Much to my disdain, Lanolin has long been used in the skin care and cosmetics industry as an emollient, commonly used in body creams and lotions to lock in moisture and prevent water loss.

Why we would use this when we have plant based natural emollient’s such as Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil et etc is beyond me?!

Lanolin also has a bad rep for irritating sensitive skin and causing allergic reactions.

So what is Lanolin?

So what IS Lanolin?

Lanolin is a greasy yellow substance made from secretions from the skin glands of sheep to condition their wool. It is an animal-derived product harvested from shorn wool. Unrefined lanolin has been used for thousands of years by various cultures, and refined lanolin has been used for more than a hundred of years in ointments.

There are two common forms: lanolin and lanolin alcohol. Lanolin Alcohol is the one that’s more commonly used in skin care, adds a molecule to provide a smoother skin feel. Because of its high fat content, lanolin prevents the evaporation of water from the skin. This keeps skin moisturized and helps the skin heal.  So why is it getting bad reviews?

Despite being a common ingredient in a number of products marketed to help heal eczema, burns, scrapes, raw nipples and post-procedure skin, the incidence of lanolin allergy is rapidly increasing. For example, a recent study of more than 1,000 children with eczema found that 66% of them reacted to lanolin alcohol (1). Another study looking at allergic reactions in patients with chronic wounds found 11% reacted to lanolin (2).  Lanolin is not what our skin needs when it is trying to heal!

The rapidly rising incidence of lanolin allergy is thought to be related to increased exposure to lanolin. This is not surprising given how ubiquitous it has become in skin care products. The public and health care professionals need to be educated about the increasing allergy to lanolin as many pediatricians, However, dermatologists, doctors and plastic surgeons continue to recommend lanolin-containing products.

There are many other natural ingredients that can be used to prevent water loss here are just a few:
  • Olive oil wax
  • Hemp Wax
  • Soy Wax
  • Castor Wax
  • Avocado wax
  • Sunflower Wax
  • Vegetable Wax
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Shea Butter

Body butters are made from cold pressed oils that are extracted from nuts, seeds and fruits, and then combined with fatty acids and other forms of oil to thicken the consistency. Most body butters are solids at room temperature that melt from your skin’s heat when you slather them on, creating a deeply moisturizing treatment that lasts for hours.

The thick ingredients in body butters form a protective barrier over your skin to keep moisture in check. This prevents you from drying out in heat, hot sun or cold winter air that otherwise sucks away moisture. Instead of relying on parabens like other products, natural butters take advantage of the natural emollients found in nuts and seeds to trap moisture deep into the fatty layers of your skin for optimal moisture protection.  

Body butters are rich in omega 3 fats that benefit you both inside and out. These highly moisturizing fatty acids help keep inflammation in check and make vitamins far more accessible for your skin to absorb.

So, lets check the ingredients in our skincare as closely as we do when buying our food!  All chemicals and additives placed on our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream within 23 seconds.


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