Pros And Cons Of Lanolin
The very name lanolin sounds comforting, doesn’t it? It’s found in hand creams and other skin care products, and it equates with soft, silky feelings. The word itself comes from the Latin words ‘lana’ meaning wool, and ‘oleum,’ which is ‘oil birth.’ It’s a waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands in sheep and other wool-producing animals, to keep their fleeces dry in extreme weather conditions and protect against bacteria and fungi in the atmosphere. Lanolin is used extensively in skin care and beauty products such as shaving cream, shampoos and lipsticks.
The thing is, lanolin is also used as a rust proofing agent. In fact, in shearing sheds, the tools used to shear the sheep are remarkably bright and shiny. It’s also used in paints and varnishes. Okay, make up is colloquially known as ‘war paint,’ but do you really want to put something on your skin that goes in paints, varnishes and rust treatments?
Remember that the sheep has been through a dipping process to keep the fleece free of bacteria and other pollutants, and while sheep dip may be good for sheep, the same cannot be said for humans. It’s entirely possible that the sheep dip – which is used for a whole batch of sheep – could have picked up dangerous pesticides such as DDT. This might then be transferred to the lanolin, and of course there are the chemicals in the sheep dip to consider. While lanolin itself is an entirely natural product, the same cannot be said about the processes used to care for the sheep and ultimately extract it.
If lanolin is ingested – and there’s a good chance of this if you use a lanolin-based lipstick – you could end up with diarrhoea. And if you slather on the lipstick at regular intervals, there’s an outside chance that the wax in the lanolin could cause an intestinal blockage, although you’d have to practically eat the stuff to be at risk of that.
Another problem is that some skin types might be sensitive to lanolin. People with a history of eczema or those who have a tendency to allergies and breakouts should certainly avoid products containing lanolin. For the rest, it’s a matter of personal choice.
It has to be said, though, that these days people are more aware of what they are putting into and onto their bodies. For this reason, more and more people are obtaining their skin care products from companies like Naturally Mediterranean, which use only totally natural, totally safe ingredients.
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