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.

Our temple balms are beeswax-borax emulsions and by adding Laneth-40, the emulsion becomes more robust.