The importance of lanolin, how it works, why you need it?
As a practising Dermatologist, I see a lot of skincare ingredients and products. Lanolin is one that has stood the test of time – what it is, how it works and how it may benefit your skin are outlined below.
- Dr. Annika Smith, Sydney Dermatologist MBBS (Hons I), MPHTM, FRACP, FACD (Dr Annika Smith is an independent Dermatologist speaking to the efficacy of Lanolin)
Lanolin is a naturally derived ingredient, long established in the skincare space. A refined derivative from sheep wool, lanolin is naturally rich in essential lipids that bear similarity to the lipids found in the skin. The lipid components in the skin’s outer layer play a crucial role in reinforcing the skin’s protective barrier along with promoting and maintaining hydration of the epidermis.
Lanolin’s properties support skin barrier integrity and function and skin hydration, by reducing transepidermal water loss. The skin barrier is that critical defence between the inside and outside world, providing protection from external environmental aggressors that can penetrate the skin, incite inflammation and cause problems. Proper skin barrier function plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of skin health. An impaired skin barrier can underpin many skin conditions including eczema.
Optimal skin hydration contributes to a robust skin barrier and can improve the appearance of the skin. Hydrated skin generally looks, feels and functions better. A good quality moisturiser assists with skin hydration and is an essential component to any skin care regime. Universally most of us will incur some degree of dry skin during the winter months and liberal moisturisation is key. The hydrating qualities of lanolin are particularly well suited to dry skin types and those that incur variably dry skin such as with seasonal or environmental changes. Regardless of skin type, skin hydration is important and it’s all about choosing the right formulation for your particular skin type.
Lanolin’s place in the skincare space remains, in part due to its simplicity and function. Its properties serve to nourish and hydrate the skin and support skin barrier function which is essential for good skin health.