There’s growing interest in a substance that’s been part of human culture for as long as we’ve been herding and shearing sheep. Lanolin is secreted by sheep to protect their wool, and the waterproofing qualities of this natural substance are now being used by cosmetics manufacturers.
The excellent emollient and hydrating properties of lanolin make it an ideal replacement for petroleum-derived ingredients in skin care ranges.
40 or 50 years ago, there was some prejudice against lanolin. Petroleum-based oils and waxes were promoted as a ‘purer’ alternative. Opinion has now swung back in lanolin’s favour as modern processing techniques deliver a hypoallergenic product that offers unique advantages.
Modern analytical methods have revealed lanolin possesses a number of important chemical and physical similarities to human stratum corneum lipids; the lipids which help regulate the rate of transepidermal water loss and govern the hydration state of the skin.