Lanolin is a waxy oil that comes from sheep. Once curated, it can treat dry skin and hair as well as be used for treating tanned leather and polishing equipment.
To curate lanolin, sheep wool must be stripped and processed through either centrifugal separation or solvent extraction. So this begs the questions, can lanolin be cruelty-free?
Can Lanolin Be Cruelty-Free?
The collection of lanolin is cruelty-free. However, sheep are often bred for the meat industry because that is where their main financial value lies. However, if the lanolin is curated from sheep that are bred for wool production, then no harm to the animals is necessary.
Lanolin is one of the most potent natural moisturizers available, holding up to 400% of its moisture weight. Luckily for us, it can help boost our protective skin barrier’s strength – which we need because it slowly weakens as we age and are exposed to harms like pollution or the sun.
Can Lanolin Be Cruelty-Free?
Acting as a breathable skin barrier, the benefits of lanolin on the human skin are tenfold. It is possible to collect lanolin from the wool of sheep without harming them or negatively affecting them. The purpose of lanolin is to condition and moisturize the skin on sheep. Once humans discovered this, they began extracting it from sheep wool for the human body.
Often, the products that humans collect from animals are at the expense of the animal's well-being. In this case, it is possible to give sheep a good haircut and use the cut wool to extract lanolin. Lanolin is an intense moisturizer used to treat dry, itchy, scaly, and cracking skin. Whether used on a baby's bottom or in shampoo, it is a useful product.
Lanolin is one of the best forms of hydration that humankind has found. There are three types of lanolin:
How Lanolin Works
Lanolin is a type of oil that has the consistency of lotion. It is referred to as "wool fat," because it comes from a sheep’s oil-producing glands under its skin. These glands help lubricate the hair as it grows.
Humans also have these oil glands all over our bodies, and they mature during your teenage years. This is one of the main reasons many teenagers struggle with oily hair, skin and even acne.
However, what is important to know is that this ‘wool fat’ does not come from a sheep’s body fat at all. It is a natural set of oils that are produced under their skin and released into their woolie coats.
Lanolin is a natural emollient, meaning that it can successfully protect, repair, and maintain the health of your skin barrier. It is so potent that it can reduce the amount of water your skin loses every day by up to thirty percent.
Even though this product is for topical use only, the lanolin soaks into the skin under the surface and creates a protective shield between your body's natural moisture and the dry skin on the surface. Not to mention the thick consistency of lanolin is perfect for healing and restoring both skin and hair.
Reasons why lanolin is a great moisturizer for the human skin:
How Is Lanolin Collected?
Lanolin is collected by washing sheep wool with a unique tool that is like a comb. When cleaning the wool, a special scouring detergent is used to eliminate all dirt and bacteria. The end goal is to save all of the waxy lanolin that is within the wool.
The wool that can be found on a Merino sheep can collect anywhere from 200-350 ml of wool grease. This is what the lanolin will be created from after all of the unneeded parts are extracted from the wool.
Through a separation process, fatty salts, dirt, and other impurities are extracted in hot water before the lanolin can be collected. The harvested wool wax is dark and greasy, with a strong odor of sheep wool. As it takes the form of a thick paste, it can be used for technical applications at this stage.
After separation through centrifugal extraction has taken place, the lanolin is ready for use. This includes cosmetic purposes such as in lotions and shampoos.
Substitutes for Lanolin
Some people do not like using lanolin because they are allergic to the lipids that lanolin is made of. In this case, other products are both natural and artificial that can be used in its place.
Plant and seed oils
Provide a wonderful source of healthy fatty acids that our skin needs to protect itself and can be absorbed rapidly when applied.
Plant and seed oils
The biggest difference between butters and oils is that the butters are solid at room temperature, but they work in the exact same way.
Overall, lanolin is proven to be the most natural and supportive product for your skin. This product comes directly from the wool of a sheep. The fact that it is completely natural encourages your skin to self-regulate its own moisturizing properties. Factors like age, environment, and lifestyle habits can all affect our skin’s natural protective barriers, and we end up not producing the natural moisture we need.
Researching what product is best for you and your skin is especially important. Different people have different allergies and sensitivities. Because of this, it is vital to try out various products in small portions to test the effect that they will have on your skin.
Lanolin is a cruelty-free, natural product that is fantastic for moisturizing dry and cracking skin. Though this product is used topically, it promotes yours skins natural ability to regulate its own moisture and hydration levels.
Lanolin is a by-product of sheep's wool, which makes it completely natural and cruelty-free. Extracting the unwanted dirt, bacteria, and whatever else was in the sheep's wool and then collecting the grease out of the wool are the beginning steps to creating a product that will moisturize the driest skin.
Over time, you will notice a drastic change in your skin's quality after you have used lanolin for some time. You can use lanolin daily, knowing that no animals or living beings were harmed in the making and processing of this natural ingredient.