Monday, December 13, 2010

Where Does Lanolin Grow?

You only want me for my emoillience.
Lanolin (INCI: Lanolin) has some wonderfully protective properties and is one of very few ingredients I use that is not plant based (the other being beeswax). Lanolin comes from sheep's wool. To be perfectly correct, it is wool grease (not to be confused with fat, which would require that it contain glycerides). While we're being technical, the composition of lanolin actually places it in the wax category.

Wax Schmax – What's it Good For?
Lanolin has so much to offer in the way of protection and nourishment that it is indisputably the ultimate natural skin repairer. Lanolin forms a protective, yet breathable film on the skin, outperforming by far any glycerine (or petrolatum) product in (skin) barrier repair. In other words, not only does it rock for extremely dry and cracked skin, as a winter protection ingredient for all skin types, and as a safe and gentle rash-protection ingredient for baby bottoms, it's been tried and tested for over a century (I kid you not) and is all scientifically documented. Here's a fun fact tidbit: about 40% of the acids in lanolin are alpha hydroxy acids (also known as AHA's), so we're seeing some good skin-rejuvination properties here too. Basically, any way you look at it, lanolin is just too beneficial to dismiss. I have never had anything but success with it.

Misinformation and Misunderstandings
If you've ever heard warnings about lanolin not being tolerated very well, they are most likely due to a misunderstanding from way back in the 1950's that spiraled out of control. A study at New York University Hospital showed that approx. 1% of patients with dermatological disorders were allergic to the lanolin being used at that time. This was misinterpreted and quoted in the media as '1% of the general US population can't tolerate lanolin'. This little misquote exaggerated the possibly-lanolin-allergic count by about 5500 times. Amazingly, after all this time, the story continues to survive and circulate! (Must be frustrating as all get-out for the lanolin suppliers).

Are There Any Worries With Lanolin?
The only thing to be aware of with lanolin is to ensure it is free of pesticides. The lanolin in all of my products is 100% pesticide free. 

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