Lanolin alcohol: Composition and specification

Lanolin alcohol is a potent surface-active natural constituent found in wool grease products, comprising approximately 50% of the total weight of lanolin anhydrous. Chemically bound within ester compounds, lanolin alcohol is obtained through an alkaline treatment of lanolin, followed by the removal of the resulting soaps. Further refinement is achieved through a multi-stage molecular distillation process, enhancing colour and odour and resulting in a purified, semi-crystalline, and virtually colourless wax.

Features and applications: A refined mixture with excellent compatibility

Lanolin alcohol, the primary derivative of lanolin, is a refined mixture of high molecular weight alcohols with a mean molecular weight of 370. The majority fraction (75%) comprises sterols and triterpene alcohols, with cholesterol being the predominant component (36%), followed by lanosterol, agnosterol, and their dihydric derivatives.

These alcohol compounds bear a close resemblance to the physiological lipids found in the outermost layer of the human skin. This characteristic contributes to the exceptional compatibility of lanolin alcohols with skin-care products.

Additionally, the alcohol mixture contains both branched and unbranched aliphatic alcohols in mono- and dihydric forms. To prevent surface autoxidation, minute amounts of butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) are added at the final stage of the refining process.

Lanolin alcohols, known for their higher polarity compared to esters, exhibit remarkable surface activity and contribute to the excellent water absorption capacity of lanolin anhydrous. Free and refined lanolin alcohol serves as an efficient absorbent, capable of absorbing a significant multiple of its weight in water (WW), making it one of the most powerful non-ionic emulsifying agents for water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions.

Produced exclusively from the highest-grade wool grease to meet stringent pharmacopoeial requirements, lanolin alcohols possess a waxy texture with a pale colour and mild scent, making them ideal emulsifiers and stabilisers in cosmetics and toiletries.

Their ability to provide a neutral odour and maintain a white appearance is particularly advantageous. This quality has been highly esteemed in widely recognised moisturisers which have depended on the emollient properties of lanolin alcohol for nearly a century.

Blended with cetearyl alcohol as an additional stabiliser, and mineral oil or petrolatum to modify consistency, lanolin alcohol becomes a functional component in absorption bases. Its stable emulsifying properties across a wide pH range enable its use in acidic and alkaline w/o emulsions, including hair bleaching agents.

Another notable attribute of lanolin alcohol is its ability to aid in the wound-healing process, making it highly sought-after in medical and pharmaceutical applications. Additionally, lanolin alcohols can serve as carrier systems for delivering pharmacologically active substances through the skin.

Lanis AL EP Plus

Since the early 1900s, lanolin alcohol has been used in absorption bases. Blending petrolatum and lanolin alcohol bases allows for the application of these bases to injured tissue, aiding in the maintenance of its physical state while not interfering with the healing process. Dermal patches and topical products based on lanolin alcohol have proven effective in delivering medicinal drugs, such as antiseptics and antibiotics, to body tissues. These products encompass a wide range, from ophthalmic ointments to dermatological emulsions for combating infections.

Lanis AL EP Plus is specifically designed to meet the most advanced requirements in terms of consumer safety and functionality. It is an ultra-pure grade of lanolin alcohol with high cholesterol content, making it suitable for various medical and cosmetic applications. With a dedicated removal of impurities and potentially allergenic components, Lanis AL EP Plus presents intriguing opportunities for formulations targeting sensitive skin. Notably, Lanis AL EP Plus is the sole grade available on the market that complies with the EU’s stringent foodstuff standards regarding residual contaminants. This patented, ultra-pure grade serves as an emulsifier and emollient with antimicrobial properties, exemplifying its high quality and pharmaceutical-grade nature, making it ideal for diverse medical and cosmetic applications.

Chemical characteristics Lanis AL EP Plus

Colourlight yellowish
Acid value (mg KOH/g)<= 2
Saponification value (mg KOH/g)<= 12
Drop point (°C)>= 58
Peroxide value (meq/kg)<= 15.0
Water absorption (%)complies
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm)<= 200 (
Individual organochlorine pesticides (ppm) 
Individual other pesticides (ppm) 
Total pesticides content (ppm) 
Kruna Ramljak

Kruna Ramljak
Product Manager

Lanis AL GTP

Lanis AL GTP undergoes refinement through saponification and molecular distillation processes. It results in an anhydrous wax with a yellowish colour and no discernible odour. This refined wax possesses stabilising and emollient properties, making it suitable for use in various applications. It finds particular use in water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions, especially when combined with paraffins. One of its primary applications is as a moisturising additive in hair dye systems. Additionally, Lanis AL GTP is used in creams, lipsticks, shampoos, and other cosmetic products. With its competitive pricing, it presents an interesting alternative for reformulating recipes based on lanolin anhydrous.

Chemical characteristics Lanis AL GTP

Colour<= 10 (Gardner)
Acid value (mg KOH/g)<= 5
Saponification value (mg KOH/g)<= 10
Drop point (°C)50 – 80
Peroxide value (meq/kg)0.0. – 50.0
Water absorption (%) 
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm) 
Individual organochlorine pesticides (ppm) 
Individual other pesticides (ppm) 
Total pesticides content (ppm) 
Kruna Ramljak

Kruna Ramljak
Product Manager

How can we help you?

Kruna Ramljak

Kruna Ramljak
Product Manager

Read more

Request Data Sheet

We look forward to your call

Chris Kommerowski Sales Director

Marco Heins Product Manager

Kruna Ramljak Product Manager

Christina Wegener Logistics & Sales Manager

Petra Pingel Logistics Manager

Julian Gruß Logistics Manager

Want to learn more?