Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Did you know that Lanolin comes from sheep? How many products do you use every day that contain Lanolin? Check your labels!
What is Lanolin?
Lanolin is a waxy substance derived mainly from the wool of sheep. The sheep’s sebaceous glands produce this “wool wax” to help shed water and keep the sheep dry. It’s extracted by putting the wool through a centrifuge machine that separates the oil from other chemicals and debris.
That means we get lanolin from wool, which we can get by giving the sheep a haircut. How bad could it be, right? Unfortunately it’s not that simple.
Lanolin is used in an array of products like pharmaceuticals, leather, textiles, baby and men’s care products, bio-lubricants, and nearly all types of cosmetics marketed to women. While pharmaceutical-grade lanolin is the lion’s share of the market today, the growing demand for natural and organic ingredients in personal care products is driving lanolin market growth, which is expected to be worth more than $450 million USD by 2024.
In beauty products, specifically, lanolin gives heavy lip gloss it's high-shine. Formulations like these are about 5-10% lanolin by weight. Lanolin may also appear in cosmetics as modified versions of lanolin oil. Lanfrax, for instance, is the trade name of a lanolin oil compound that has "polyethylene glycol" attached to it to make it more water-soluble. Accounting for these modified versions of lanolin, lanolin and its derivatives may account for approximately 15-25% of the weight.
So, though the production of lanolin seems innocent enough because the process happens after the sheep are shorn, and seems like it should be a natural byproduct of the wool industry, lanolin is a major industry of its own. The only way to sustain the accelerating levels of lanolin production is by being inextricably linked to mass-produced wool, which is a slaughter industry with inhumane practices. Because the lanolin industry relies directly on mass-produced wool, lanolin also supports cruelty.
At Sugie Skin Care we LOVE animals and would NEVER use Lanolin in any of our products, guaranteed!