Monday, January 18, 2010

What is Fractionated Coconut Oil?

I have seen fractioned coconut oil used in various bath and body product recipes.  But truly, what is fractionated coconut oil?  The wise geeks at wisegeeks explained clearly what is fractionated coconut really is.
"Fractionated coconut oil is coconut oil which has been processed or “fractioned” to create a very shelf-stable oil. The fraction of the oil which is used in fractionated coconut oil is very high in saturated fat, and this oil product can be used in a wide variety of ways. Many companies which 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.

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

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. Fractionated coconut oil 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.

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 places like the fact, where the skin is known for being delicate. Fractionated 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.

This oil product is not hypoallergenic. Some people may experience a reaction to fractionated coconut oil, and people who have not used this product before may want to try testing pure fractionated coconut 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 in body care, it is a sign of a potential allergy to the oil."


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