World Without Ag Wednesdays: Lanolin Love

Oh my goodness. Where did the time go? Another semester of graduate school started today, as did the colder weather. True to North Carolina weather, it was in the 70’s on Sunday, and now it has barely gotten above freezing. Thankfully, I have a wonderful wool coat for the trek from the parking deck to my classes. No worries, guys, Rural Ris isn’t a popsicle yet–that may be in the morning though.

Tomorrow is supposed to be no higher than 27 degrees. Now, for those up north, I know 27 degrees is not that cold, but for us here in NC, it might as well be Antarctica. That much cold also means putting extra bedding down for the animals, setting out heat lamps, and making sure all pipes and hoses are drained. Depending how bad it gets, I may be swinging an ax trying to break the animals waters–funny sight for sure.

Anyhow, this first day of classes is now over, and I have survived. So, now on to “A World Without Ag Wednesday” where we highlight some of my favorite things.

ab397-wheatdivider

I may be a farm girl, but I am all about bling, dressing up, and makeup. Oh, makeup. It is inevitably dangerous for me to go into the makeup aisles of the local drug store. I just want all of it. makeup

Clearly, I don’t need anymore (that is only half of my makeup collection). What am I saying? You can never have too much makeup.

I also appreciate a good lotion, especially in the winter months when my hands get chapped. What I love even more is that agriculture has a part to play in my beloved makeup and lotion.

In a world without ag, a lot of makeup and hand creams would not be the same if it were not for lanolin.

What is lanolin?

Lanolin is the grease from a sheep’s wool. It is also called wool wax or wool fat. It is of a yellow tinge and comes from the oil glands of a sheep. When you touch a sheep or unwashed wool, your hands will feel greasy and sticky. This is the lanolin you are feeling. It is the equivalent of the oils you secrete.

How do you get lanolin from the sheep?

After the fleece is shorn from the sheep, it is scoured (boiled) in water with added salt. The lanolin floats to the top. It is then purified by shaking it with olive oil and water. The impurities will move to the water and the oil with the lanolin floating between the two properties.

What is it used for?

Lanolin is a great moisturizer and is often used in lotions. This is a favorite of mine:

wool cream

It can also be used in other cosmetics. Cool huh? Wait, it gets better!

Because lanolin is water-repellent, it is used on oil rigs as a corrosion inhibitor. In the same way, it is also used for spare auto parts when put into long-term storage. In addition, it can also be found in paints, and is used as a leather finish.

Embrace the lanolin love. It gets a bit messy when you play with sheep all day but makes fabulous products!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.pbs.org/weta/roughscience/series3/shakers/handcream.html

http://www.pbs.org/weta/roughscience/series3/shakers/handcream.html#lanolin3

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