Animal Ingredients – What is Lanolin?

Animal Ingredients – What is Lanolin?

One of the most commonly used animal ingredients in cosmetics is lanolin. It’s most frequently found in lotions and lipsticks – anything that needs to be moisturizing. What exactly is it that you’re putting on your skin with these products?

Lanolin is a waxy yellow substance that is secreted by the glands of wool bearing mammals. Typically, this means from sheep. It’s also called wool wax or wool grease. Just like lactoferrin, once you find out what it is, odds are you won’t want it on your skin. It’s what gives sheep their waterproof winter coat and protects them from the elements. This is why it’s also used in products that prevent metal from rusting.

Many people believe that lanolin is a cruelty free item that comes from the wool of sheep as they are shorn. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The majority if the time, the sheep have been slaughtered for their meat and the lanolin is a by product of this meat industry. As with sheep that are bred for their wool supply, the end goal is to slaughter the animals for their meat.

While lanolin may help make your skin feel smooth, do you really want to put something on your skin that’s also used to prevent metal from rusting? An even more important question – do you really want animals to go to slaughter for you to use these moisturizers?

There are many great vegan options out there that don’t contain animal ingredients and have not been tested on animals. There are products from Earthly Body, Nature’s Gate, and Lush all have a variety of moisturizers that are cruelty free, vegan and work great! There’s no need to use lanolin to have a great moisturizer!


  1. Wool is not something we who love animals use either. Sheep are not treated like we treat our cats and dogs,brushing their fur carefully. There’s something about sheep that breaks my heart even more, although I believe all animals should be treated with kindness of left alone… I think it first was that people seem to not understand that lamb is a baby sheep, and eat so much.
    We had a Cornish Rex cat who looked so much like a sheep. She was so popular, people came just to see her 🙂

  2. I feel sick reading this. I’ve just used Lano Hands by Lanolips (an Australian company). I submitted this company for your consideration since it prides itself on being against animal testing before coming across this article by chance and being educated about Lanolin as an ingredient in skincare. Suffice to say, I’ve thrown the tube in the bin. Thank you so much for this amazing website.

    1. By cruelty free, I mean free from animal testing. All products featured here on Logical Harmony are also vegan, which means that they don’t contain any animal or animal-derived ingredients. If it helps at all, Lush marks all their vegan items with a green “V” on the packaging.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.