Lanolin: to serve and how to use

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

Lanolin is an ointment with natural healing and moisturizing action , so it is very indicated in the treatment of skin and hair. Furthermore, it integrates the composition of other products with the same purposes.

As such, it can serve as an ingredient in other ointments, soaps, shampoos and conditioners. It is also very common to be present in sunscreen and lip balm.

However, vegans cannot use lanolin or the products it contains, as it is secreted by the sebaceous glands in the sheep’s skin. Therefore, it is a fatty product of animal origin .

Also called “wool grease” or “wool grease”, this wax has the functions of protecting and repairing the skin. Hair restoration is one of the main benefits for hair. ( 1 )

Lanolin: what is it for?

This substance serves to treat and prevent skin problems . In addition, it is widely applied in the composition of products such as makeup, as it has an emollient effect and emulsifying properties, showing good compatibility with the skin. ( 2 )

natural moisturizer

As it is an emollient, the wax acts on the skin’s hydration , as it is impermeable to water and ends up helping to reduce the loss of this liquid in the body.

For all that, the product also makes the skin softer, softer and more flexible . In the latter case, it still acts by preventing the appearance of fearful wrinkles . Another benefit is the hydration of the lips, preventing dryness of the mouth and the development of cracks. ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 )


The wound healing power of this ointment has been studied for a long time by the scientific community. One of the discoveries relates the product to the treatment of nipple trauma resulting from breastfeeding.

A nursing study carried out in 2003 by the Federal University of São Paulo observed 50 women in the postpartum period.

According to the research, the use of anhydrous lanolin was favorable in the treatment of these injuries, as it accelerated the healing process. In addition, it attenuated the pain felt by the patients, reducing the difficulties in the first days of breastfeeding.

But the truth is that the wax can be applied to any type of wound, as it will act positively in the healing process. In addition to having an antibacterial action , it also stimulates the growth of a new layer of skin. ( 5 , 6 )

take care of the hair

Both skin and hair can benefit from this natural product. As it does not allow the loss of water in the epidermis, it also does not allow the hair to become dry.

In practice, the application of hydration masks with wax allows the formation of a protective film around the hair. It is exactly this membrane that prevents water from escaping.

This care also combats dryness and desquamation of the scalp, leaving the strands stronger from the roots. With all this, the hair is shiny, malleable and frizz- free . ( 1 , 7 , 8 )

Does this ointment work for stretch marks?

According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD), stretch marks arise from the disruption of elastic and collagen fibers , forming the well-known scars.

These fibers are responsible for the firmness of the skin and can break due to rapid growth during puberty, disordered muscle growth, excess or loss of weight, pregnancy, etc.

Although lanolin makes the skin more flexible and helps in the healing process, there are still no conclusive studies about its effect on stretch marks. Therefore, there is no way to prove this benefit . ( 9 )

How to use lanolin?

The ointments made with this product can be applied to the skin daily . However, it is necessary to carry out a previous cleaning at the site, especially when dealing with injuries.

As for women who want to use it to protect their nipples during breastfeeding, it is recommended to use the wax even before the baby is born . In addition, it is not necessary to remove the product before breastfeeding.

Now, those who want to apply it to hair, should look for products such as shampoo, conditioner or hydration that have this substance in their compositions. ( 6 , 10 )

Contraindications and side effects

According to the Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SPAIC), lanolin can cause contact allergy . For this reason, the agency recommends testing the product before starting to use it.

On a small area of ​​skin, apply the ointment and let it work for a few minutes. If you start to itch or feel red in this area , wash it off immediately. If there is no reaction, you can use this and other products made with the substance.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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