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Lanolin refers to the sebum or oil that is extracted from sheep’s wool to keep the sheep dry and to maintain healthy skin. Also known as wool wax or grease, it consists of sterol esters. Some sheep produce more lanolin than others.
Lanolin is available in two types - anhydrous and hydrous. Anhydrous lanolin is thick and quite sticky or tacky, while hydrous lanolin has had water added to it, to make it thinner. Anhydrous is more commonly used in homemade cosmetic preparations.
Uses of lanolin
Known to be effective in softening dry, cracked, chapped skin, it is easily absorbed and lays down a protective barrier, thereby holding moisture in.
Lanolin is used in various cosmetic preparations, including body lotions and moisturisers. It is a wonderful emollient when added to soap or lotion.
Average usage is 1-2% of your total oils, or 1 tablespoon per pound of base oils. You can use cocoa butter or another hard oil to counteract the "stickiness" from the lanolin.
A very small percentage of the population *is* allergic to lanolin.