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  Coconut, Fractionated, Oil
Cocos nucifera.

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Contains (unrefined) 50% lauric acid. Refined coconut oil, according to Sheppard-Hanger, is closest substance to human sub-cutaneous fat and more compatible with skin than vegetable oils. She states that it has a virtually unlimited shelf life, since it can not turn rancid, and that it can not clog pores, making it an ideal carrier for oily or troubled skin.

Fractionated Coconut Oil is our diluent of choice. Its light texture and total lack of aroma make it perfect for diluting the most fragile absolutes and essences. Its extraordinarily long shelf life means you never have to worry about a rancid fixed oil spoiling your precious aromatics.

However, Shirley Price points out that fractionated (or refined) coconut oil is produced by heat, rather than cold pressing, and is usually deodorized since its natural odor is overwhelming, and asks if we really want to use a fractionated oil in aromatherapy, since it is not a complete product.

My *personal* opinion on the above is "it depends." I vastly prefer a "natural" oil, and yet under some conditions the use of a "totally natural" carrier can compound the problem. i.e., if applying EO's to severely damaged skin, a totally natural carrier could also introduce fungi, molds, or bacteria to the skin as well. Using a refined and sterilized carrier under these conditions could prevent further problems. I have personally used it as a carrier for skin conditions that had proven resistant to any earlier treatment. I also think its "light" texture will make it a wonderful "summer use" oil, when the richer, heavier oils seem too sticky on the skin. It also will wash out of sheets, towels, etc. much more easily than most carrier oils making it a boon to the massage therapist.  

Uses: dryness, itching, sensitive skin, tanning aid. Use as base or 10–50% additive. Adding to Sweet Almond Oil increases both shelf life and washability. Lack of rancidity makes it the ideal base for oil-based perfumes.


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