In skincare, formulators usually prefer fractionated coconut oil over virgin coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is less processed and is often recommended in beauty due to its nourishing, long chain fatty acids such as lauric acid. Lauric acid makes up approximately 50% of the oil, making it one of its healthiest elements. Despite that, it can be challenging to formulate since it is a solid at room temperature and requires heat to liquefy. This is why you may find that natural deodorants formulated with coconut oil are harder to apply, and do not “glide” as smoothly.
Fractionated coconut oil on the other hand, is better at staying in liquid form. The process of fractionation uses the fat’s different melting points to separate them and allows for a longer shelf life as a result. This process removes the lauric acid, which means its original benefits are lost.