Lanolin oil: Composition and specification

Lanolin oil, obtained through low temperature fractional crystallisation of pharmaceutical-grade lanolin, represents the liquid phase of this natural substance. It is widely used in various skincare and haircare products, particularly for its excellent emollient properties. Lanolin oil is highly valued for its ability to moisturise and nourish the skin and hair, providing effective hydration and enhancing their overall condition.

Features and applications: An emulsifying agent for skin and hair care products

Lanolin oil is chemically similar to lanolin anhydrous but contains additional lower molecular weight (MW) esters and branched-chain hydroxy compounds. The specific composition varies depending on the solvent used for crystallisation, such as isopropanol, which yields an average molecular weight of 360. In contrast, lanolin wax is the solid form obtained during the separation process. This clear, amber-coloured oil shares the well-known properties of lanolin anhydrous while being conveniently fluid at room temperature. Therefore, it is commonly used as an emulsifying agent, characterised by a high spreading coefficient and excellent emollient capabilities. Furthermore, it readily dissolves in both mineral and vegetable oils, ensuring complete solubility without precipitation.

Lanolin oil finds frequent use in moisturising skin care and hair care products. Thus, it is often incorporated into oil-based skin lotions, bath and hair oils, as well as various cosmetic emulsions, providing low viscosity and minimising stickiness.

Lanis Oil

Chemical characteristics Lanis Oil

Colour <= 11
Acid value (mg KOH/g) <= 1.0
Saponification value (mg KOH/g) 90 – 105
Drop point (°C) <= 24
Peroxide value (meq/kg) <=20
Water absorption (%)  
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm) <= 200
Individual organochlorine pesticides (ppm) <=40
Individual other pesticides (ppm)  
Total pesticides content (ppm) <=10
Kruna Ramljak

Kruna Ramljak
Product Manager

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