What Are the Dangers of Lanolin?

Written by rebecca schlofner | 13/05/2017
What Are the Dangers of Lanolin?
Sheep's wool used in lanolin production (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of inger maaike)

Extracted from sheep's wool, lanolin is purified to use as a base for ointments, creams, lubricants and a preserver of leather and is also used in cosmetics. Its chemical constitution is cholesterols and it reacts with fatty acids. Some people have reactions to lanolin, so dangers may be involved.


Sheep, as a process to keep their coats free of insects, are sprayed biannually with pesticides. These can cause adverse reactions in people, with rashes and such.

Serious Side Effects of the Skin

Some more serious side effects include a change in your skin such as turning white and soft or soggy or skin infection.

Allergic Reactions

You are allergic to lanolin if you experience itching, severe dizziness or trouble breathing. It is possible your face, tongue or throat may swell.

Sun Sensitivity

Lanolin products may make you more sensitive to the sun, and you may need to allow for use of sunscreen, protective clothing and have limited exposure in the outdoor sun.

Internal Poison

If taken internally, lanolin can cause diarrhoea, intestinal problems and vomiting.

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