What is lanolin?
Lanolin is obtained by purifying wool grease, the waxy substance which coats sheep's wool. Lanolin contains cholesterol and branched structure fatty acids, components which resemble those found in human skin lipids.
Characteristics of lanolin
- water-holding capacity of around 3 times its weight
- natural gloss highly-valued in cosmetic products
- excellent pigment-dispersing properties
- excellent spreadability of wax
Our lanolin products make the best use of these characteristics.
Lanolin has a long history of being used in cosmetics – it was used in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. In the city-state of Sumer in ancient Mesopotamia, where wool was produced on a large scale, a type of soap was prepared from wool grease mixed with clay and ash.
More recently in 1882, Germans Liebreich and Braun succeeded in purifying wool grease and called the obtained product “lanolin” – from Latin lana, meaning “wool”, and oleum, “oil”.
Since then, lanolin has been used in medicines and cosmetics.
Unlike lard or tallow, lanolin is not a type of subcutaneous or visceral fat. It is obtained through the washing of wool cut from healthy living sheep - an all-natural and sustainable product.
Subcutaneous fat and vegetable oils are composed of high fatty acid triglycerides. However, lanolin, like carnauba wax, is composed of both high fatty acids and alcohol esters which makes lanolin a wax as well. It coats the surface of sheep wool, protecting it from harsh environmental influences.