What is Lanolin?

What is Lanolin?

Lanolin cream is mostly comprised of lanolin oil, which is extracted from sheep’s wool. The oil occurs naturally within the wool and is taken out before the wool is processed to make clothing and other products. Its moisturising properties are highly valued in a number of skin care treatments because it penetrates deeper into dry skin, and doesn’t just moisturize, but also creates a barrier in the underlying layers of skin to prevent moisture from escaping. This keeps skin supple longer, which means that those who use lanolin cream don’t have to apply it as often.

Why Lanolin?

Lanolin was once considered to be a big beauty no-no. Companies would label their product to be 'lanolin-free,' as if the ingredient was an inherently bad thing. Turns out, however, lanolin is one of the most skin-loving ingredients around. Granted, the ingredient, which is derived from the grease extracted from sheep's wool, doesn't sound pretty. But it offers impressive benefits for the skin. Its molecular structure most closely resembles that of human skin lipids. Also, it's a semi-occlusive breathable barrier, so it protects and absorbs at the same time. And once it penetrates into the skin, it holds up to 400 times its weight in water, so it's a fantastic moisture reservoir for skin. In short, lanolin works double-duty; it both moisturises skin from the outside, and helps the skin to moisturise itself from within. The result: baby-soft skin.

Lanolin Cream as Part of a Skin Care Regimen

Anyone who is fighting overly dry and thickening skin may want to consider adding a lanolin cream to their skin care regimen. Women who wear sandals or high heels often find that the skin on their heels starts to thicken, crack, and peel from friction and exposure. When this happens, everyday moisturizers usually have no effect on skin that is this damaged, because they cannot penetrate deeply enough into the layers. Over time, the skin continues to thicken and becomes scaly and even discoloured. However, a lanolin cream can penetrate the layers of dead skin to soften them so that they can be removed with exfoliating tools, leaving the skin on the heel smoother and moisturized. It is usually most effective to apply a lanolin cream before you go to bed so that it sinks into the skin overnight and penetrates the dead layers for easy removal the following morning.