What You Need To Know Before Using Lanolin For Skincare

Dry skin can be both unattractive and painful, as dry skin – whether caused by winter weather, allergies, sun damage, you name it — can lead to bleeding and sores. According to WebMD, dry skin is not only a symptom of cold and dry winter air, but it can happen to some people all year round. If you're constantly searching for the right skincare product to treat your dry skin, it turns out one of the best moisturizing ingredients is lanolin, according to Byrdie.

When you're in need a good moisturizer for any part of your body, you know it. Dry skin can manifest on the face, elbows, knees, and other parts of your extremities. Signs of dry skin include itching, flaking, peeling, a tight feeling on your skin after bathing or showering, and a red, gray, or ashy tone to an affected area (via Mayo Clinic).

But we have a good tip for you. When you find yourself searching the aisle of your local drug store for the right products to help your symptoms, look for lanolin as a main active ingredient. Lanolin traps moisture in your skin and is gentle enough to be used daily, making it ideal for those winter weather skin consequences.

What is lanolin and where does it come from?

With so many skincare crazes on the market, it's tough to tell what out there is a gimmick and what is actually worth trying. We can safely tell you that lanolin is worth your time. Lanolin is a byproduct of sheep wool. It's a waxy substance that works on sheep wool the same way it works on human skin — by keeping moisture in to ensure a soft texture, according to Verywell Health. No only can you find it in moisturizing lotions, but you can also find it in some shampoos and soaps meant to address dryness.

When used commercially, lanolin gets mixed with other chemicals and perfumes and can be made into moisturizers, skincare products, hair products, and gel, which is how many breastfeeding women use it. Lanolin gel pads can be kept in a bra and help dry and cracked nipples heal, according to Intermountain Healthcare. But lanolin isn't just for nursing moms, it's for most people who need it.

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of using lanolin in skincare

Like a lot of on-brand skincare products, lanolin comes with a host of benefits that make it an ideal moisturizer ingredient. According to Byrdie, lanolin feels light on the skin, adds an soft and oily layer that locks in moisture, can heal dry and cracked lips, and can make lines and wrinkles on places like the hands and face less noticeable.

However, that doesn't mean lanolin doesn't come with some side effects, and like a lot of skincare products and ingredients out there, it may not be right for everyone. Since lanolin comes from wool, if you have any sort of allergy to wool, this is not the skincare product for you. In addition, if you have blocked pores, stay away from lanolin. If you have sensitive skin, like other skin products, lanolin can be irritating (it might be smart to do a test on a small area of skin first to find out how you react). Finally, people with oily skin should use it sparsely, as too much moisture and oil is also not a good thing. 

But like all skincare, lanolin-based products are definitely worth giving a shot. You never know what your new favorite skincare product will be.