There are many benefits and uses of coconut oil which makes it the most versatile health food on the planet. Coconut oil is being heavily promoted as a healthy oil, with benefits that include support for heart health – Source. Coconut oil is loaded with good fats, and they are in the form of MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides, also known as MCFAs), which compose of:-
- Lauric acid – Well-known for its antimicrobial properties. When lauric acid is digested, certain enzymes within the digestive converts lauric acid to monolaurin, which acts like a bacteria-killer to help to treat or prevent infections, viruses, digestive disorders and chronic diseases. The strong bactericidal properties of lauric acid can be used to effectively and naturally treat acne, the and study showed that treatment with lauric acid could help stop bacterial growth on the skin over 15 times better than the chemical benzoyl peroxide that’s added to most over-the-counter acne medications.
- Capric Acid – This acid converts to monocaprin in the body and has immune boosting and antimicrobial properties. It may help to balance insulin levels in humans, and that helps counter insulin resistance.
- Caprylic Acid– Another healthy fat with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Along with capric acid and lauric acid, caprylic acid is known for its antifungal effects which are popularly used to prevent the overgrowth of yeast-like fungus that can live and grow in your intestines, keeping the digestive functioning properly. Because of its strong antibacterial and antimicrobial effects, it helps to fight bacteria and improve infections that show up on the skin.
There are many health benefits of the coconut oil to the body according to medical researches. Reliable sources claim that MCFAs can prevent muscle breakdown in critically ill patients such as cancer victims and it helps children with certain types of seizures.
Not just for health benefits, coconut oil can benefit your skin and hairs
What is Extra Virgin Oil?
Oils labeled “virgin” or “extra-virgin” are typically unrefined, meaning they haven’t been exposed to chemicals. Refined oils are not necessarily exposed to chemicals, but some may be treated only heat or clays to filter and purify the oil. Virgin oils are the least processed of all available oils, maintain more of the natural components, and usually test higher for things like antioxidants and nutrients. Extra-virgin coconut oil is solid at room temperature, and its melting point is 24 degrees Celsius.
What is Fractionated Oil?
Fractionated coconut oil, also called “liquid coconut oil,” is a form of the oil that has the long-chain fatty acids removed via hydrolysis and steam distillation. It remains as a liquid at room temperature thus extends the oil’s shelf life.
One of the fatty acids that are mostly removed in fractionation is lauric acid. Despite the lauric acid and other long-chain fatty acids are removed, medium chain fatty acids like capric and caprylic acids are still retained for their super-moisturizing capabilities. Natural antioxidants, which protect from premature aging, and nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, which help maintain collagen production.
Fractionated coconut oil is completely soluble with essential oils, which makes it the perfect carrier oil, capable of ushering the essential oils into the skin. It’s also extremely light and absorbs quickly into the skin leaving with a soft, smooth feeling that won’t exacerbate oiliness or leave you feeling greasy. The extra virgin oil, because of its natural composition, may not fit the bill. Since coconut oil is such a superior moisturizer, fractionated coconut oil becomes the alternative for facial oil formulas.
It is hard to say which is better as each has its own benefits for health and skin, and in other aspects. It depends on what you are looking for and whether their benefits apply to you. Fractionated coconut oil penetrates skin cells faster due to the removal of long-chain fatty acids thus moisturizes your skin. This makes you feel less greasy on your skin, and it is odorless. On the other hand, extra virgin coconut oil does not penetrate your skin as fast as fractionated coconut oil yet it comprises a set of antimicrobial compounds protects your skin from harmful germs very much better than fractionated coconut oil. However, there is a scent of coconut.
Below is the comparison of their properties which may help you to choose which one for your needs.