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Lanolin: WTF is Wool Wax Doing in Our Products?

What is it?

Lanolin is an emollient (skin softener) also referred to as “wool wax”. It’s a wax-like substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep that helps waterproof their wool. Sound like something you want to put on your face? Probably not, but hear us out anyway.



Lanolin is essentially a wax, so don’t go eating it or anything, but having a tiny bit in your lip balm is fine.


This is where lanolin goes–on the outside of your body, and it has a multitude of uses. As an emollient, it can be used for lip balm, nipple balm (for those moms out here–we see you! You’re doing amazing!), general moisturizing of your rough edges (elbows, winter hands, heels!). Fun fact, apparently baseball players use lanolin to soften their mitts. That tells you how effective it is.


Some people may have an allergic reaction to lanolin, so be sure to spot test if you are sensitive and react to allergens easily.

Not necessarily a risk, but a note: lanolin is an animal byproduct for our vegan friends out there so steer clear!

How does it work?

Lanolin is made by taking the sheared wool of a sheep (don’t worry, sheep need to be sheared regularly, just like we need haircuts, so they’re cute) and washing it in hot water with a special detergent to remove the waxy substance. It’s removed and spun in a centrifuge that compacts it into the balmy texture that you know and love. Lanolin acts as a secondary layer of moisture, keeping skin’s natural moisture locked in. It heals dry, cracked skin while still allowing it to breathe.

Is the hype real?

Sure! Make sure you’re not allergic and proceed to slather it on your dry patches.

Our picks:

Lano is a great Aussie line with a wide variety of products. We love the tinted balms and hand creams!

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