What Is Fractionated Coconut Oil?

by Danielle De Guzman July 29, 2020

What Is Fractionated Coconut Oil?

This content was updated for accuracy and relevance on November 3rd, 2020

Due to its myriad of uses, Coconut oil has become prevalent in grocery and beauty industries alike. With a significant presence in our line of Roll-On essential oils, Body Oilsand DIYs, Fractionated Coconut oil is a light carrier oil that we simply will not do without! 

You may find yourself wondering, “Is Edens Garden Fractionated Coconut Oil the same as the virgin Coconut oil you pick up at the local market?” 

It’s a question we hear a lot, so we’re here to clarify a few key differences between different Coconut oil products. 

Varieties Of Coconut Oil

When you’re browsing the shelves at your local supermarket, you may find any of the following kinds of coconut oil:

  • Refined coconut oil is extracted from dried coconut (copra). Refined oil is generally steamed under high heat, then purified. However, some brands may use chemical extraction processes.

  • Virgin coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconut through an expeller-pressed, cold-pressed, or centrifuge method. When expeller-pressed, the virgin oil is mechanically squeezed or pressed from the meat of the coconut. Using this method, intense pressure exposes the oils to high heat to create the ingredient.

  • Cold-pressed coconut oil is processed similarly, but the oil is pressed in a heat-controlled environment.

  • Centrifuged coconut oil, often more expensive and rare, is extracted by adding chopped up coconut meat to a high-speed centrifuge, which separates the oil from the meat via the rapid spinning process.

All four of these coconut oils are solid at cold temperatures but are classified as liquid coconut oil when heated. They are a popular ingredient for cooking. Refined coconut oil has the most neutral taste and can withstand the highest heats, due to the more aggressive extraction process.

There are also other types such as extra virgin coconut oil and unrefined coconut oil. As you progress down this list, each coconut oil maintains more coconut flavor, but can withstand less heat.

Fractionated Coconut oil is not on the list for cooking oil. That’s because it’s made by a different extraction process, and you’re more likely to find it in a cosmetics store than out grocery shopping. 

How Is Fractionated Coconut Oil Made?

Let's start by answering the questions, "What is Fractionated Coconut oil?" and "What does Fractionated Coconut oil mean?" Fractionated Coconut oil is created from coconut oil in a process that separates the different types of fats present in the oil. 

While Fractionated Coconut oil can be created with a cold centrifuge, it is most often formed by heating coconut oil beyond its melting point. As it cools, the parts of the coconut oil that solidify are removed, leaving behind a liquid oil.

This process removes long-chain triglycerides (which cause coconut oil to harden) but retains the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as the antioxidants caprylic and capric acids. This leaves a moisturizing, liquid coconut oil that does not harden. 

What Is The Difference Between Fractionated Coconut Oil Vs. Coconut Oil?

Now that we know Fractionated Coconut oil is extracted with a different process, what does this mean in terms of its use?

First, we’ll go over some similarities in terms of virgin coconut oil and Fractionated Coconut oil’s skincare benefits. 

Coconut Oil Benefits

Coconut oil has been a dietary staple and folkloric skincare remedy in its native environments (including Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central America). In the 1920s, science began to confirm that it was unique from other fats because of its MCTs. 

Recent studies have examined the effects of coconut oil and specific MCTs. In a 2015 review of scientific studies, Shijna Kappally and her colleagues note that coconut oil has the following properties:

  • Antioxidant properties – Many signs of aging are related to oxidative stress, caused when damaging UV rays and pollutants strip cells of oxygen particles. This creates unstable cells primed to bond with others and spread the damage. Coconut oil can help diminish the effects of oxidative stress.

  • Anti-inflammatory effects – Inflammation is the body’s natural response to real and perceived threats, from pathogens to stress. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to fatigue, digestive issues, and other ailments. Coconut can help reduce inflammation and its long-term effects.

  • Analgesic and antipyretic effects – When applied as a topical application, coconut oil can help diminish burning, itchiness, and other uncomfortable sensations that are commonly found in those battling with skin sensitivity. 

  • Wound healing – Coconut oil can help support and hasten the skin’s natural ability to heal itself.

Both fractionated and virgin coconut oil have similar moisturizing and emollient properties, as well as vitamins A, C and E. Likewise, both are naturally extracted without the use of chemicals, containing a multitude of nutrients and antioxidants.

Therefore, both can be a supportive part of your skincare routine. 

Fractionated Coconut Oil Vs. Virgin Coconut Oils

While most forms of regular coconut oil have similar benefits, there are specific differences when comparing liquid coconut oil vs solid coconut oil, its culinary counterparts.

  • Fractionated Coconut oil is more easily absorbed by the skin, while virgin coconut oil is more likely to leave a greasy residue. 

  • Fractionated Coconut oil has a longer shelf life and is considered more stable overall.  

  • Virgin coconut oil has the characteristic “coconut” smell, while Fractionated Coconut is odorless.

  • Virgin coconut oil solidifies at room temperature, while Fractionated Coconut oil remains in its liquid form even at low temperatures.

  • Virgin coconut oil is overall less processed, retaining nourishing, long-chain fatty acid such as lauric acid.

Is Fractionated Coconut Oil Better For Skin?

Reading the above, it’s clear that liquid Fractionated oil is easier to use on skin than its solid cousins. However, since it’s more processed, you’re probably wondering if you’ll miss out on long-chain fatty acids that could help hydrate and plump your skin.

There are a few reasons why Fractionated Coconut oil is ideal for skincare use:
  • Non-comedogenic – While solid coconut oil can sit atop the skin, resulting in clogged pores and causing zits, liquid Fractionated oil is less likely to cause blemishes.

  • Better absorption – Because Fractionated Coconut oil is liquid, it is more readily absorbed by the skin. This means it can deliver its vital nutrients rapidly and reliably.

  • Easy to work with – If you’re creating blends with Fractionated Coconut oil, you’ll never need to break out the double boiler, or worry about essential oils separating from the coconut oil. It’s easy to mix into a moisturizer, balm, and more. 

However, both kinds of coconut oil have their ideal uses in your skincare routine.

Homemade Coconut Oil Skincare Remedies

Now that you’ve read about the benefits of coconut oil in all its form, you’re ready to start crafting your own nourishing remedies. Next, we’ll go over a few ways you can use virgin and Fractionated Coconut oil.

Note: we do not recommend refined coconut oil for use in skincare, since it may be produced through chemical extraction methods.

Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil is a preferred choice for nutritional purposes and culinary uses. In aromatherapy, it can be used in DIYs like lotion bars, balms and butters. 

In these cases, it is usually combined with thicker substances like shea or cocoa butter. On its own, it needs to be temperature-controlled in order to maintain a solid consistency. 

Virgin coconut oil is a good option for coconut lovers who cannot get enough of that beachy aroma. Adding a bit of virgin coconut oil into your DIY shower soap can also leave you smelling like summer all day long. It pairs well with citrus essential oils like Key Lime, Sandalwood, and Vanilla Oleoresin. 

To make your own body butter, you need just a few ingredients:

Note: if you only have one essential oil, add 1 tsp.

Then, follow these instructions:

  1. Combine shea butter and coconut oil in a double broiler.

  2. Once melted, remove from heat, and add essential oils of your choice.

  3. Refrigerate for one hour to cool.

  4. Use a hand mixer to beat ingredients until fluffy (about five minutes).

  5. Place in a glass container and let cool completely before using.

Fractionated Coconut Oil

Fractionated Coconut oil uses include aromatherapeutic applications. It is ideal as a carrier oil for essential oils in massages, nourishing moisturizers, and hair treatments. 

Due to its quick absorption and lack of aroma, it is perfect for use in roll-ons. It is also light enough to use in a spray bottle. 

Furthermore, Fractionated Coconut oil is preferred in recipes for soaps, lotions, deodorants and other DIY projects.

For a simple facial moisturizer, you need just two ingredients:

  • 4 oz Fractionated Coconut oil

  • 0.25 tsp of your favorite essential oil (or a combo, up to 24 total drops)

Shake to combine, and use after washing your face as a hydrating moisturizer. Say goodbye to your dry skin and try out Fractionated coconut carrier oil in your skincare routine! Wondering what essential oil blends or single oils to pair with it? Check out our guide on essential oils for skin.


1. Kappally, Shijna, Shirwaikar, Arun & Shirwaikar, Annie. “Coconut Oil.” Hygeia 7 (2015): 34-41. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289520021_Hygeia_journal_for_drugs_and_medicines_COCONUT_OIL_-_A_REVIEW_OF_POTENTIAL_APPLICATIONS

2. Laidos, Rachel. “Should You Slather Coconut Oil on Your Face? Skin Pros Weigh in Once and for All.Well and Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/how-to-boost-your-energy-naturally-now/

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March 13, 2023 at 10:25 am

Very informative article. Thanks for all the great info

Edens Garden

August 31, 2022 at 10:34 am

Hi Gurpreet! You can find tips on combatting uneven skin tone the natural way here: https://www.edensgarden.com/blogs/news/remedies-for-uneven-skin-tone-on-your-face


August 31, 2022 at 10:27 am

What are some of the remedies for melasma
Thank you

Edens Garden

February 22, 2022 at 11:27 am

Hi Sharon! Try Apricot Kernel or Avocado oil along with Age Defy at a 1% dilution.

1% = 6 drops Age Defy + 1 oz carrier oil

You can purchase empty bottles here: https://www.edensgarden.com/collections/extras-supplies?sort_by=manual&page=1

Sharon Hayashi

February 22, 2022 at 11:25 am

I have normal to dry mature skin.
1. What carrier around I use?
2. What aromatherapy should I mix with it?
3. What ratios?
4. Do you sell bottles to n put in?
Thank you.f

Edens Garden

December 7, 2020 at 12:09 pm

Hi George! Fractionated Coconut oil removes long chain triglycerides, leaving behind the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Therefore, they are one and the same.

George Martinez

December 7, 2020 at 11:56 am

Which coconut oil should be taken internally for damaged gut, was told, MCT, what is the difference from Fractionated?