Lanolin comes from the oil of sheep’s wool. Our source is a 1st category lanolin from Australia and New Zealand.
Lanolin's role in nature is to protect wool and skin against the ravages of climate and the environment. It also seems to play a role in integumental hygiene. It is therefore not surprising that lanolin and its many derivatives are used extensively in products designed for the protection, treatment and beautification of human skin.
Like many natural products, lanolin has a complex and variable composition. For example, a typical high purity grade of lanolin is composed predominantly of long chain waxy esters (ca. 97% by weight), the remainder being lanolin alcohols, lanolin acids and lanolin hydrocarbons.
Lanolin alcohols are a rich source of cholesterol (an important skin lipid) and are powerful water-in-oil emulsifiers; they have been used extensively in skin care products for over 100 years.
Interestingly, approximately 40% of the acids derived from lanolin are alpha hydroxy acids. The use of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) in skin care products has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. Details of the AHA’s isolated from lanolin can be seen in the table below.
Most of the info on lanolin was sourced from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanolin