Isopropyl Lanolate

What Is It?

Isopropyl Lanolate is a fatty substance that is used in the formulation of virtually every cosmetic and personal care product type but is most frequently found in makeup products such as lipstick, foundations, blushes, face powders, eye shadow and eyeliner.

Why Is It Used?

Isopropyl Lanolate holds together the ingredients of a compressed tablet or cake of powder. When used in lipstick, creams, lotions and aerosol emulsions, it acts as a lubricant on the skin surface, which gives the skin a glossy, soft, smooth appearance.

Scientific Facts

Isopropyl Lanolate is produced from lanolin, which is isolated from the wool of sheep. Lanolin is secreted by the sebaceous gland of sheep onto the wool to help make the wool waterproof. Isopropyl Lanolate is one of the most versatile of the lanolin-derived ingredients and has been used in cosmetics and personal care products, as well as in pharmaceuticals, for over 20 years.

Safety Information

The safety of Isopropyl Lanolate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Isopropyl Lanolate was safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products. In 2001, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Isopropyl Lanolate and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

CIR Review: The CIR Expert Panel noted that Isopropyl Lanolate is used in many types of cosmetics and personal care products. Isopropyl Lanolate is not irritating to the skin. Although most people do not develop sensitization to Isopropyl Lanolate, the CIR Expert Panel expressed some concern about the occurrence in one study of skin sensitization in two out of 53 subjects tested and suggested that the industry remain vigilant in monitoring the skin sensitizing potential of this ingredient. Human patch testing with cosmetic formulations containing 6 and 14% Isopropyl Lanolate were very slightly irritating and none of the three formulations caused allergic contact sensitization. Isopropyl Lanolate that complies with the animal by-products regulations, may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…


More Scientific Information

Isopropyl Lanolate is a mixture of isopropyl esters of lanolin acids, which are derived from natural lanolin obtained from the wool of sheep. Isopropyl Lanolate is used as a binder and a skin conditioning agent – emollient in cosmetics and personal care products.