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Lanolin: Prosperity and Beauty ‘Off the sheep’s back’

Sheep's BackIt’s said that Australia’s prosperity originally came from wool, which used to be its major export, and from that came the expression that Australia was ‘riding on the sheep’s back’! Today whilst times have changed wool is still important and the fine lubricant that comes from wool, Lanolin, is once again making a comeback in popular skincare, and with good cause.

But I thought Lanolin wasn’t so good

Lanolin went out of fashion in the 1960’s due allergic reactions caused by chemical residues that remained from farming practices at that time. Today the refining process has resulted in much purer lanolin and has removed the risk of contamination and with it allergic reactions.

So what is Lanolin?

As with humans, sheep's skin produces oil to hydrate and protect its surface. Called lanolin, this oil has a deeply moisturising effect on human skin as well.

Why is Lanolin added to skin creams?

Lanolin is valuable for two reasons:
  • It locks moisture into the skin and
  • It absorbs additional moisture from the air around it

LanolinA great Skin Moisturiser

Lanolin based skin creams work well if you have dry or even extremely dry skin. This can occur when you spend much of your day in air-conditioned environments as well as naturally as you age. Lanolin is naturally rich in lipids (fats) and one of the causes of dry skin is a lack of lipids. The lipids create a fine film on your skin’s surface. When there aren’t enough lipids there are gaps in this fine film and moisture can escape. Lanolin fills in the gaps stopping any further moisture loss. Whilst it does this is doesn’t lead to clogging of your pores as the film still allows your skin to breathe whilst locking in the moisture. In fact Lanolin’s molecular structure is very close to that of human skin lipids. Additionally once it penetrates your skin it can hold many times its weight in water, which rehydrates and revitalised your skin. By the way Estee Lauder, Clinique, Advanced Dermatology, La Prairie and Channel all use Lanolin in their skin cream formulations.

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