What Are the Dangers of Lanolin?

Updated July 19, 2017

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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About the Author

Rebecca Schlofner has been writing and editing for over three decades and was educated at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. Published worldwide on the Internet through articles and blogs, her work can be found at An English and design major, Schlofner offers poetry, blogs, articles and short stories for her audience.