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Animal Oils

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Animal Oils

Animal oils and fats in cosmetics

Fats and oils have a number of common properties. All of them are oily to the touch, and on paper give a greasy, transparent, non-fading spot when heated. In water, they are insoluble, but soluble in organic solvents: sulfuric and petroleum ether, gasoline, benzene, chloroform, etc. Being insoluble in water, fats can form stable emulsions with water under certain conditions, which is of great biological importance.

Fats are poor heat conductors and have a high calorific value equal to from 390,600 to 403,200 kJ / kg. The energy value of fats is more than two times higher than carbohydrates. With strong heating (205-300 ° C), fats are destroyed with the formation of acids and gummy products. Fats are well absorbed by the body, have a high calorie content.

This article describes the properties of certain animal fats traditionally used in various cosmetics. Mink fat, egg and chicken oil, lanolin, spermaceti are widely used. These and other animal fats easily penetrate the skin, soften it and are well absorbed.


Lanolin is a fat-like substance, washed off with sheep's wool, produced by the sebaceous and sweat glands of sheep. Raw lanolin is a viscous, brown-yellow mass with an unpleasant odor. When washing the wool with an aqueous soap solution, the wool fat passes into the washing water, from which it is extracted by various physicochemical methods. The composition of lanolin is close to the composition of human skin fat. Lanolin contains higher alcohols, fatty acids, cholesterol (from 25 to 40%) and its esters. It is soluble in ether, chloroform, absolute alcohol, but practically insoluble in water.

Characteristic is the ability of lanolin to bind water, which is used to obtain water / oil emulsions. The composition of one part of petroleum jelly and two parts of lanolin is the basis of ointments. Lanolin is an excellent base material for the manufacture of cosmetic creams. It has a strong emollient effect on the skin, eliminates dryness, maintains firmness and elasticity of the skin.

Due to its valuable qualities, lanolin is used in almost all cosmetic products: in emulsions, creams, soaps, powders, lipsticks, silence for eyelashes, etc. Various lanolin derivatives (e.g., hydrogenated, hydroxyethylated or acetylated lanolin) are also widely recognized. These derivatives have a high emulsifying ability and therefore are widely used in cosmetic preparations, more than just lanolin. So acetylated lanolin surpasses pure lanolin in water-repellent ability. It is used as a film-forming component in creams, lotions, deodorants, in children's cosmetics, hair sprays. Hydrogenated lanolin mixes better with water, is more easily absorbed with the skin, and provides persistent plastic emulsions with a fine texture. It is used in eye makeup products (mascara, eyeliner, cosmetic pencils), in powders, shampoos, and for after tanning products.


Beef and pork fat (lard) and their processed products are used in the manufacture of solid soaps. In its chemical composition, it is a mixture of fatty acids and their esters with glycerin. The main fatty acids are palmitic, stearic and oleic. Fat raw materials are saponified in an alkaline or acidic environment, which leads to the breakdown of fats. During alkaline hydrolysis, sodium salts of higher carboxylic acids (soaps) and glycerin are formed. These products have long been used in the cosmetics industry for the manufacture of soaps, creams, shampoos, etc. For the production of solid soap, the optimal ratio of components was found, which is called the "classic formulation". Soap made according to this recipe easily dissolves in cold water, easily foams, retains its shape, contains a minimum amount of alkali and launders dirt without much mechanical effort.

Animal fats are not sufficiently resistant to oxidation, so it is necessary to provide ways to protect cosmetic compositions with them from oxidation: sealed packaging, which excludes contact with air, the presence of antioxidants and preservatives in the formulation, etc.

Emu oil

The benefits of emu fat are explained by the fact that it contains unsaturated fatty acids. They contain about 70% of the oil. Studies show that the combination of omega-9, -6 and -3 fatty acids has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, emu oil is also rich in antioxidants and other valuable substances:

  1. Reduces pain and inflammation. The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of emu oil are effective in reducing muscle and joint pain and help wounds heal quickly. Topical use of the oil is as effective as oral administration of ibuprofen. It reduces swelling and pain. Used for headaches, ankle spikes, migraines and arthritis.
  2. Heals the skin. Emu oil will help get rid of dry and itchy skin. It consists of fat lipids, similar to those in the upper layer of the skin, so the fat is easily absorbed and acts as a moisturizer. The oil stimulates the regeneration of skin cells, which is especially useful for those who suffer from psoriasis and eczema. In addition, topical application of emu fat helps to heal scars and burns and removes stretch marks, wrinkles and acne.
  3. Restores nails and hair. Emu oil helps hair and nails grow and stay healthy. It moisturizes hair and cuticles and reduces inflammation caused by diseases such as nail fungus.
  4. Normalizes cholesterol. This oil has been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol by 30%.