Sunday, January 30, 2011

Iron Chemist: Lanolin

Welcome to Workshop Stadium. This week the Chairman, Raymond (my lovely husband), has chosen the sixth Iron Chemist ingredient - Lanolin!

Here are the rules. (Click here for the long version.) Raymond rolled a seven, which means he chose from the assorted butters and things that haven't been put away properly box. I have until next Saturday, February 5th to make two or three recipes using this ingredient. 

Let's take a quick look at lanolin (click here for a longer post on this ingredient). 

Lanolin is extracted from sheep's wool grease (the sebaceous secretions of sheep), and is composed of 138 saturated and 32 unsaturated fatty acids with wonderful sterols like cholesterol, lanesterol, and agnesterol, which we know offer great moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, and cetyl and stearyl alcohols, which are great emollients and thickeners. (The cholesterol is of particular interest for moisturizing as our stratum corneum lipids are made up 20% to 25% cholesterol and our skin particularly likes this type of sterol.)

We see lanolin in a lot of nail products, especially nail polish removers, because it is such an amazing emollient that offers serious moisturizing and water repellancy. It helps create a barrier to keep water in to help moisturize our skin, and it will help keep lotions and balms on our hands even after washing. This barrier helps reduce trans-epidermal water loss and may help with superficial wound healing. Lanolin can increase absorption of active ingredients in our creations, and it is great for creating a uniform consistency for a balm or ointment.

So I'm working with lanolin this week! Yay! 

1 comment:

Anne-Marie said...

When I was in New Zealand a few years back, they used Lanolin in EVERYTHING! It was in hand cream, lip balms, feet cream - anything for the body, lanolin was in it =) I enjoy using it for extremely heavy, winter-weather products but find it a bit intense (for me personally) for much else. I can't wait to see what you come up with in the Iron Chemist Challenge!