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Home> Encyclopedia >Food Additives>Cosmetic Raw Materials>Pharmaceutical Intermediates
Lanolin structure
Lanolin structure


Iupac Name:octadecyl hexadecanoate
CAS No.: 8006-54-0
Modify Date.: 2022-12-06 15:51
1. Names and Identifiers
1.1 Name
1.2 Synonyms


1.3 CAS No.
1.5 Molecular Formula
C34H68O2 (isomer)
1.6 Inchi
1.7 InChkey
1.8 Canonical Smiles
1.9 Isomers Smiles
2. Properties
2.1 Density
0.932-0.945 g/cm3(Temp: 15 °C)
2.1 Melting point
38-40 °C
2.1 Boiling point
528.4±18.0 C at 760 mmHg (Predicted)
2.1 Refractive index
INDEX OF REFRACTION: 1.478-1.482 @ 40 °C/D
2.1 Flash Point
209 °C
2.1 logP
16.65 (Predicted)
2.1 Autoignition Temperature
833 °F (445 °C)
2.2 Odor
Slight odor or practically odorless
2.3 Water Solubility
less than 1 mg/mL at 70 °F (NTP, 1992)
2.4 StorageTemp
Sealed in dry,Room Temperature
3. Safety and Handling
3.1 Safety Statements
3.1 WGK Germany
4. Other Information
4.0 Merck
4.1 Description
Lanolin oil is a secretion from sheep’s skin. It’s similar to human sebum, an oil secreted by the sebaceous glands that you may notice particularly on your nose. Unlike sebum, lanolin contains no triglycerides. Lanolin is sometimes referred to as “wool fat,” but the term is misleading because it lacks triglycerides needed to be considered a fat. The purpose of lanolin is to condition and protect sheep’s wool. This conditioning property is why the substance is now widely used in human cosmetics, skin care, and hair products. Lanolin oil is extracted by putting sheep’s wool through a centrifuge machine that separates the oil from other chemicals and debris. The process is performed after the sheep is sheared so the extraction of lanolin causes no harm to sheep.
4.2 Benefits
Lanolin is a very good ingredient for someone with dry skin, though it can be a problem for someone with oily or breakout-prone skin. Also, as an animal-derived ingredient, lanolin is sometimes viewed as less favorable in comparison to synthetic or plant-derived alternatives.

4.3 Chemical Properties
yellow wax
4.4 Chemical Properties
Lanolin is a pale yellow-colored, unctuous, waxy substance with a faint, characteristic odor. Melted lanolin is a clear or almost clear, yellow liquid.
4.5 Uses
lanolin (hydrogenated) is a lanolin derivative.
4.6 Uses
lanolin is an emollient with moisturizing properties and an emulsifier with high water–absorption capabilities. It forms a network on the skin’s surface rather than a film, as is the case with petrolatum (Vaseline.). While long-term studies associate a low incidence of allergic reactions to lanolin, it remains a controversial ingredient based on a potential pesticide content and potential comedogenicity. There is a move among high-quality lanolin manufacturers to produce low-pesticide lanolin and among high-quality cosmetic formulators and manufacturers to use the purist form available. Lanolin’s comedogenicity potential is increasingly debated as some researchers believe it to be inaccurate, especially when lanolin is used in an emulsion. Lanolin is a sheep’s wool derivative formed by a fat-like viscous secretion of the sheep’s sebaceous glands. Some consider it a natural wax.
4.7 Uses
lanolin wax is a lanolin derivative. This is the semisolid fraction of lanolin obtained by physical means from whole lanolin.
4.8 Production Methods
Lanolin is a naturally occurring wax-like material obtained from the wool of sheep, Ovis aries Linne′ (Fam. Bovidae).
Crude lanolin is saponified with a weak alkali and the resultant saponified fat emulsion is centrifuged to remove the aqueous phase. The aqueous phase contains a soap solution from which, on standing, a layer of partially purified lanolin separates. This material is then further refined by treatment with calcium chloride, followed by fusion with unslaked lime to dehydrate the lanolin. The lanolin is finally extracted with acetone and the solvent is removed by distillation.
4.9 Definition
A yellowish viscous substance obtained from wool fat. It contains cholesterol and terpene compounds, and is used in cosmetics, in ointments, and in treating leather.
4.10 Definition
lanolin: An emulsion of purified wool fat in water, containing cholesteroland certain terpene alcoholsand esters. It is used in cosmetics.
4.11 Pharmaceutical Applications
Lanolin is widely used in topical pharmaceutical formulations and cosmetics.
Lanolin may be used as a hydrophobic vehicle and in the preparation of water-in-oil creams and ointments. When mixed with suitable vegetable oils or with soft paraffin, it produces emollient creams that penetrate the skin and hence facilitate the absorption of drugs. Lanolin mixes with about twice its own weight of water, without separation, to produce stable emulsions that do not readily become rancid on storage.
4.12 Safety
Lanolin is widely used in cosmetics and a variety of topical pharmaceutical formulations.
Although generally regarded as a nontoxic and nonirritant material, lanolin and lanolin derivatives are associated with skin hypersensitivity reactions, and the use of lanolin in subjects with known sensitivity should be avoided. Other reports suggest that ‘sensitivity’ arises from false positives in patch testing.However, skin hypersensitivity is relatively uncommon; the incidence of hypersensitivity to lanolin in the general population is estimated to be around 5 per million.
Sensitivity is thought to be associated with the content of free fatty alcohols present in lanolin products rather than the total alcohol content.The safety of pesticide residues in lanolin products has also been of concern. However, highly refined ‘hypoallergenic’ grades of lanolin and grades with low pesticide residues are commercially available.
4.13 storage
Lanolin may gradually undergo autoxidation during storage. To inhibit this process, the inclusion of butylated hydroxytoluene is permitted as an antioxidant. Exposure to excessive or prolonged heating may cause anhydrous lanolin to darken in color and develop a strong rancidlike odor. However, lanolin may be sterilized by dry heat at 150°C. Ophthalmic ointments containing lanolin may be sterilized by filtration or by exposure to gamma irradiation.
4.14 Incompatibilities
Lanolin may contain prooxidants, which may affect the stability of certain active drugs.
4.15 Regulatory Status
Included in the FDA Inactive Ingredients Database (ophthalmic, otic, topical, and vaginal preparations). Included in nonparenteral medicines licensed in the UK. Included in the Canadian List of Acceptable Non-medicinal Ingredients.
5. Question & Answer
  • Uses of Lanolin Jan 16 2020
    Lanolin has been used for thousands of years for its ability to soften and relieve dry, painful, and cracked skin. Its popularity peaked in the mid-1900s but is now declining due to its potential to cause skin allergies. Read on to find out more about the uses of lanolin, precautions, and user expe...
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