Used as a key ingredient

across some of the world's most popular brands & major industries

Uses of Lanolin & its derivatives

Broadly, lanolin and its derivatives are used as key ingredients in some of the world’s most popular brands of pharmaceuticals (for topical applications), personal care/cosmetics and toiletries. Without lanolin, these products will not have the required qualities of emollient, moisturizer, water-in-oil emulsifier or co-emulsifier, plasticizer, dispersing agent and super-fatting agent – all rolled into one.

Lanolin in Personal Care / Cosmetics

Lanolin is widely used in:

  • all skincare products including creams, as an emulsifier, stabilizer, emollient and moisturizer;
  • oil-based skin lotions and cleansing oils as a skin moisturizer and to control viscosity;
  • toilet soaps as a superfatting agent, minimizing the dehydrating effect of detergents, and to retain perfume;
  • aftershaves as a skin moisturizer and to control viscosity;
  • nail polish removers to prevent the defatting of the surrounding skin;
  • lipsticks and eye make-up as a film modifier and crystal inhibitor, for more uniformly dispersed pigment;
  • hair dressings and shampoos, as a conditioner against drying, scaling and brittleness of the hair shaft;
  • hair sprays, as a plasticizer;
  • hair bleaching agents, as a pH-stable emulsifier.

Lanolin in Topical Pharmaceuticals / Health Care

Lanolin is widely used in:

  • ointment bases, burns dressings and wound sprays:
    • as an emulsifier, stabilizer and emollient
    • to support the wound healing process
    • to deliver active ingredients through the skin (trans-dermal);
  • pigmented medications (e.g. with zinc oxide), as a dispersing agent;
  • topical products for cutaneous infections (e.g. acne) and in deodorizing toiletries, as an anti-microbial and disinfectant.
  • ophthalmic ointments, as an emollient with high physiological compatibility and low irritation potential;
  • suppositories substantial base, as a carrier for active ingredients;
  • surgical adhesive tapes, as an impregnating agent, plasticizer and skin-suited stack enhancer;
  • chewing gum bases as a food additive (physiologically compatible emollient)
  • pre-blended combinations for specific purposes, such as absorption bases

Industrial Application

  • Anti-corrosive effect on ferrous metals.
    It is biodegradable and non-toxic, making it an ecologically friendly substance. Lanolin is also compatible with numerous additives that modify the consistency and characteristics of the resulting protective films (e.g. hard, soft, water soluble or insoluble). Strongly corroded seawater tanks and ships can be rust-protected with low viscous lanolin products. In the floor method, the liquids are dispersed on the weathered underground. The oil then creeps into the cavities of the rust structure, where it displaces the water by attaching to the metallic surface, forming a thick and durable anti-corrosive layer. The high penetration potential of lanolin-based anti-corrosive preparations makes them attractive for rust treatment and prevention on automobile parts, especially on old-timers. Some Special anti-corrosive applications and functions
  • As a dewatering rust preventative for saltwater-resistant protection of ships and seawater tanks.
  • For protection and conservation of ferrous vehicle and vintage car parts such as:
    • crevices of front and car boot lid, wheel house, mudguard, underbody parts and so on;
    • engineering parts like cylinder pistons during storage;
    • chromed parts for better resistance against road salt, seawater and acid rain;
    • for regeneration of bitumen underbody protection.
  • For conserving items such as military hardware, conduits, pipelines, machinery, roofing tiles, sheets, plates, tools, steel wire ropes, surfaces of wood and fabric, and so on.

Lubricant applications

  • Combined with its anti-corrosive potential, lanolin is also a valuable lubricating and conserving material for all types of engineering parts. Other special applications are:
  • Lubrication grease for engineering parts.
  • Metal cutting oil.
  • Lubricant for metal processing, e.g. rolling, grinding, pressing and so on.


Leather and textiles

To protect leather from natural degradation processes, it must be treated by chemical tanning agents to create a durable product from an organic source. Lanolin is a widely used ingredient for fat liquors that are applied after tanning to soften leathers. Lanolin is used in products for:

  • treating and processing tanned leather
  • weathered leather, as a nourishing oil and emollient
  • shoe polishes, as an emulsifier and gloss enhancer
  • textiles, as an emollient that gives a soft finish.

Other Industrial uses

  • In paints, spraying varnishes and inks:
    • as a dispersing agent for homogeneous covering properties
    • preventing aggregation and precipitation of pigments to improve handling of paints
    • as an agent to decrease the drying time
    • as a penetration inhibitor for inks
    • to give and control fluidity.
  • In polishing waxes and abrasives.
  • As a paper conditioner:
    • enhancing paper softness
    • imparting steam resistance for wrappings of surgical instruments that have to be sterilized.
  • In industrial hand-cleaner creams and lotions as a superfatting agent to minimize the dehydrating effect of detergents.
  • In oil-binding agents, due to the high oil-binding capacity of  lanolic acid metal soaps.
  • In concrete waterproofing products.
  • In numerous other applications, such as aircraft glues, conveyor belt wax, special greases, jointing pastes, vulcanizing pastes and so on.