What is Fractionated Coconut Oil, and How Can it Improve Your Health

Fractionated coconut oil has finally reached mainstream wellness and beauty communities, and it’s about time. Without a doubt, it’ll remain a staple in health and beauty products for decades to come. Understandably, a mystery shrouds fractionated oil, and while its name certainly sounds confusing and scientific, its uses are simple and effective.

What is Fractionated Coconut Oil

Fractionated coconut oil is refined coconut oil. Coconut oil, like other oils, can be reconfigured. Coconut oil is often used as an alternative to over-the-counter moisturizers, acne spot treatment medications, hair serums and other beauty products. Because coconut oil is popular in the wellness world, it’s no surprise that a reconfigured and arguably better version of coconut oil would be popular too.

Regular coconut oil has a chemical structure defined by medium and long-chain fatty acids. It’s also mostly composed of saturated fats. Because of the heavy saturation, unchanged coconut oil remains solid when stored over time. Unfortunately, it liquefies when heated. Over the years, experts have attempted a “workaround” for this, dividing coconut oil into its different fatty acid components.

All About Fractionation

Fractionation isn’t too difficult to achieve. When coconut oil becomes fractionated, its contained oils are divided into medium and long-chain fatty acid parts. When this happens, any long-chain fatty acids can be targeted, extracted and discarded. Fractionated oil contains only medium-chain fatty acids.
This process, while seemingly complex, has a simple end-goal. Fractionated oil containing only medium-chain fatty acids, can remain in liquid form when exposed to room temperature. Thus, it can be utilized in beauty products. Fractionated coconut oil is also immune to the regular decomposition that virgin coconut oil is susceptible to.

How is Coconut Oil Fractionated?

To undergo fractionation, the coconut oil must be passed through steam distillation. During distillation, the oil’s fatty chains are separated. After the process, medium-chain triglycerides can be targeted and separated. Much of fractionated oil is comprised of Caprylic and Capric acids. Each can be identified, separated and consolidated as the coconut oil is fractionated.
Possible Problems During Fractionation

By eliminating coconut oil’s many fatty acid chains, the coconut oil may become unstable. While a constant liquid state is the goal, coconut oil may be stripped of its lauric acid during fractionation. When this happens, the coconut oil can lose its highly valued antimicrobial properties.
Uses of Fractionated Oil

Because fractionated oil has a long shelf life, it may be a bit pricy. That said, it is rancid-resistant, and its long-lasting properties are well worth ingredients in skincare products. Its price is justified. Fractionated coconut oil is used in several ways:
In Cosmetics

Fractionated oil is a popular cosmetic ingredient. Commonly found in ointments, lotions and soaps, fractionated oil is a common antibacterial alternative when other compounds lack long-term sustainability. Coconut oil’s acne-fighting powers are vital in most products. Virgin coconut oil is also a popular cosmetic ingredient.

In Aromatherapy

Fractionated oil remains a popular option in aromatherapy and is used as a carrier oil. A carrier oil delivers nutrients and minerals, protecting herbal extracts as they’re diffused in the air.
In Medicine

As stated, fractionated oil has antibacterial properties. It’s also a powerful antiseptic—a valued disinfectant ingredient. Found in skin creams, rubs and lotions, fractionated coconut oil is a go-to in many modern medicines—over-the-counter and otherwise.
In Hair Care

Fractionated oil surpasses the drawbacks that virgin coconut oil has. While virgin coconut oil has hydration qualities, it’s frequently unstable in hair care products. Fractionated oil has the long-lasting qualities needed in hair care products, and is often featured in moisturizing conditioners and shampoos.
In Cooking

Fractionated oil, due to its long-lasting properties, is used as a virgin coconut oil alternative. It doesn’t go rancid easily, making it a primary ingredient in a variety of dishes.

The Benefits of Fractionated Coconut Oil

Several studies have recorded the benefits provided by fractionated coconut oil.
Fractionated oil retains many of the benefits virgin coconut oil provides. It also carries additional benefits:

  • Antioxidant properties
  • Disinfectant properties
  • Assistance of essential mineral absorption
  • Assistance of protein absorption
  • Treatment of psoriasis
  • Treatment of eczema
  • Treatment of chapped lips
  • Treatment of dry skin
  • Acne prevention
  • Skin inflammation prevention

Fractionated cooking oil is included in cooking recipes due to its strong absorption benefits. It’s also becoming more popular with beauty products. Sometimes called Caprylic oil, or even Capric Triglyceride oil, fractionated oil is often marketed as a comprehensive skincare product.

Who Uses Fractionated Coconut Oil?

Fractionated oil offers benefits to specific skincare issues. Those with dry skin often use fractionated oil products to lighten and moisturize their skin. Because fractionated oil is less greasy than alternative skincare moisturizers, it provides an excellent option for individuals suffering from waxy, or otherwise greasy skin problems.

Fractionated oil is also used by those with acne, eczema and psoriasis. Because it contains lauric acid, it can protect the skin from harmful germs while relieving dry skin conditions. In most cases, fractionated oil is left on overnight—acting as a long-term relief option. While it may be expensive, users often report higher value due to its long shelf life.

Finally, the oil is an effective ingredient in hair care moisturizers. Those with greasy or otherwise difficult-to-maintain hair will find fractionated oil to be a worthy product alternative. While virgin coconut oil is touted within the industry, most who purchase and use fractionated oil, benefit from a longer shelf life and deep moisturization for their hair. Fractionated oil is odorless and tasteless--the subtle neutral addition to a variety of products.