So, what is lanolin? Lanolin is a naturally occurring wax that is secreted by the glands of sheep and other wool bearing animals that helps them shed water from their coats. When sheep are sheared in order to use their wool for textiles such as yarn or felt, the wool is first run through rollers in order to extract the lanolin. Because lanolin is very similar in composition to the oils secreted by our own skin it’s able to provide a protective moisture barrier when used in skin care products. It acts as an excellent moisturizer and skin smoother as it’s capable of not only penetrating the outer layers of our own skin while still allowing it to breathe, but it is also a humectant able to attract and absorb up to 300% water.
According to Wikipedia lanolin is superior to both petroleum and glycerin with its emollient effects lasting for an eight hour period after the first application and up to 72 hours after a fifth day of consecutive use. Therefore this natural skin salve is perfect for severely dry and cracked skin, eczema and psoriasis. For my lanolin salve I’ve also included healing calendula and virgin cold pressed pumpkin seed oil which helps to repair dry, damaged skin with nutrients that include Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, Vitamins E, A, and C, and zinc.
Homemade Lanolin Salve Recipe
.5 oz. beeswax
2 oz. pure lanolin
.25 oz. virgin cold press pumpkin seed oil
.25 oz. Crafter’s Choice Oil Soluble Botanic Extract Blend (or Calendula Infused Olive Oil)
15 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops tea tree oil
5 drops rosemary extract
5 drops Vitamin E
Begin by weighing out the beeswax using a digital kitchen scale in a glass Pyrex measuring cup. Melt the beeswax in the microwave on high approximately 2 minutes. Carefully remove from the microwave using a pot holder. (The handle and container will be very hot.) Weigh out the lanolin and stir into the melted beeswax. Continue stirring until the lanolin has melted completely. Next, weigh out the botanical extract or calendula infused oil and the pumpkin seed oil and stir into the lanolin and beeswax. Using a different pipette for each oil, add the tea tree and lavender essential oils, rosemary extract and vitamin E. Stir well then pour 1.5 oz. of salve (by weight) into each of the two 2 oz. containers. Allow to cool, then cap tightly and store in a cool, dry location.