Skincare Ingredients: Lanolin

What is Lanolin?

Great for: Deep hydration

How it works: Lanolin is a very powerful ingredient in moisturizers with the ability to hold 400 times its weight in water. That means that it keeps moisture inside rather than letting it escape. Its molecular structure is very similar to that of human skin lipids. It is a relatively common allergen and is often thought to be a wool allergy.

Where does lanolin come from?

Lanolin is a waxy by-product that comes from a sheep’s wool when the sheep is sheared.  It is derived when one washes the wool in hot water with a scouring detergent. A solvent is then used to extract the wax or lanolin. It’s its pure form, lanolin is dark and very viscous. It is then refined into the form one can buy it in to can add to emollients. 

Examples of skincare with lanolin

Lanolin is the primary ingredient in many commercial products due to its intensely hydrating properties. It is a primary ingredient in Carmex, a popular lip balm, Glossier’s Balm Dotcom, and Weleda’s Skin Food.

DIY Beauty Guide

Curious about DIY beauty but don’t know where to start?

Download our free guide and let us help take the mystery out of homemade skincare.