Fractionated coconut oil

What is it? Fractionated coconut oil is coconut oil that has had the long chain triglycerides removed, leaving the short and medium chain triglycerides, to create a lightweight liquid oil.
INCI Cocos Nucifera Oil
Appearance Clear, thin liquid
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Smooth, thin liquid
Scent None
Absorbency Speed Fast
Approximate Melting Point 0–10°C
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in formulations? Fractionated coconut oil is inexpensive and lightweight with little to no scent. I like it in products like cleansing oils and balms, which are wash-off products. It can also be a good base for massage products, and works well as a simple base for blends of more expensive oils in facial serums.
Do you need it? No, but I really like it—it is versatile and inexpensive.
Refined or unrefined? Fractionated coconut oil only exists as a refined product
Strengths Inexpensive, lightweight.
Weaknesses Possibly not considered totally “natural”.
Alternatives & Substitutions Other lightweight, inexpensive oils like MCT, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, or sunflower oil would be good choices.
How to Work with It Include it in the oil phase of your products; if can be hot or cold processed, as needed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, fractionated coconut oil should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Fractionated coconut oil and MCT (medium chain triglycerides) are not the same thing. Medium chain triglycerides are just the medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil (caprylic/capric triglyceride while fractionated coconut oil is coconut oil without the long chain triglycerides, but still containing short and medium chain triglycerides. This distinction is rarely important, though it is very important to anyone who suffers from fungal acne.

Despite the “not-the-same-thing” thing, you will very often find them sold as if they are. This usually takes the form of MCT being sold as fractionated coconut oil (they’re often listed on the label as if they are synonyms). Check the INCI to see what you’re getting—MCT will be Caprylic/capric triglyceride.

If you can only find one or the other it doesn’t really matter (unless you’re formulating for fungal acne). Purchase whatever you can get and use them interchangeably.

Recommended starter amount 250mL (8fl oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Formulations that Use Fractionated Coconut Oil


Posted on

January 28, 2019