IWTO take An inside look at Holly Molly SkincareThere is so much more to the wool industry than the fibre itself. The benefits of wool by-product lanolin, the natural oil found on the skin of sheep and in freshly harvested wool, have long been common knowledge. One particularly enterprising International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) member has put lanolin to good use as the base of a range of quality skincare products.

Introducing Holly Molly Skincare

Based in Wentorf, near Hamburg, Germany, is a company run by a native Englishman, Andrew Kawalec. LanEsters GmbH, as the company is named, produces a range of 100% natural lanolin-based beauty products under the unique and catchy brand name Holly Molly. The range, which consists of 100% Veggilanol Gold lanolin with no additives, includes a hand and body cream, HydroCare skin cream and even a lip balm. The products are reportedly the result of a special production process developed in Denmark and which took several years to perfect.

The name of the brand is named after Kawalec’s daughter and arose from his early experiences with wool fat during an apprenticeship in industrial wool processing in Bradford, UK. “I had to sort the raw wool that the company imported for further processing and resale,” Kawalec explains. “Afterwards, my hands were always wonderfully soft and cared for.”

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Lanolin-based skincare products

Holly Molly thus showcases the care and nourishment properties present in wool grease. The grease is produced in the sebaceous glands in sheep’s skin, and acts as a natural moisturiser and protection against all weather conditions. When applied to human skin, the grease acts in much the same way, helping to build a barrier and improve suppleness and elasticity. People have been using lanolin – as this secretion is known – for centuries – and not only for skin care. “Even the Vikings knew and used its positive properties, for example to keep their sails on their sailing boats supple,” reports Kawalec. Holly Molly has simply captured its amazing natural properties in its purest form.

After going into the business of wholesale lanolin distribution more than a decade ago, Kawalec now regards the product as his primary business concern, shipping several hundred tons of the oil and its products each year. Until the launch of Holly Molly, he has primarily sold lanolin to other businesses for a wide range of industrial and commercial uses. The new skincare range marks his first foray into selling directly to the public. He calls lanolin “a sleeping giant” whose potential has barely been tapped. Holly Molly will soon launch a Delicate Wool Wash and a lip care stick, with a unique soap also in development alongside a cream for breastfeeding mothers.

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