According to Bloom, a non-profit organization which works to protect, shark squalene is still commonly used in skin care products. After testing several skin creams containing the word "squalane" in their list of ingredients, the association states that 62 of these creams (one in five) contains squalene from shark liver oil!

Actually, the word squalene in the list of ingredients does not specify whether this moisturizing substance commonly used in cosmetics is of animal (shark liver oil) or of botanical origin (olive or sugar cane).

However, shark squalene was mainly found in Asian products. More than half (8 out of 15) of tested Asian creams contained animal squalene, compared to 3 European products out of 32 in and 1 product out of 14 in the United States.

The use of squalene from animal origin is criticized by environmental protection NGOs because it threatens the survival of deep waters shark populations. Bloom estimates that three million sharks are killed each year specifically to meet the international demand for squalene. "For some of them, almost 95% of the population has been decimated," says Claire Nouvian, Director of Bloom Association.

Bloom therefore calls brands to better control their supply chain and to test the squalene they buy. "Either brands buy animal squalene cheaper than vegetable squalene to achieve a higher margin, or they are deceived by their suppliers who sell them mixed squalene instead of pure botanical squalene," said Laure Ducos , lead author of the report.

In 2010, Bloom has developed a method to test the origin of squalene [1] thus allowing brands to test each batch of raw material which is supplied to them.

The report is available on the website of the association: