Laneth-40 is a polyethoxylated lanolin alcohol.
The number forty refers to the number of ethylene oxide molecules in the chain.
Lanolin is known as wool wax or wool fat. It is a soft, yellow, waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep. Its purpose is to waterproof and protect the wool. The lanolin is chemically processed to make laneth-40.
Chemically, lanolin is a complex mixture of esters, fatty acids and alcohols. Lanolin can be extracted from raw wool mechanically, by squeezing, but many methods in the past have used a chemical cocktail for this purpose.
Crude lanolin makes up between 5-25% of the weight of newly shorn fleece.
We use laneth 40 in our Whoosh, Flying Fox and Dreamtime temple balms as an emulsifier of other ingredients in the product.
Our temple balms are beeswax-borax emulsions and by adding Laneth-40, the emulsion becomes more robust.
This material also adds emollient qualities to the product, making it far more moisturising for your skin.