Lanolin, popularly known as wool wax or wool grease, is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool bearing animals. Lanolin consists of sterol esters. It is estimated that there are around 10,000 to 20,000 different types of sterol esters present in lanolin. Lanolin possess a waterproofing property, which helps sheep to repel water from their fur. Thus, a major role of lanolin is to protect the wool and skin of sheep from climatic conditions. Lanolin and its derivatives are primarily used in skin treatment and protection in humans.
In terms of composition, high purity grade of lanolin is typically composed of a large proportion of long chain waxy esters while the remaining portion consists of lanolin acids, lanolin alcohols, and lanolin hydrocarbons. Lanolin is mixture of various esters, alcohols, and fatty acids. Increasing population across the world and rising usage of cosmetics are the major drivers that are anticipated to drive the lanolin market during the forecast period.
In terms of application, the lanolin market can be segmented into personal care & cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, baby care products, industrial, and others (includes furniture polish, fabric softener etc.). The personal care & cosmetics segment was a major application segment of the global lanolin market in 2016. It is likely to remain the dominant segment in the market during the forecast period. Lanolin is widely employed in making soaps, shampoos, skincare products, lip gloss, etc. Lanolin has superior moisturizing properties for dry skin, as it holds water on the skin, due to which it becomes smooth. This the major factor which is estimated to drive the demand for lanolin in the personal care and cosmetics industry. The personal care & cosmetics segment is anticipated to expand at a significant CAGR during forecast period.
Pharmaceutical is also a major application segment after the personal care & cosmetics segment, where lanolin and its derivatives are prominently utilized. It is considered as a key ingredient for the treatment of dry skin. Lanolin helps to reduced itching, scaling related to dry skin. Rise in skin-related diseases due to pollution and increase in number of pharmaceutical companies are major factors that are projected to fuel the demand for lanolin during the forecast period. Lanolin products are also employed in industrial applications, especially in marine environment where water resistance is a desirable property. Many boat owners utilize lanolin to coat the bottom of their vessels to protect them from mold and fungus.