What is Fractionated Coconut Oil?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Fractionated coconut oil may be used during a massage.
Fractionated coconut oil may be used during a massage.

Fractionated coconut oil is coconut oil that has been processed or “fractioned” to create a very shelf-stable oil. The fraction of the oil that is used is very high in saturated fat, and this product can be used in a wide variety of ways. Many companies that carry materials for making cosmetics stock fractionated coconut oil, and it can also be purchased from massage and soap suppliers. The cost for this oil varies, depending on global demand.

Moisturizers may feature fractionated coconut oil.
Moisturizers may feature fractionated coconut oil.

Coconut oil itself is extracted from the meat of the coconut fruit. Even before processing, it is very high in saturated fat, with a content that hovers around 90%. In pure form, coconut oil is solid at room temperature, with a milky color. When refined or fractionated, it becomes clear to yellow in color, and it is liquid at room temperature. The refining process removes impurities that could cause the oil to become rancid over time.

Soapmakers like to work with fractionated coconut oil.
Soapmakers like to work with fractionated coconut oil.

The big advantage to fractionated coconut oil over regular coconut oil is that it is very shelf-stable. It will not become rancid, unlike unrefined oils, making it easier to work with. It is also capable of handling very high heat, which can be a distinct bonus, and it can be easier to work with than solid coconut oil. Thanks to the fact that it has a long shelf life, it does not require special storage and handling procedures, beyond keeping it in a cool dry place.

Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of a coconut.
Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of a coconut.

One common use of fractionated coconut oil is as a carrier oil for essential oils and massage. The oil is light and non-greasy, but it penetrates the skin very well, making it highly suitable for the delivery of essential oils. It can also be used as an intensive moisturizer, especially on areas like the face, where the skin is known for being delicate. This type of coconut oil also makes a good base for body scrubs and other body care products.

Soapmakers also like to work with fractionated coconut oil, favoring it for its light, even bubbles and neutral odor. It can also be whipped and blended into moisturizing creams for use as an intensive moisturizer.

Fractionated coconut oil can be used to moisten and protect the skin.
Fractionated coconut oil can be used to moisten and protect the skin.

This oil product is not hypoallergenic. Some people may experience a reaction to it, and people who have not used this product before may want to try testing pure oil on a small patch of skin before applying it to the whole body. If redness, rash, or itching develop after using fractionated coconut oil, it is a sign of a potential allergy to the oil.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

loi

There are no solvents involved? It's totally safe for skin/food?

anon971496

I was really curious to know if the fractionating process changed any of the healing properties of solid coconut oil.

anon346201

It's great for facial creams or lotions.

anon254461

It is indeed used in foods. I recently saw it as an ingredient on a pack of cookies my kids got at a restaurant.

anon157084

It's saturated fat but it's not stored in the body and is used for energy expenditure. Bodybuilders use it to lose fat while keeping their energy levels up.

aaaCookie

Clearly very different from the coconut oil used for food, although I imagine this is edible...at the same time, can you imagine eating something 90% saturated fat? Though admittedly some fast food probably comes in at about 85%...

anon145201

thanks. this answered my question as to the use of fractionated coconut oil, when other resources just described it. eeha

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    • Fractionated coconut oil may be used during a massage.
      By: smuay
      Fractionated coconut oil may be used during a massage.
    • Moisturizers may feature fractionated coconut oil.
      By: Subbotina Anna
      Moisturizers may feature fractionated coconut oil.
    • Soapmakers like to work with fractionated coconut oil.
      By: mattiaath
      Soapmakers like to work with fractionated coconut oil.
    • Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of a coconut.
      By: mates
      Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of a coconut.
    • Fractionated coconut oil can be used to moisten and protect the skin.
      By: Syda Productions
      Fractionated coconut oil can be used to moisten and protect the skin.