What is Lanolin ?

 Lanolin is “wool fat” or grease, chemically akin to wax, which is secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals, such as sheep. These glands are associated with hair follicles. Lanolin, also called Adeps Lanae, wool wax, wool fat, or wool grease, a greasy yellow substance from wool-bearing animals, acts as a skin ointment, water-proofing wax, and raw material (such as in shoe polish). Chiefly a mixture of cholesterol and the esters of several fatty acids. Crude (non-medical) grades of lanolin also contain wool alcohols, which are an allergen for some people.

In order to obtain anhydrous pharmaceutical codex lanolin the raw material must undergo different Treatment. It must be basified, purified, discoloured, deodorized and dehydrated.

Courtesy Ao SkinCare

It is resistant to deterioration: lanolin which has been well refined and stabilised does not dry and does not go rancid.
It has great emulsifying capacities with water to form an emulsion
It can be totally absorbed by the skin.
Lanolin has been used in the cosmetics industry, soap industry and for pharmaceutical preparations.
According to Great international scientific authorities Lanolin is one of the least allegiant compared with other products used in cosmetics and from the bacteriological point of view, its qualities are very good.
Lanolin is a complex mixture of substances. Its ability to absorb water is probably a characteristic of the material rather than a single component. The chemistry of lanolin has been studied in detail. Such studieds have resulted in the introduction of a large variety of lanolin derivatives and separated fractions. Available now are lanolin alcohols, dewaxed lanolins, acetylated lanolins, ethoxylated lanolins, hydrogenated lanolins, lanolin esters, and other products. Most of these derivatives have been produced for specific purposes, such as improved emulsification characteristics or to reduce allergic reactivity.
The specific compounds responsible for lanolin allergy remain unknown; however, the greater portion of lanolin allergens resides in the wool wax alcohols fraction. Thus, fractional separation to obtain, for example, the so-called liquid lanolins substantially reduces the incidence of allergic reactions. Given the plethora of lanolin fractions, derivatives, modifications, and levels of purity, it is quite possible, even likely, that lanolin-sensitive individuals can tolerate specific lanolin products.
Lanolin is used in absorption bases (W/O type). Absorption bases are the particularly emulsion bases, that impart excellent emolliency and degree of occlusiveness on application. The anhydrous types can be used when the presence of water would cause stability problems with specific drug substances, e.g., antibiotics. Absorption bases also are greasy when applied and are difficult to remove.
Lanolin is used as absorption bases in the preparations of medicated / non-medicated ointments, creams.
·       It is used as a cream to soothe skin. It is pure, hypoallergenic and bacteriostatic. In this form it is used by some breastfeeding mothers on sore and cracked nipples.
·       This grade of lanolin can also be used to treat chapped lips, diaper rash, dry skin, itchy skin, rough feet, minor cuts, minor burns and skin abrasions.
·       As an ointment base, it is readily absorbed through skin, facilitating absorption of the medicinal chemicals it carriers.
·       Lanolin is often used as a raw material for producing Vitamin D3
Lanolin is used in cold creams, beauty creams, toilet soaps, lipsticks, face powder, shaving creams, nail-varnish and nail-varnish remover, shampoos, body lotions, etc.
Lanolin has an emollient property which makes the skin nice soft when it is in contact with substances which makes it rough, hence it is widely used in cosmetic preparations.
Types of Application
Hand and Body Cosmetics
Lanolin is an excellent emollient and is readily absorbed by the skin, and has a powerful w/o emulsifying properties which moisturizes and softens the skin.
Baby Cream / Lotions
The combination of emollient and emulsifying properties of lanolin makes the skin soft, smooth. It also moisturizes the skin
Eye Cosmetics
Lanolin is a non irritant and has no any harmful effect on eyes.
Shaving Creams
Lanolin moisturizes and softens the skin and also act as surface active agent .hence it is also used in shaving cream.
Lanolin used as thickener for shampoos and bath gels. It also gives many cosmetics a creamy texture and high gloss.
Toilet Soaps
Lanolin is chemically similar to our skin’s own natural moisturizers. Lanolin contains many substances that do not saponify and tends to form a slight film on the surface of the finished soap. This film can be skimmed off or shaken back into solution. Lanolin is also act as surface active agent; hence it is used in the preparation of the soaps.
Others: In paints, varnishes, plastic materials and rubbers it is used as a plasticizer.
·       It is used as ensimage base in textile.
·       Lanolin is used in emulsion with water for insecticide sprays in agricultural industry.
·       Lanolin is also used in the manufacturing of adhesives for belts, and in the preparation of ink for printing, etc.
Lanolin Derivaties & Application 
Lanolin Oil is the liquid-phase resulting from solvent fractionation (such as with ethyl acetate) of crude Lanolin via vacuum distillation or solvent crystallization. The product is composed of the liquid esters that partly make up Anhydrous Lanolin. It can be used in many applications similar to lanolin but provides a lighter feel with less drag in skincare and offers the substantial handling benefits of a liquid.
The color and odor of liquid lanolin make it ideal for lipsticks of all shades and lip balm. It can be included in varieties of oil based formulations such as bath oils, baby oils, cleansing and suntan oils. High fluidity and clarity of lanolin oil enhances the emollient property.
As liquid lanolin provides an exceptional emollient effect, it penetrates into the stratum corneum within seconds.
Lanolin Oil is softer and not so sticky.
It adds a certain glossiness to lip products.
The degree of pesticides in lanolin is systematically controlled.
It is widely used in cosmetic industry in the preparation like creams, lotions, face-pack, makeup foundation etc. as a base because it provides superior emolliency and protection from epidermal moisture loss.
Usual dosage of the lanolin oil : 2 to 10%
It is also used in lipsticks, lip gloss, lip care products where color is important, eye cosmetic, etc.
Usual dosage: 2 to 10%
It can be included in a variety of oil-based formulations such as bath oils, baby oils, cleansing and suntan oils where high emolliency is needed.
It can also be utilised as a plasticiser for film forming resins in hair lacquers due to its solubility in aerosol propellants
It can be used as a substitute for mineral oil in any type of skin care oil or formulation.
Dewaxed lanolin”; acts as a skin moisturizer and reduces stickiness of creams and lotions. Also found in hair conditioners, fingernail conditioners, and skin cosmetics
Lanolin Alcohol is derived from Lanolin via hydrolysis followed by extraction as described above. Lanolin Alcohol is a mixture of alcohols comprised of about two-thirds sterols and one-fourth aliphatic alcohols.
Liquid Absorption Base is a carefully selected blend of sterols, triterpeniod alcohols and high molecular weight aliphatic alcohols dissolved in a low molecular weight mineral oil. It has been processed in such a way to reduce sedimentation and provide a homogenous mixture.
Lanolin Alcohol is a firm, waxy, amber solid with a characteristic odour. The Melting range is 47 to 65°C.
Types of Application
Hand and Body Cosmetics
Lanolin Alcohol is Distilled and deodorized solid with excellent emolliency to skin and hair. Contains up to 30% cholesterol and related sterols. The product is a low viscosity liquid, pale yellow in colour, with practically no discernable odour and is rapidly absorbed by the skin, imparting powerful emollient and moisturizing effect. It is also used as an auxiliary emulsifier imparting a fine, smooth feel to both o/w and w/o creams, and also pigmented make-up preparations.
Baby Cream / Lotions
Lanolin alcohol is an emollient alcohol. Lanolin Alcohol has a skin conditioner property. Hence it is used in bath, baby and sunscreen oils.
Eye Cosmetics
Liquid Absorption Base is a non-eye irritant. Hence it is safely used in eye cosmetics.
Soap industry:
Lanolin alcohol is used as superfatting agents in soaps
Acetylated Lanolin  is a derivative of Anhydrous Lanolin, in which most of the free hydroxyl groups, that are normally present in lanolin, have been converted to acetates. Physically, the product is very similar to lanolin in appearance, but has a lower melting point and a less tacky feel.
The conversion of free hydroxyl groups to acyl esters fundamentally changes the functionally of the product. Acetylated Lanolin Standard is strongly lipohilic with excellent solubility in mineral oils and shows improved emolliency over normal Anhydrous Lanolin.
Acetylated Lanolin is more hydrophobic than lanolin since many of the hydroxyl groups in the latter substance have been esterified to acetate. Acetylated Lanolin, therefore, fails to form w/o emulsions, is soluble in cold mineral oil and has a slightly lower melting range (30 to 40ºC) than Lanolin. Acetylated Lanolin forms a water resistant film when applied to the skin resulting in the reduction of transepidermal water loss.
Acetylated Lanolin is glossy and has a lower melting point.
Acetylated Lanolin is not as sticky as lanolin and is an excellent emollient in cosmetic oils.
It acts as greasing agent in the preparation of hair products.
Types of Application
Bath Preparations :
Acetylated Lanolin is a water soluble moisturizer and conditioner with a gentle cleansing action. It can be used as a skin and hair conditioner in a wide range of aqueous preparations such as bath foams, shampoos, and conditioners, cleansing hand gels and washing up Liquids.
Eye Makeup preparations
It is non-irritating to both skin and eye, hence safely used in Draize test, with acute oral toxicity being too low to measure.
Hair Preparations
It is used as conditioner in preparations such as shampoos, conditioners. It is also used in preparations of baby products, colognes and toilet waters, shaving creams.
Skin Care Preparations
It is used as conditioner in preparations such as shampoos, conditioners. It is also used in preparations of baby products, colognes and toilet waters, shaving creams.
Acetylated Lanolin acts as moisturizer to skin and makes skin very soft .hence it is used in the skin care preparations such as creams, lotions, powders, and sprays.
Usual dosage: up to 25%.
The main uses for Acetylated Lanolin Standard of in mineral oil of based products such as, baby oils, sunscreen oils, hair lotions, and bath oils.
Ethoxylation of hydroxyl group of lanolin or its derivatives leads to hydrophilic, water soluble lanolin compounds, offering broad range of useful emollient to formulator.
Some moderately to highly ethoxylated derivatives are recommended for their good emolliency and moisturizing properties.
Peg-75 Lanolin is an ethoxylated lanolin condensate with a mean chain length of 75 ethylene oxide units produced as a fine flake for easier handling and faster dispersion in aqueous systems.
Physically, the product is hard amber/yellow wax with a typical faint, fruity odour. It produces clear solutions both in water and aqueous ethanol upto 35% concentration.
Ethoxylated Lanolin is totally soluble in water and acts as a non-ionic surface agent.
It is greasing agent.  It has a good colour and characteristic and odour.
Types of Applications
Skin /Hair Conditioner
PEG Liquid Lanolin is a water soluble moisturizer and conditioner with gentle cleansing hand gels and washing up liquids
Eye preparations-Eye Makeup preparations
It is non-irritating to both skin and eye, hence safely used in draize test, with acute oral toxicity being too low to measure.
Soap industry:
Ethoxylated lanolin does not depress the foam and recommended as skin conditioner in soap liquid body cleansing product and bubble baths. Ethoxylated lanolin also used as superfatting agent suitable for liquid soap. All other oils will cloud the soap because of liberation of free fatty acids. In technical field it is used as a softening agent in domestic products. It is also useful in wet-wipe products.
Lanolin Wax is produced by the multi-stage refining of wool grease, a natural, renewable raw material which is obtained from the scouring (washing) of raw wool, followed by low temperature fractional crystallization.
The fractional crystallization separates the liquid esters (lanolin oil) from the solid esters, or lanolin wax, which make up Anhydrous Lanolin .It has similar chemical characteristics to anhydrous lanolin but with a higher melting point that can convey extra stability of formulations, particularly at higher temperatures.
Lanolin, produced from the oil glands of sheep, is a water-absorbent base material and consequently an effective moisturizer. Because lanolin contains a high percentage of substances that do not saponify it clouds liquid soap and should be limited to 1to 2 percent of any formulation.
Chemically, a wax may be an ester of ethylene glycol (ethan-1,2-diol) and two fatty acids, as opposed to a fat which is an ester of glycerin (propan-1,2,3-triol) and three fatty acids. It may also be a combination of other fatty alcohols with fatty acids. It is a type of lipid.
Waxes are chemically similar to oils except that the wax molecules are composed of more alcohols than glycerol.
Lanolin wax has the usual dermatological qualities of Lanolin
Because of its high melting point, it is heavier and more compact.
It is therefore recommended for applications where both consistency and a hydrating capacity are required.
Lanolin is perfectly deodorized.
Lanolin wax is an odorless, tasteless, ceraceous solid which is a better water/oil emulsifying agent than whole alcohol.
Melting range is 41 to 51˚C.
Lanolin is pale yellowish white solid.
Hand/Body Preparations: Lanolin used as moisturizer in the suntan and sunscreen preparations.
It is also used in preparations such as colognes and toilet waters.
Cosmetics-lanolin wax is used in the thick creams, face-packs, lipsticks, etc. Usual dosage-1 to 10%.
Lanolin wax also use as an approved food contact lubricant for coatings.
Lanolin wax is used as Adhesives.
Lanolin used as co-emulsifier.
Lanolin is used in the skin ointments.
Lanolin wax is used as water proofing wax.
It is used as raw material in shoe polish.