Coconut Oil



Coconut Oil description

Non-volatile, non-fragrant plant kernel oil whose high saturated fat content has emollient properties for skin. Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain fatty acids, also known as medium-chain triglycerides. Used by itself as a moisturizer, coconut oil’s effectiveness is similar to that of mineral oil. Oral consumption of virgin coconut oil has been shown to increase the antioxidant content of skin compared to olive and sunflower oils. Contrary to claims, coconut oil does not provide sufficient sun protection for skin. Research has shown it only screens about 20% of UV light before it can damage skin, which means 80% still gets through. Therefore, skipping regular, broad spectrum sunscreen in favour of coconut oil is putting your skin at risk for early signs of ageing and other undesirable effects.

Coconut Oil references

  • International Journal of Dermatology, January 2014, pages 100-108
  • Food & Function, September 2013, pages 1,402-1,409
  • Pharmacognosy Review, July-December 2011, pages 164-173
  • Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2010, pages 290-297
  • Dermatitis, November-December 2008, pages 308-315; and September 2004, pages 109-116

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.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.