Fractionated Coconut Oil vs Virgin Coconut Oil - What's the Difference?

Fractionated Coconut Oil vs Virgin Coconut Oil - What's the Difference?

Do you know the difference between fractionated coconut oil and virgin coconut oil? If you are interested in buying coconut oil then you need to know which oil to choose because there are some differences.

Today, coconut oil is one of the most popular natural vegetable oils for health and wellness due to its myriad of benefits and uses. Not only is it used in the grocery and beauty industries, but it is also a hot product in the essential oil space where it functions as a carrier oil. 

Frationated Coconut Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil by Loving Essential Oils

What Are Carrier Oils?

A carrier oil is a vegetable oil made from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, nuts, or kernels.

Each carrier oil has a different combination of health benefits and therapeutic properties. Depending on the benefit or characteristic being sought will determine the choice of carrier oil.

Carrier oils allow essential oils to be applied to the skin safely, plus they offer a host of therapeutic properties too. For aromatherapy, you will find coconut oil present in roller remedies, body oils, bath blends, and many more DIY recipes.

The type of coconut oil used is best determined by how you will be using the oil, let's look a little closer and the differences.

Fractionated Coconut Oil vs Virgin Coconut Oil

Fractionated Coconut Oil is not the same as Virgin Coconut Oil. They are both naturally extracted without the use of chemicals, offer emollient properties, and contain numerous nutrients and antioxidants. Here are a few key differences between the two products.

One difference between coconut oil and fractionated coconut oil is the smell.  While I love the smell of coconut oil, I know some people don't. Good news if you are not a fan, fractionated coconut oil is odorless.

Fractionated Coconut Oil

Fractionated coconut oil is obtained from coconut oil in a method that separates out the different types of fats present in the oil. This is done by heating coconut oil beyond its melting point, and as it cools removing the parts of the coconut oil that solidify. These are called the long-chain triglyceride, they are responsible for the hardening of coconut oil. This method produces a liquid oil.

In FCO, the medium-chain triglycerides are retained preserving many healing benefits like moisturizing and hydrating the skin.

Unlike regular coconut oil that is in a solid-state and only liquid at a warmer temperature (76 F or above), fractionated coconut oil is always in liquid form. This is great for your essential oils because it will allow you to apply your oils a lot easier and without a greasy feeling on the skin after use.

FCO Uses in Aromatherapy

Fractionated coconut oil offers a long list of uses for therapeutic applications. It is ideal as a carrier oil for essential oils due to its quick absorption and odorless quality. Here are just some of the applications you can use it in:

  • Massage oils
  • Nourishing moisturizers
  • Hair treatments
  • Roll on Remedies
  • Soap Recipes
  • Bath & Body Blends

Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil 


Virgin Coconut Oil Uses in Aromatherapy

Virgin coconut oil is praised for its natural health, beauty, and culinary uses. In order to keep it in its solid-state, it needs to be temperature-controlled. Here are just some of the applications you can use it in:

  • Homemade Lotions
  • Bath Melts
  • Balms and Salves
  • Body Butters
  • Beach Inspired Recipes

Virgin coconut oil is a good option for when you are looking for that wonderful beachy aroma of coconut. Here is a favorite recipe:

Beachy Vibes Balm Recipe

Moisturize dehydrated skin after sun exposure with this beautiful beach-inspired DIY essential oil recipe.

    • 12 drops Steam Distilled Lime essential oil
    • 6 drops Sandalwood essential oil
    • 6 drops Vanilla oleoresin
    • 2 oz Virgin Coconut Oil
    • 2 oz Gass Jar

Melt coconut oil in a warm water bath until in liquid form. Once melted, add melted coconut oil and essential oils, allow it to solidify again. 2% dilution.

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Jennifer Lane - Certified Aromatherapist

BIO: Owner and founder of Loving Essential Oils. I am a Registered Nurse and Certified Aromatherapist that loves to look toward essential oils and aromatherapy for all natural physical, emotional and spiritual support. I love creating and sharing DIY Essential Oil Recipes & Blends. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your essential oil journey!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, nor is it a substitute for medical advice. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Post may include affiliate links. See full disclaimer.