Lanolin works for dry skin and psoriasis by forming a water impermeable film on the skin that limits water loss across the skin surface. Lanolin is the only animal based fat that is regularly used in emollients, and is extracted from sheep’s wool.


+ Effective in creating a water impermeable barrier that limit water evaporation over the skin surface


- Can cause allergic contact dermatitis

What science says

HelloSkin’s experts could not find any scientific data on lanolin and people with psoriasis. However, a mixture of olive oil (70%) and lanolin (30%) emollient was found to reduce dermatitis in preterm infants after a 4 week treatment, and was shown to be better than a water-in-oil emollient cream [1].

In another study, pure lanolin applied twice daily for four weeks was shown effective in treating moderate to severe foot dryness [2].

It is important to note that lanolin may cause contact allergy, and that the acetylated lanolin alcohol is believed to be the main sensitiser. However, current extraction and purification methods have lowered the risk of this considerably [3].



1. Pediatr Dermatol. 2008 Mar-Apr;25(2):174-8
2. Cutis. 2003 Jan;71(1):78-82
3. Br J Nurs. 2000 Jan 13­26;9(1):54­7

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