Whether you are fourteen or forty, if you are sensitive to lanolin, you can experience breakouts from slight to significant and not even realize that lanolin caused it. Lanolin, secreted from the oil glands of sheep to condition the sheep’s wool has long been used in body skin lotions, hair care products, and hand cream. It blocks water evaporation which helps keep skin hydrated. It soothes hair to prevent tangles and increase shine, but…the bad news is… it clogs pores of those sensitive.
Once the pores are clogged, our body produces its own sebum which builds up beneath clogged pores. As it builds, bacteria invade and blemishes form. If a manual scrub is used in an attempt to clean away the problem, it gets worse. The scrubbing motion creates an irritation of the gland causing it to produce more oil while also spreading the bacteria to other pores causing additional blemishes. Often the acne is blamed on hormones, when lanolin is the cause.
Look at where blemishes occur. Do they appear where the hair touches such as on the forehead, sides of the face, and back and shoulders where long hair touches? Check the ingredient labels of any hair care products you use to see if lanolin appears. It can be a combination of the word lanolin and another word. Other terms for lanolin include cholesterin, lanolate, laneth, lanogen, lano sterols, sterols or triterpene alcohols. A simple way to determine if lanolin is the cause—eliminate use of hair care or body care products that contain lanolin for a month. If you notice improvement, you may have found a simple cure for your skin problem. Use anti-acne products that contain salicylic acid to speed healing.
Nancy Pride owns Morgan Fitzgerald’s and Merle Norman located at 3800 S. Texas Avenue, one mile north of University Drive. 979 268 0608, www.fitzyou.com