Lanolin is known as wool wax or wool fat. It is a soft, yellow, waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep. Its purpose is to waterproof and protect the wool.
Chemically, lanolin is a complex mixture of esters, fatty acids and alcohols. Lanolin can be extracted from raw wool mechanically, by squeezing, but many methods in the past have used a chemical cocktail for this purpose.
Crude lanolin makes up between 5-25% of the weight of freshly shorn wool.
Readily absorbed by skin, lanolin resembles skin’s own sebum. It is highly emollient and an effective moisturizer. It is cushioning and protects the skin.
Lanolin is an excellent moisturizing ingredient for dry skin, as it emulsifies water on the skin and holds it there; its cushioning, plumping effect is noticeable. It is a perfect ingredient for barrier creams, baby lotions and eczema creams. It creates a protective film over the skin, allowing it to function and breathe naturally.
Medical grade lanolin is used as an ointment base, as the skin easily absorbs it. It facilitates the delivery of any medicinal ingredient it carries.
Lanolin can be used as an ingredient to soothe itchy or dry skin, in balms and glosses to treat chapped lips, and in hair conditioners to protect and coat the hair.
We use lanolin in a number of our beautiful hair treatments for its protective qualities. We’ve added it to H’suan Wen H’ua and American Cream to coat and protect the hair follicles.
For its soothing properties, we have used lanolin in our Fair Trade Foot Lotion, and Charity Pot hand and body lotion. In each of these lovely products, it forms a protective film on the skin and moisturizes dry, rough patches.