Lanolips™ is the result of eight years work, a lifetime of preparation. And more than a millennia of market testing.
I own a lovely vintage book called ‘The Lanolin Book’, published by Beiersdorf who created mega-brand ‘NIVEA’, which used to contain lots of lanolin.
One of my favourite passages is this:
‘Everyone who has seen the 2,500 year old Paczyryk carpet in the St. Petersburg Hermitage will have noticed not only the fine knots, but also the unusual radiance, the lustre, of the oldest remaining carpet. It is the lanolin on sheep’s wool that gives the plant colours used to dye the wool their unusual brilliance and has survived the millennia’ – Udo Hoppe
While our face is not made from carpet, surely this magical substance can be used to nourish human skin, just as well. And maybe keep it, ahem, ‘preserved’ a little longer.
Lanolin is a substance naturally found on the coats of sheep. The sheep need lanolin to keep their fleece protected and dry throughout the year. The lanolin is removed from the shorn wool, after their annual shear, completely without harm to the animal. Lanolin is 100% developed by nature.
The Lanolips Story
The story of Lanolips™ actually starts when I was a child. When the school holidays came around my family and I would head to my Grandparents’ sheep farm in South Australia. My siblings and I whiled away hours milking cows, chasing sheepdogs and playing in the shearing shed, watching the shearers do their work. The smell of lanolin from the shearing shed is one of my most emotive and enduring smells from my childhood.
This was where I was first introduced to lanolin. My father, a DNA Scientist, or otherwise known in my family as the ‘mad scientist’ has a penchant for using only natural products – the fewer ingredients the better – that really work; so when we as children had dry lips, or skin the only tube Dad reached for was the tube of lanolin cream.
As the years passed, and I left the farm for the bigger cities of London and Sydney, I discovered lip-glosses, lipsticks and lacquers – they were just so pretty, so bright, so lovely. Surely they had to be even better than the lanolin I used when I was a child. They weren’t. It wasn’t until 2003 that I was about to board a plane for my honeymoon. The thought of the dry air-conditioning on the flight wasn’t particularly appealing and the realisation that none of many, many lip balms I had tried would help to protect my lips for the journey was depressing. It dawned on me that nothing had ever matched results of lanolin. Why was there no product on the market that was simple, pure lanolin-based, that would hydrate and nourish and protect my lips & skin? It was upon boarding that plane that I decided to create this product, make lanolin a ‘hero’ ingredient and launch Lanolips™.
Six years is a long time. There was a lot of work and research to be done. Although lanolin, had been around for literally thousands of years (it dates back to 700BC), the lanolin products that I wanted to make needed to be new and it needed to be the best.
Many people had purchased and used lanolin that is yellow in colour, very sticky and has a sheep-y smell. I wanted to create a product that offered all the benefits of lanolin without these traits that made lanolin, well, unappealing.
Additionally, in an impure form, lanolin may contain impurities from the farm environment, which you really don’t want on your skin.
The best grade lanolin in the world is called Medical Grade Lanolin. It gets its name because it is safe to use in a medical capacity. Every hospital in the Western World uses this substance – after surgeries to help wounds heal, as a newborn nursing cream, and in burns units on the wounds to protect and heal.
But we went one better – we created ULTRA Medical Grade, 3 x more pure than Medical Grade. Completely odourless, colourless, non-sticky, creamy goodness.
You don’t see lanolin of this quality in any other products on the market, because the refining process is both timely and very costly.
The first product I created was ‘Lanolips™ 101 Ointment’; there is only one ingredient in it: Ultra Medical Grade Lanolin. Nothing else is required. Full stop! I use the product for everything from dry lips, skin, heels and most recently have become obsessed with it on my cuticles – I may never need a manicure again.
It works to moisturise like nothing else will. It’s won many accolades, including the ‘In Style Best Beauty Buys’ ‘Best Lip Balm’ and was most recently nominated for a ‘CEW Award’ for ‘Best Skincare Product’ – when industry experts love your product you can give yourself a little pat on the back.
What makes “Lanolin” so good?
Lanolin is a unique natural ingredient and works in three ways:
- It is ‘semi-occlusive’, which means it is a brilliant breathe-able barrier – working to let your lips ‘self hydrate’ from within (your body is pretty magical if you give it the tools to let it fix itself).
- The top quality lanolin in Lanolips holds up to 400% of it weight in moisture, which means it will also deliver moisture back into your lips at the same time.
- And finally the molecular structure of lanolin naturally most closely resembles your skin lipids than any other ingredient (natural or synthetic) making it the most compatible ingredient to use on your skin.
But the quality of the lanolin is important and our Lanolips 101 Ointment is pure, ULTRA Medical Grade lanolin, simply the world’s best lanolin.
The low-down on dry lips
Whilst ‘Lanolips 101 Ointment’ can be used anywhere, I get asked a lot about how to avoid and treat dry lips.
The skin on your lips is fragile, very fragile. It is essentially an extension of the skin inside your cheeks. It doesn’t even have oil glands.
It needs lots of special attention.
There are many possible reasons for dry lips but the THREE BIGGIES are:
- Cold, dry climate PLUS overheating from air conditioners
- Dehydration (you are not drinking enough water!)
- Also, they can get really dry and peel if you constantly lick them (the saliva causes evaporation, which dries them out even more)
- H2O – The first sign of dehydration is dry lips. If your lips are starting to feel dry, then simply drink a big glass of water and you will be halfway there.
- Avoid too much Beeswax – Beeswax is not a great moisturiser. It is used a lot to thicken and harden products, to make ‘stick’ lip products. It actually really dries out the lips; so if you have cracked lips, avoid beeswax-based lip products.
- Do not EVER lick your lips – apply our lanolin balm instead.
- Nightly moisturisation – Especially critical if you sleep with a heater on. I have been working on my brand for seven years and since that first day I have never, ever had cracked lips. Truly. I simply use a thick layer of my 101 Ointment every single night before bed and it is still there in the morning working its magic.
It has been an absolute joy to launch Lanolips in the UK with Victoria Health and Gill. It is an extraordinary and unique site. VH is a wonderful home for my brand, and I do hope to be able to solve your dry skin problems with lanolin.