Home Publications Solvent-Extracted Wool Wax: Thermotropic Properties and Skin Efficacy

Solvent-Extracted Wool Wax: Thermotropic Properties and Skin Efficacy

Barba Albanell, C., Carrer, V., Marti, M., Iglesias, J., Iglesias, J., Coderch, L.

 Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, pp. 198-205. 2018

Background/Aims: Wool wax is a soft, yellow, waxy substance that is secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep. The purpose of wool wax is to waterproof and protect the wool. Chemically, wool wax is a complex mixture of esters, fatty acids, and alcohols. Wool waxes with different prop­erties can be obtained by following different extraction methodologies. Methods: Two differently extracted wool waxes are compared in this study. Their effectiveness in mimicking the properties of skin lipids is evaluated. In addition, the lipid compositions and thermotropic behaviours of the 2 differently extracted wool waxes were evaluated. Results: The solvent-extracted wool wax was found to have a significantly higher polar lipid content than that of the water-extracted wool wax. This increase in the polar character of the solvent-extracted wool wax was also demonstrated by increased values of transition and degradation temperatures in the differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analyses, respectively. In addition, solvent-extracted wool wax demonstrated the ability to reinforce stratum corneum lipids, which led to improved skin barrier function. Conclusions: The suitability of the solvent-extracted wool wax for application in the preparation of cosmetics and dermatological products was demonstrated.