What is Lanolin?

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What is lanolin? Hint: if you see this ingredient in your skin care product, that product is not vegan.

Lanolin is sourced from the shorn wool of sheep. The fleece is cleaned through a process called scouring, in which it is submerged in a hot detergent solution. The lanolin is then collected from the solution by high-speed centrifugation.

It is used as an emollient in cosmetics, skin care, hair care, toiletries, and personal care products. It is also a common ingredient in medicine, especially dermatological agents. And it can also be used as a food additive, e.g. as a base for chewing gum, which is often simply referred to as ‘gum base’. Derivatives of lanolin include Aliphatic Alcohols, Cholesterin, Isopropyl Lanolate, Laneth, Lanogene, Lanolin Alcohols, Lanosterols, Sterols, and Triterpene Alcohols.

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