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Glycerin is an alcohol, known also by the chemical names glycerol and 1,2,3, propane triol. It can be obtained via hydrolysis of naturally occurring plant or vegetable fats (triglycerides) or via chemical synthesis from petrochemicals. It is a conditioning alcohol similar to other conditioning alcohols, but it has three very hydrophilic hydroxyl (-OH) groups as opposed to a single one. Because of this, glycerin is far more water soluble than some of the other conditioning alcohols such as lauryl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol.
: Lanolin is a very greasy material produced by the sebaceous glands of sheep. It acts as an excellent moisturizer for skin and hair and also functions as an effective water barrier. A byproduct of wool-gathering and refining, it is easily obtained and is a renewable resource. For this reason, lanolin has been used as an emollient in hand and body creams and hair products for many centuries. Many consider animal oils to be more compatible with human skin and hair than vegetable or mineral oils.Lanolin is a mixture of fatty acids, wax esters, and a complex mixture of other organic compounds. It is classified as a wax (as opposed to an oil or fat), and is a solid at room temperature (melting point: 100-107°F). In its natural state, lanolin contains about 25-30% water by weight. When applied to skin or hair, it is very effective at penetrating the surface and enhancing moisture retention. Lanolin is also beneficial because it continues to absorb moisture from the air, and can thus act as a humectant for the skin or hair.