Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lanolin: not just for nursing mothers

Most women probably think of Lansinoh's popular brand used for chapped nipples (due to breastfeeding) when lanolin comes to mind, but lanolin has other uses as well. I remember watching my mom massage lanolin into her hands when I was a wee whippersnapper (knee-high to a grasshopper, ya'know).

What is Lanolin?
Lanolin is a greasy, yellow substance extracted from the fibers of sheep’s wool. This substance is secreted from the skin of sheep and gets trapped in the sheep's wool, giving the sheep protection from rain and moisture. This natural secretion is very similar to the oils we naturally secrete from our own skin. Lanolin’s chemical composition is chiefly a mixture of cholesterol and the esters of several fatty acids. If you add water to Lanolin it forms an emulsion. As a waste product in wool processing, it is known also as wool wax, wool fat, or wool grease. Lanolin is thick like petroleum jelly. When it is applied to the skin, Lanolin seals your body’s moisture in and protects it from dry air. Lanolin is considered a ’heavy duty’ moisturizer and emollient that can be used on dry, rough, and chapped skin. It is also used as a lubricant, and it is found in some hair conditioners to lock in moisture and soften hair. (

I have found lanolin to be a wonderful lip balm, diaper rash treatment, and moisturizer for super dry areas like the heels of my feet.

Lanolin is non-toxic and contains no carcinogens so it's safe to put on your body (and your baby).

It's great to use on leather (or even vinyl)- perfect for shining up shoes that have lost their luster! It can also be used to protect metal surfaces from the elements. Smoothing it over metal outdoor furniture will keep it from rusting.

Oh, and the packaging is great for gnawing on. At least Evangeline Rose thinks so! :)

1 comment:

Leah said...

Thank you for this! I have an entire tube that I had no idea what to use it for since I never needed it for breastfeeding this time around. Going to go moisturize my heels now and shine my shoes! :-)