What’s Up With Lanolin? The Truth Behind the Beauty Buzzword

There’s been a lotta talk lately about lanolin—some companies like Lanolips use it in beauty products, while others swear by vegan formulas instead. 🌱😇 But what even is lanolin, and why isn’t it vegan? 🤷 Here’s everything you need to know about the beauty buzzword.

What Is Lanolin?

PETA-owned image from https://www.peta.org/features/wool/ for the lanolin article

Lanolin is the waxy substance on sheep’s wool that keeps the animals dry and protects their skin. 🐑🥰 Humans extract it from sheep’s wool to use as an ingredient in some lotions, lip balms, makeup removers, and other beauty products. Since lanolin comes from an animal, it’s not vegan. 🙅 And if you think extracting this substance from wool doesn’t harm sheep, think again. 😶

How Does Lanolin Harm Sheep?

PETA-owned image from https://www.peta.org/features/wool/ for the lanolin article

The lanolin in beauty products comes from sheep who were raised for their wool, so buying these products props up the wool industry, supporting cruelty to animals. In this industry, young lambs’ ears are usually hole-punched, parts of their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated—usually all without pain relief. 😰 Workers mutilate, abuse, and even skin sheep alive, and many sheared sheep die during cold weather since they no longer have their wool to keep them warm. 😭

PETA-owned image from https://www.peta.org/features/wool/ for the lanolin article

When sheep are no longer seen as productive, they’re sent to slaughter. These gentle animals can feel pain and fear, and lambs are playful and puppylike—but in the wool industry in Australia, it’s legit considered normal for up to 15 million young lambs to die every spring. 😱😱😱 Then humans extract lanolin from the wool and market it as a beauty product ingredient. 😒

What to Use Instead

Companies that use lanolin claim it’s good for rehydrating dry skin. Well, guess what? There are tons of vegan ingredients that can do the same thing! 🤗 You can use products with shea butter, orange wax, olive oil, coconut oil, or other plant or vegetable oils to get soft, smooth skin. ❤️

Give your beauty routine a glow-up by always checking the labels and buying only cruelty-free (vegan and animal test–free) products—that way, you’ll know that no animal had to suffer for your good looks. 💅


Interested in cruelty-free dupes of different makeup products? 😮 Learn about some products to avoid—and what you can replace them with.

Text peta2 to 30933 for ways to help animals, tips on compassionate living, and more!

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