, the global squalene market size was projected to see a CAGR of 9% over the 2015-2022 period, Global Market Insights said. “Global industry revenue is anticipated to exceed US$24M by 2022.”

Cosmetics applications dominated the industry, accounting for a 66% share in 2014.

“Squalene is a key ingredient in products such as eye makeup, bath oils, body powders, skin care and moisturising, nail products, suntan and hair preparations, with content ranging from 0.1% to 50%.”

Pharmaceutical application were expected to grow at a rate of 9% CAGR over the 2015-2022 period, the report said.

Europe was the main regional market for squalene, with Asia Pacific also witnessing substantial growth. North America was projected to register a CAGR of 8.5% over the 2015-2022 period.

The report said the squalene market was consolidated, with major players including Arbee Fish Oil, Amyris, Kishimoto Special Liver Oil, SeaDragron Ltd and Sophim.