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What Are the Uses of Pure Lanolin?

By C. Stowers
Updated May 21, 2024
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Pure lanolin is a product of the processing of sheep wool. It repels water and has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It has a texture similar to wax and is yellow in color. It is used to soothe and treat dry skin on the lips or nipples, can be applied to machine parts and can be found in many types of products, such as lotions, makeup and other beauty products, eye drops, sunscreen and shaving creams or gels.

One of the uses of pure lanolin is helpful to new mothers. It can be used to soothe sore, dry and cracked nipples that result from breastfeeding. Applying it to the nipples before drying occurs can help chapped nipples, will provide relief and can treat the condition as well. An added benefit is that lanolin can be used to treat chapped lips in newborns.

The most common and uncomfortable symptoms that stem from chemotherapy are dry and chapped lips. Oil in the skin is lost during the chemotherapy process, and this can lead to mouth sores and severely chapped lips. Doctors often prescribe lanolin-based lip balms to patients because the oils in lanolin are linked closely to the oils that the body produces.

There are several uses for pure lanolin that might be surprising. Machine parts that need to be stored for a long time can be coated in lanolin to preserve them. Oil rigs use it as a water repellent, which can help inhibit corrosion. It can help lubricate and preserve leather. Pure lanolin is even found in paints and varnish.

Lanolin so closely mimics the chemical make up of human skin that pharmaceutical companies use it as a carrier to deliver certain drugs subcutaneously, or under the skin. It also been used in ophthalmic drugs. Lanolin also is one of the ingredients commonly used in eye drops, because its anti-bacterial and moisturizing properties are effective at soothing dry eyes and protecting them from infection.

Another popular use of lanolin is in makeup and beauty products such as lipstick, eyeshadow and foundation. It is known for being able to mix well with many other products, so it can be found in many beauty products that focus on the hair, nails and skin. Lanolin also can be found in sunscreen, baby products, lotion and shaving products.

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Discussion Comments
By turquoise — On Feb 14, 2014
Pure lanolin has many uses and the article mentioned all of them. I used lanolin during breastfeeding. I also used it on my baby's bottom when she had diaper rash. It worked wonders in both cases.
By ZipLine — On Feb 14, 2014

@ddljohn-- Lanolin is truly excellent for dry, cracked skin. I've been using pure lanolin oil for a few years now and I refuse to use anything else. Before I discovered lanolin, I was using regular hand creams that are full of so many chemicals as well as alcohol and fragrance. They're not hydrating, they actually dry out my hands even further. Lanolin is so much better. It really nourishes skin and protects from further damage. I can feel the effects for a very long time. In addition to my hands, I'm also using lanolin on my feet. It's great for cracked heels and calluses.

Just make sure that the product you're getting is 100% lanolin. It shouldn't have anything else in it, not even water. Read the ingredients list carefully.

By ddljohn — On Feb 13, 2014

Lanolin is used a lot by farmers. My aunt has a farm and she has many animals like cows, sheep, chicken etc. She uses lanolin on their skin, especially on the udders of her cows to prevent and treat cracks. She uses lanolin on her own skin as well. I've seen her apply it on her hands many times like hand lotion. My aunt is working all the time and her hands are in cold water often, and get affected by cold weather as well. She says that lanolin is great for cracked, dry skin.

I've never used lanolin but recently, my hands are extremely dry as well, so I'm planning on getting some pure lanolin cream for my hands.

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