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The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the palm family .It is often referred to as 'The tree of life"as it can be used in so many wonderful and versatile ways.
Coconut oil used in cosmetics or natural products is often referred to as Fractionated or MCT Coconut Oil. The word "Fractionated" stands for the process that separates the different types of fat in virgin coconut oil and MCT stands for “Medium Chain Triglycerides”. With MCT/Fractioned Coconut Oil, the Lauric Acid is removed using Hydrolysis and Steam Distillation, leaving only the medium-chain fatty acids, specifically capric and caprylic fatty acids. These 2 medium-chain fatty acids (capric and caprylic fatty acids) are what make up the MCT/Fractionated Coconut Oil in its final state.
Virgin Oils always have a strong and distinct smell, richer colour and may have a slightly thicker viscosity, whereas MCT oil has no odour and is a very light oil. When making cosmetics or natural products, sometimes virgin coconut oil creates some limitations regarding the formulation of certain products, like lotions, creams, lip balm and soap. This is due to the long-chain fatty acids going solid at a certain temperature. Fractionated Coconut oil also has great stability and longer shelf life than its counterpart Virgin coconut oil.
Fractionated Coconut oil is a light, absorbent and colourless oil with a variety of uses. High in Vitamin E and antioxidants, it blends easily with other oils and ingredients. In skin care it is valued as it is soothing for the skin and an emollient which helps provide a soothing barrier. It is great in body care products, hair care and massage blends.