What Is Fractionated Coconut Oil? Fractionated Coconut Oil Uses Explained

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Coconuts, especially in their oil form, are really getting their turn in the sun these days. And there are plenty of good reasons why – their benefits range from giving you glowing skin to shinier hair to healthier and tastier food. While I do sometimes agree with the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, there’s sometimes room for exception, and improving on the already-awesome coconut oil is one such exception. Which brings us to fractionated coconut oil.

What Is Fractionated Coconut Oil?

If you’ve ever cooked with or used coconut oil, you’ll know how much it can add to a dish, and how amazing its benefits for your skin and hair are. But what is fractionated coconut oil? And how is it different than regular coconut oil?

Fractionated coconut oil (FCO) is made from regular coconut oil – but it’s only a fraction of what coconut oil is (hence the name, of course). While regular coconut oil contains long-chain fatty acids, fractionated coconut oil has had these fatty acids removed via processes called steam distillation and hydrolysis. All that remains now is the medium-chain fatty acids; also called medium-chain triglycerides. This is why fractionated coconut oil is often called MCT oil since it only contains medium-chain fatty acids.

The absence of the long-chain fatty acids makes fractionated coconut oil more stable than regular coconut oil, and also gives it a longer shelf life. It works extremely well in skincare products since it absorbs easily into your skin and doesn’t leave it feeling oily.

Top 5 Benefits Of Fractionated Coconut Oil Explained

Man touching face looking in mirror.

Dry Cracked Skin.

Fractionated Coconut Oil For Dry Skin

Both fractionated coconut oil and regular coconut oil can be used successfully for skincare. But because they have different properties, the way to choose the right oil is by determining your skin’s needs. FCO absorbs into the skin completely, and much faster than regular coconut oil. However, regular coconut oil has strong antimicrobial properties, which is awesome if you suffer from acne and the like.

If you have dry skin, though, you’re not focusing on getting rid of pore-clogging bacteria; rather, your skin needs moisture. Due to its fast and total absorption, fractionated coconut oil is ideal for dry skin. It’s incredibly moisturizing and even works for those super-dry areas like elbows and heels. Even if your skin is dry, you don’t want it to feel oily – you just want it to stay hydrated and healthy. With other oils, your skin can sometimes feel oily after you use them. With FCO, though, this doesn’t happen – your skin is left feeling soft, but not greasy; the perfect balance.

Fractionated Coconut Oil For Cooking

Yes, cooking. Now, you’ve probably used regular (or extra virgin) coconut oil in a dish or two and loved the strong, coconutty flavor it gave your dish while knowing that you were choosing the healthy oil option over vegetable or canola oil. But taste is a personal thing, and what if you, or someone you are cooking for, is not such a fan of coconut flavor?

Coconut oil mixing in saucepan.

Frying with Coconut Oil.

No need to reach for the canola oil; just use the liquid coconut oil which has no taste and no smell.  Yep, I used a different term here. Liquid coconut oil is the safe-for-consumption version of the otherwise inedible fractionated coconut oil – You’ll never know the difference!

Because it’s extremely stable, liquid coconut oil can withstand very high temperatures, so you can even use it for frying and all kinds of dishes (though it does give food a different texture than regular frying might). It also goes great in dressings, your morning coffee, or in condiments like hollandaise sauce.

Fractionated Coconut Oil As Makeup Remover

You might not think about how your makeup remover is affecting your skin – after all, it’s just a necessary step before you can start your real skincare routine. But the truth is, the stuff you use to take off your makeup gets absorbed into your skin, too, so it’s important that you’re using the right product for your skin. I used to use a certain product to remove my makeup, and each time I used it, I’d suffer from painfully stinging skin – until I realized that it was the makeup remover that was causing the irritation. I switched removers and never had stinging again.

Of course, natural ingredients are ideal for skin products (including makeup remover), since you know that they are not transferring harmful chemicals to your skin. Some people are surprised to find that natural ingredients actually work just as well, or better, than the chemicals you buy from the drug store.

Fractionated coconut oil is awesome at removing makeup – plus, it doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily, and it acts as a moisturizer at the same time. It’s also gentle, even around the eye area, and can remove those bits of stubborn or waterproof makeup that you’re struggling with.

Fractionated Coconut Oil For UV Protection

As the beauty industry has expanded, people are starting to care more about how they treat their skin. Another area that is being addressed more in recent years is cancer awareness. And what applies to both cancer prevention and skincare for beauty? Protection from the sun, of course.

A lot of people prefer not to use conventional sunscreen, due to the chemicals that are found in a lot of products. Luckily, there are loads of natural oils that you can use to protect your skin – and yourself – from harmful UV rays. And yup, one of those is FCO. Combine ½ cup fractionated coconut oil, at least ten drops myrrh essential oil (you can add up to forty drops), and 5 drops carrot seed essential oil.

Rub them over your skin wherever you need protection, and keep applying regularly throughout the day. Keep in mind though; if you’re extremely fair, this might not be enough protection for your skin.

Fractionated Coconut Oil As A Carrier Oil

A carrier or base oil is a vegetable oil that is added to essential oil to help it absorb into your skin. Essential oils can often cause irritation or burning, so they need to be diluted with a base oil. Because fractionated coconut oil absorbs into the skin so easily, it’s ideal as a base oil, and also provides additional health benefits and moisture.

Assortment of oil diffusers on table.

Popular Essential Oil Diffusers.

In aromatherapy, as well – not just in skincare – fractionated coconut oil is often used as a carrier oil. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to calm and benefit the body and mind. Some of the ways essential oils are used in the practice are through taking an oil-infused bath or rubbing the oils directly on the skin – and again, carrier oils are needed here to avoid irritation. Aside from being easily absorbed, FCO is also gentle and soothing, so it’s a great all-around choice for your skin and makes the whole aromatherapy experience that much more enjoyable and effective.

DIY Fractionated Coconut Oil Recipe

Fractionated Coconut Oil Bath Bomb Recipe

Who doesn’t love bath bombs? A relaxing, hot bath is always welcome, but bath bombs make it even more enticing – especially when they’re chock-full of nourishing ingredients. You can also use them as presents for your family members or friends. Homemade presents are that little bit more special, and bath bombs make for a fun and original gift for a birthday or holiday. Go ahead and make a little extra to keep for yourself; I won’t tell.

Recipe Credit: naturalbeautyworkshop.com


  • ½ cup Epsom salt.
  • 1 cup baking soda.
  • ½ cup citric acid.
  • ¾ cup cornstarch.
  • 1-ounce cocoa butter.
  • ¼ cup buttermilk powder.
  • ¼ cup honey powder.
  • 1-ounce vegetable glycerin.
  • 1-ounce fractionated coconut oil.
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.
  • 3 tablespoons oat straw powder or parsley powder.

1 teaspoon Peppermint Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil (Peppermint Essential Oil can be dangerous for young children and babies, so if necessary, use Peppermint Fragrance Oil or just leave the scented oil out altogether.)


  1. Melt the cocoa butter fully over a double boiler, and then add coconut oil and vegetable glycerin. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix Epsom salt and baking soda, making sure to break up any clumps.
  3. Add the Peppermint Oil to the salt mixture and thoroughly combine.
  4. Add cornstarch, citric acid, buttermilk powder and honey powder, and mix well.
  5. Divide the mixture in half, and put each half in a separate bowl. One bowl will be your brown bath bombs; the other will be the green bath bombs.
  6. Add cocoa powder to one bowl and parsley powder to the second bowl.
  7. Stir the butter-oil mixture that you had set aside, and then pour half of it into the first bowl.
  8. Knead the mixture until you are able to work with it, and then form balls with your hands or a scoop.
  9. Repeat with the second bowl.
  10. Allow the bombs to dry and harden on a flat baking sheet for 24 hours. Once they’re fully hard, store them in airtight containers or bags until you’re ready to use them or give them as a gift.


If you’re already a fan of coconut oil, it’s time to get acquainted with its cousin, fractionated coconut oil. Even though it’s derived from coconut oil, as you can see, its uses are different, and it definitely has a place in your home! Have you used regular coconut oil on your dry skin without success? Then you might want to think about giving FCO a try, as it’s especially hydrating. Whatever you decide to use it for, though, it’s bound to become a staple – and you can bet on that.