Okay, coconut oil has gotten a bad wrap in the dietary circle due to its high saturated fat content. While the debate rages on about that, the value of coconut oil in skin and hair care products is undisputed. However, there are differences in coconut oils available for purchase. These important differences are what this post is all about.
Virgin coconut oil
Virgin coconut oil is a clear oil that has the taste and scent of coconuts. It is used for cooking and in skin and hair care products. Virgin coconut oil is oilier than fractionated coconut oil and can clog pores with continuous use. This oil will solidify when cool. It is produced by using fresh coconuts and separating out the coconut oil in one of two ways: dry and wet.
How virgin coconut oil is made
- Dry method – The coconuts are quick dried and the oil is pressed out mechanically. This is the most common method used to produce the coconut oil found in most stores.
- Wet method (wet-milling) – This is a more complicated method where the “coconut milk” is produced by pressing the coconuts. The oil is then separated from the liquid in several ways. The virgin coconut oil from our oil uses the centrifuge method. Other methods include boiling, enzymes, refrigeration and fermentation.
Uses of virgin coconut oil
- Skin and hair care
- To learn about all the why’s and wherefores of using virgin coconut oil, visit http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/
Fractionated coconut oil
Fractionated coconut oil has had the long chain triglycerides removed. This makes the oil less oily than virgin coconut oil and generally a better bet for use in skin care products. Fractionated coconut oil has a higher concentration of Capric acid and Caprylic acid and thus is a better antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and disinfectant. It remains a liquid when cold and has very little scent. This oil is not usually used in cooking.
How fractionated coconut oil is made
- Fractionated coconut oil is made by first a process of hydrolysis and then steam distilled.
Uses of fractionated coconut oil:
- Skin care products
- Carrier oil for essential oils and herbal extracts
- Massage oil
- Hair care
How you use this wonderful oil, whether in its virgin or fractionated form is dependant on your reason for using the oils. Generally, the virgin form is used for dry skin and various skin ailments. It is also used as a health food product. On the other hand, the primary use of fractionated coconut oil is in cosmetics, skin care products, perfumes and as a carrier oil. Both virgin and fractionated coconut oils have a long shelf life. Virgin coconut oil maintains its potency and freshness for two years. Fractionated coconut oil lasts indefinitely.
Now go have fun and relax.