Winter winds and harsh weather wreak havoc on our skin – making it dry and irritated. We all use moisturizing creams, oils, and lip balms to fight dry skin. But, do you know the secret ingredient in these products that plays a vital part in retaining and restoring the moisture on your skin? That is Lanolin
What is Lanolin?
Rolex Lanolin Products Limited (RPL) describes lanolin as “a highly refined and purified natural grease that originates as a unique substance secreted by sheep from the sebaceous glands in their skin to form a natural protective coating on the wool fibre”. In its pure form- it looks like a yellow-colored waxy substance with a distinct odour.
Lanolin has been used since ancient times to soften and relieve dry, cracked and painful skin. Lanolin, in the mid-1900s, was commonly used for its soothing qualities.
What is lanolin good for?
Lanolin helps retain and restore moisture for dry skin
Those who know the technicalities of manufacturing cosmetics know that lanolin is the ingredient used for restoring moisture on your skin. Highly purified, or medical grade lanolin is available in the market. It is ultra-refined and hypoallergenic lanolin that can directly be used on your skin and it’s soothing nature makes it perfect for treating eczema and other dry-skin conditions.
Additionally, Lanolin and lanolin-based creams/lotions help increase the water content of the skin.
Lanolin can help relieve dermatitis in premature babies
Premature babies do not have an effective skin barrier, which can cause dermatitis symptoms. In a randomized study of 60 premature babies - the babies received topical lanolin treatment for two weeks. Topical lanolin decreased the amount of water lost through the skin and reduced the severity of dermatitis and bacteria on the skin.
Lanolin is used by breastfeeding mothers as a nipple cream
A traumatic nipple is one of the most common problems for breastfeeding mothers. Many studies have found that lanolin can be used as a therapeutic cream for relieving nipple pain. Other studies have reported lanolin use to withstand longer feedings compared to other commercial products.
Lanolin to heal chapped lips
Lanolin helps with dried and chapped lips. Furthermore, lip infections caused by chemotherapy can be relieved with lanolin (which helps reduce dehydration and dryness).
Lanolin can help the treatment of dry eyes
Lanolin can be used to treat dry eyes and corneal abrasions (i.e. when the outer layer of the eye is scratched or irritated)
Lanolin can relieve anal fissures
An anal fissure is a tear of any size in the anus, it is most often identified by the blood in the stool. A study conducted on 71 children concluded that the group that received topical lanolin ointment had a higher chance of healing their anal fissures.
Lanolin may have anti-cancer properties
Some early research shows that lanolin may possess some anti-cancer properties. A research done on mice showed the cancer cells decreasing after lanolin application and reducing the total amount of tumours. Lanolin was most effective when applied before the development of tumours. To include lanolin as an official anti-cancer treatment though, more studies need to confirm its properties.
Lanolin might be helpful in protecting bones
Osteonecrosis is a disease that occurs when the bone tissues die due to a lack of blood. Few types of research on rabbit show that cholesterol and lanolin-rich diet reduces bone tissue death. Thus, lanolin may be responsible for anti-osteonecrosis activity.
Lanolin may improve your hair quality
Lanolin is a conditioning agent that is already found in many shampoos and conditioners. The conditioning agent improves the softness and smoothness, reducing tangles and flyaways. It can increase lustre and glossiness of hair.