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The History of Lanolin

It was the Ancient Greeks that first used Lanolin and recognised the benefits of using it on the skin. It is thought that lanolin has been used since the beginning of when humans started domesticating sheep.

The Chinese have an equally long history of working with the wool wax of sheep for cosmetics and beauty.

In 1882 a German, Otto Braun, invented a new process for spinning the wool by machine to extract wool wax, the term “lanolin” was first used. Pharmacists of the time began using this purified lanolin in healing salves.
By the early 1900’s, “wool wax” was a common ingredient. The most used way at the time was to extract the wax from sheared wool manually by boiling the wool and skimming the fat/wax. Lanolin then became widely known for its scientifically-proven emollient properties both for pharmaceutical and homeopathic skin treatments.

For the next 50-60 years, lanolin was widely known for its scientifically-proven emollient properties and one of the more common ingredients in mass-produced skin treatments and products (both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical).

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