The health benefits of Lanolin are well known in skincare, and are especially beneficial for those prone to Chronically Dry Skin, Dermatitis, Psoriasis or Eczema.
The health benefits of lanolin in skincare
Lanolin’s structure closely resembles that of human skin and for this reason it is commonly used in skincare products, helping the skin to retain moisture as well as providing a barrier in the deep layers of the skin, to protect it from external elements. Lanolin’s moisturising properties are highly valued. It penetrates deeper into dry skin, creating a barrier in the underlying layers of skin to prevent moisture from escaping keeping the skin supple longer. It is also well known for use on irritated skin, cracked or extremely dry skin, especially those prone to Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Eczema, hard skin on heels and hands. Lanolin helps the skin retain its natural moisture keeping it soft and smooth.
The health benefits of lanolin for Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a skin condition where skin cells are being produced at a much faster rate than normal. This disrupts the natural skin barrier, causes vital components to be lost from the skin, and stops skin from initiating its repair sequence.
Scientific research - conducted by the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, and the Addis Ababa University, - has shown that a replenishment of these vital components facilitates the skin barrier recovery process. Click here to read the full scientific research paper
How lanolin is produced
Lanolin is the natural oil found in sheep’s wool. It helps protect sheep from cold, wet weather by making the wool oily and water-repellent. Sheep are trimmed of their wool regularly, and when that wool is processed for making yarn, the lanolin is removed and saved for use in a variety of products, including skincare.
The history of lanolin
Lanolin has been used dating back to 700 BC; the ancient Greeks used lanolin as an emollient and moisturiser. Even in those early times shepherds and those who sheared sheep, had soft, well-conditioned hands. This was due to a fatty substance beneath the wool, which lubricated the wool and prevented these thick coats from becoming entangled. In ancient Egyptian history, they melted lanolin in the sun and spread over their face to make the skin soft. References to lanolin can also be found in the bible. The benefits of this wonderful and totally natural fat soon became a traded item, valued for its moisturising, and waterproofing properties.
Until the 1800's, wool wax, as it was then known then was extracted by boiling the wool by hand. Then, a German, Otto Braun, invented a way of centrifuging, or spinning wool washings to produce lanolin. Over the next century, lanolin became recognised as an essential ingredient in both topical pharmaceuticals and general skin products.
In the 1960’s consumers began reporting that lanolin caused allergic reaction and as a result many cosmetic companies removed lanolin from their products. It was later discovered, however, that it was not the lanolin that was causing the reactions but pesticides and other impurities that were in the lanolin. Changes in technology, farming practices and stringent testing for purity, now allow for the production of lanolin that is a safe and healthy product for your skin.