Lanolin in skin care| Dr Dray | Summary and Q&A

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November 6, 2019
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Dr Dray
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Lanolin in skin care| Dr Dray

TL;DR

Lanolin is a natural ingredient derived from sheep's wool that is rich in cholesterol, making it useful in moisturizers for restoring the skin's lipid barrier, but it can also cause allergic contact dermatitis in some individuals.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is lanolin and why is it used in skincare products?

Lanolin is a natural ingredient derived from sheep's wool and is used in skincare products because it is rich in cholesterol, which helps restore the skin's lipid barrier and prevents water loss.

Q: What are the risks of using skincare products with lanolin?

The major risk of using products with lanolin is the potential to develop an allergic contact dermatitis. Sensitization to lanolin can occur, especially in individuals with eczema or lower extremity ulcers.

Q: How can lanolin allergies be diagnosed?

To determine if you have an allergy to lanolin, you should see a dermatologist for patch testing. This test involves applying different ingredients, including lanolin, to your back, and any rashes or reactions will indicate an allergy.

Q: Can lanolin be found in products other than skincare?

Yes, lanolin can be present in various products, including lip products, makeup, baby products, furniture polish, and lubricants. It's important to carefully read the ingredients to identify lanolin-containing items.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Lanolin is a natural ingredient derived from sheep's wool and is rich in cholesterol, making it effective in moisturizers for restoring the skin's lipid barrier.

  • In winter or dry skin conditions, the skin's lipid barrier becomes compromised, leading to water loss and dryness, which can be alleviated by using moisturizers with lanolin.

  • Lanolin can cause sensitization and subsequent allergy in some individuals, especially those with eczema or lower extremity ulcers.

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