Coconuts are known to be very versatile plants with numerous uses for each of its parts. Its leaves make for sustainable roofing material for cabanas and houses in tropical countries like Indonesia, Maldives, and the Philippines with a lot of beaches. Meanwhile, its trunk makes for coco lumber which is a durable construction material. Primarily, however, it is known for its life-preserving fruit which can serve as both food and drink.
The fruit also comes with a number of benefits and uses once it is processed, ranging from food and cosmetics to medicine. One thing coconuts are prized for is the oil that comes from the fruit which brings a lot of health benefits. But, is there a coconut essential oil?
Coconut as an Essential Oil
Given that coconut oil is essential, the question still stands: is there a coconut essential oil? An article from Soap the Earth discusses how it’s not actually an essential oil. It’s merely a semi-solid edible oil extracted from the fruit by boiling a blended mix of grated coconut flesh and water. In fact, according to Healthline, coconut oil works more as a carrier oil based on its properties and effects.
There are two kinds of coconut oils depending on how they’re processed:
- Unrefined – This means that the oil is taken from fresh coconut meat but is not processed with other chemicals; therefore, it retains its pure aroma and flavor, making it ideal as a food ingredient and a carrier oil as well.
- Refined – This kind is taken from the meat of copras or dried coconuts. It undergoes the process of bleaching and deodorizing to eliminate contaminants but retains the coconut aroma and flavor. However, because it is not all-natural, this kind is not used as a carrier oil
Coconut Oil Attributes as a Carrier
Carrier oils, also going as a base, fixed, or vegetable oils, are usually derived from kernels or nuts and are used to reduce the aromatic concentration of essential oils and delay evaporation according to Aromaweb. Some oils from animals and marine life are also called base oils, but they are not recommended for aromatherapy use.
Unlike essential oils, which are liquid concentrates of plant extracts, carrier oils are merely oil extracts. In fact, essential oils aren’t actually oils and are not recommended to come in direct contact with the skin because of their potency. Carrier oils, however, are safe to apply directly to the skin.
Carrier oils are called as such because they carry the essential oils by diluting them and increasing their effectiveness. As mentioned in Healthline, their properties do not conflict with that of the essential oils, and together, they create a solution that makes for great fragrances and cosmetic ingredients.
Coconut oil is known for its long shelf life and skin-nourishing property. However, it can take a bit of time for the skin to absorb. It’s also a bit sticky to the feel and comes with a coconut aroma, some varieties stronger than others. Take note that if a carrier oil’s scent becomes stronger after a long time, it may have turned rancid and should no longer be used.
There are two main types of coconut oils used as carriers depending on how they’re used as an ingredient:
- Virgin Coconut Oil – This type is edible and used commonly for cooking but can be used for rubs and minimal skin application. It can be used on its own. Its emollient properties make it great for skin moisturizing and leave a lipid layer on the skin that can serve as protection.
- Fractionated Coconut Oil – This type is distilled to only contain triglycerides of the medium-chain. It is more liquid and works well for full-body massages. It is a much-preferred choice for a carrier oil since it is odorless, highly stable, and colorless – making it an effective ingredient for perfumes, body butter, and rubbing creams. It is lighter and penetrates the skin easily.
Best Coconut Oils in the Market
We have chosen three of our best picks for coconut oil products that had worked well for us and gave us the bang for our buck. They are reasonably priced and can last you a long time unless you are using these constantly for mixing with essential oil products.
Hailed as Amazon’s bestseller, this can work wonders for your skin, hair, and body. Multipurpose, versatile, and safe to use, this carrier oil is certified organic and free from pesticide chemicals, preservatives, and fragrances that may irritate your skin. This is especially ideal for daily use.
Made with premium quality coconut fruit, this odorless oil leaves no stains, has a long shelf life, and has a no-greasy feeling. Working as an effective carrier oil, it makes for a great ingredient for moisturizers, lip balms, soaps, shampoos, and other cosmetics. It can even be used as a natural deodorant, makeup remover, and aromatherapy massage rub.
Teeming with key vitamins and antioxidants, this lightweight fractionated coconut oil formula is odorless and non-comedogenic, making it safe to use on the face. Its emollient properties work well for sensitive skin, thus making this coconut oil an effective ingredient for Ayurvedic medicine. It can even be used as a sexual lubricant and a hot oil healing treatment.
We’ve come to the end of our discussion to answer your question: “Is there a coconut essential oil?” and other concerns regarding coconut oils.
This oil is indeed one of the most beneficial plant extracts we can use in our day-to-day lives, and it’s especially easy to acquire too! It almost has no negative effects when applied, and it can do wonders for your body. It makes for great pastries and dishes, and it can even be consumed for better digestion.
With all that, we hope that this will be of help to you as you learn more about essential oils, carrier oils, and other ingredients.