Lanolin has a rich history and is associated with much mystery and misinformation. Actually, there is nothing mysterious about lanolin and it is a substance secreted by the skin of sheep onto its hair or wool. Lanolin has been and is still frequently refereed to as wool grease or wool oil particularly in the sheep industry. Lanolin is essentially a byproduct of the wool industry and extracted from processing wool that has been shorn from sheep.
Lanolin dates back to ancient Greece (no pun intended), its beneficial properties noted by none other than Discorides the famous Greek physician. Through history lanolin has received notoriety for properties both good and bad much of which had little factual basis. In recent years lanolin has been studied and more understood yet myths still exist. One characteristic stands out however. Lanolin is renowned as a “wonderful emollient”. This turns out to be scientifically true.
Lanolin has been shown to be chemically and physically similar to human skin lipids. In sheep lanolin provides protection from the elements both as a moisture repellant and a moisturizer. Due to its similarity to our own oils lanolin is compatible with our skin to provide the same type of protection. As an emollient it softens and sooths skin, arguably as no other ingredient can. However, in its unrefined state lanolin is thick and greasy and while still beneficial very difficult and messy to use.
Merino Products use fractions of Lanolin in scientifically balanced proportions to maximize effectiveness and ease of use while retaining and enhancing the emollient properties of lanolin on humans. The use of lanolin provides protection from the leaching of our own natural skin oils through washing , pollution, air-conditioning, etc and the environmental harshness of modern living.
Though derived from wool of sheep the animal is not killed or harmed in any way to in order to secure the lanolin. Sheep are shorn (given a hair cut) annually to harvest their wool (hair) but doing so does not involve the slaughter of sheep. Once shorn sheep simply regrow the wool and are shorn again the following year. Lanolin is a byproduct of wool production in that it is removed from the wool in the refinement process. Much like bark is removed from wood to make lumber, lanolin is removed from sheep hair to make finished wool. Further, Ascal Laboratories does NO animal testing in the manufacture of its products.
One myth surrounding Lanolin is that it has a high rate of allergic reaction. No matter what substance one examines you can rest assured that applied to an entire population someone will have an allergic reaction to it. Lanolin is certainly no exception and almost certainly someone somewhere is indeed allergic to Lanolin. All recent studies however, reveal that the incidence of allergic reaction is extremely low and almost entirely restricted to mild redness and burning sensation. When washed the symptoms do not persist. Most reactions when further investigated have been shown to be caused by ingredients other than Lanolin. Ascal Laboratories by using fractions of Lanolin has succeeded in reducing any reactions even further. Truly the risk of not using Lanolin to treat dry skin and other skin conditions far outweigh the risk of using it.