Lanolin is an extremely effective emollient in restoring and maintaining the all important hydration (moisture balance) of the stratum corneum, and so prevents drying and chapping of the skin. Equally important, it does not alter the skin’s normal transpiration.
Lanolin has been shown to cause the water in the skin to build up to its normal level of 10-30%, by retarding without completely inhibiting trans-epidermal moisture loss. Lanolin has the unique property of absorbing twice its own weight of water. Lanolin has the physical properties of increasing adhesion to dry skin, and forming protective films on the skin.
Lanolin is compatible with most fats and waxes used in cosmetics and pharmaceutical preparations. Lanolin is self emulsifying, producing very stable w/o emulsions with water and is often used in this hydrous form.
Primarily, lanolin has always been renowned as an excellent emollient. This long-held reputation could have proved to have been an example of a myth, which contained more fiction than fact as it was largely based on subjective assessment and anecdote.
However, skin surface profilometry studies have provided objective evidence and confirmed the emollient effect of lanolin and its derivatives . Therefore, lanolin emolliency has been elevated out of the realms of myth.
More recently, in addition to noting the chemical similarities between lanolin and human skin lipids, remarkable physical similarities have been observed. Examination by means of cross polarised light microscopy reveals that lanolin contains multilamellar structures, typical of liquid crystals, which are very similar to those found in human skin lipids.
- Lanolin is a refined derivative of the unctuous fat-like sebaceous secretion of sheep.
- Lanolin consists of a highly complex mixture of esters of high molecular weight aliphatic, steroid or triterpenoid alcohols and fatty acids.
- Lanolin is obtained from the wax found on sheep’s wool; refined and purified to cosmetic specifications.
- Lanolin is an excellent emollient, skin lubricant and protectant, capable of absorbing water in an amount equal to 50% of its weight. Rich in cholesterol and other skin-friendly sterols.
- Lanolin is a type of low melting point wax derived from sheep.
- Lanolin has been widely used in waterproofing preparations for leather, but has some major disadvantages. a) It softens leather very easily, leading to deformation of walking boots and loss of support to the wearer. b) It is susceptible to microbial attack, leading to rotting of stitching and leather.
- Lanolin is wool grease; this substance, sometimes called “yolk”, is a secretion from the sebaceous glands of the sheep.
- Lanolin is an emollient derived from animal sources for high performance conditioning of skin.
- Lanolin is purified sheep’s sebum.
- Lanolin is a yellow viscous animal oil extracted from wool; a mixture of fatty acids and esters; used in some ointments and cosmetics
- Lanolin is an emollient containing wool fat (a fatty substance obtained from the wool of sheep)