Coconut Alkanes



Coconut Alkanes at a glance

  • Derived from the reduction and hydrogenation of fatty acids from coconut oil
  • Functions as a solvent and skin-softening emollient
  • Clear, oily liquid with a lightweight dry down on the skin
  • Often used in tandem with coco-caprylate/caprate as a silicone alternative

Coconut Alkanes description

Coconut alkanes is an ingredient derived from the reduction and hydrogenation of fatty acids from coconut oil. In beauty products, coconut alkanes functions as a solvent and skin-softening emollient. Alkanes are saturated hydrocarbons (common examples of hydrocarbons in cosmetics include mineral oil and paraffin). Suppliers of this ingredient describe it as a clear, oily, liquid emollient with a lightweight dry down on the skin similar to the lightweight solvent isodedecane. It’s often used in tandem with another coconut-derived ingredient, coco-caprylate/caprate. This duo is touted as an alternative to certain dry-finish silicones. Internet searches of coconut alkanes point to headlines about the comedogenicity of this ingredient and claim you should steer clear of it if you have acne-prone skin. In reality, this is a non-substantiated claim that you can ignore—what matters is the total blend of ingredients in the finished formula and how it interacts with your skin. If the overall formula leaves a heavy, occlusive, greasy feel on skin, then yes there’s potential it could clog pores and make breakouts worse, but that would be based on all of the emollient and oil-based ingredients, not just coconut alkanes.

Coconut Alkanes references

  • BCR (supplier info), Accessed July 2022, ePublication 
  • Practical Dermatology, May 2012, pages 35-39

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


We couldn't find this in our ingredient dictionary. We log all missing ingredients and make continuous updates.

Not rated