What’s Under The Wool: Lanolin Wax and Lanolin Oil

Wool-bearing animals, such as sheep and goats, have been domesticated and bred by mankind for millennia. Their wool, which is a textile fiber, is used in a variety of ways from clothing to tools to furniture—but did you know it also contains a natural wax? This substance is lanolin, a sterol ester-based wax-like substance secreted from the skin of the animal that protects their wool. It is often referred to as wool fat or wool grease, though it does not contain any glycerides and therefore cannot be categorized as a fat.

These beneficial effects on animal’s skin have similar effects for human skin, perhaps due to its mild similarity in our own production of sebum. The lanolin that is used by humans is collected from the shorn wool of sheep raised specifically for this purpose and extracted via hot water and detergent to remove any pesticide or dirt. The wax is subsequently collected after the water cools and the wax hardens. It has been used in modern cosmetic production for over a century, though there’s also evidence to suggest usage on its own by ancient Egyptians and Greeks!

Lanolin is often processed into two different varieties, both offered in bulk at Jedwards!

Lanolin Wax – USP (H1010) is a thick, yellow substance. Unlike other waxes such as beeswax, this wax is pliable at room temperature.

Lanolin Oil (H1015), often referred to as Liquid Lanolin, is a yellow, viscous oil from fractionated, steam-distilled lanolin. Liquid lanolin carries a lighter feel than regular lanolin which is a thicker waxy material. 

Both varieties can be used as an effective water-in-oil emulsifier. Lanolin is rich in AHAs —alpha-hydroxy acids, a coveted skincare ingredient.  Animals benefit from this as a protectant from the elements of mother nature (rain, snow, etc.), so this works well as a waterproofing ingredient in lipsticks and mascaras. Lanolin can be found in products such as lipsticks and balms, oil-based cosmetics, topical baby care products, anti-chafing skin care lotions, and hair treatments. It is also found in cleaning products like soap and dish-washing liquid.

With two different types of lanolin offered here at Jedwards, truly no one will be pulling the wool over your eyes when you are on the hunt for the best products. Shop these products and more natural ingredients at everyday wholesale pricing at bulknaturaloils.com!