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What's the 411: Coconut Oil

Just a note before we get started: Coconut Oil has so many wonderful qualities that I could fill pages with the benefits -- so I’m going to have to narrow my focus a bit for this blog . . .

Let me state for the record that Coconut Oil is a total must in my soap recipe. It has three fatty acids that are wonderful for our skin so I wanted to overview them here.

Let’s start with Capric acid which has strong antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. If you’ve ever heard that you can treat a yeast infection with coconut oil – this is the reason. It helps kill off bacteria that live in the skin. It is also known to help the bacterial infections that sometimes cause acne and is also used as a remedy for conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Ingesting Capric acid is said to help with digestive disorders and is helpful in lowering high cholesterol.

Next is Lauric Acid which is a “lipid” or fat that helps moisturize your skin but also has properties that help inhibit the growth of common skin bacteria. It is also known to help reduce inflammation. Two great benefits for the body!

Then we have Caprylic acid. This acid has the same type of benefits as Capric acid -- including antiviral. Like Lauric, it also helps with inflammation. Ingested, it helps your digestive system as well and can also "prevent the overgrowth of “yeast like” fungus that can live and grow in your intestines.” [1] (YUK!)

Caprylic Acid is also gaining a reputation for healing the body inside and out. I have referenced linked articles below that talk about more of the many health benefits of Caprylic Acid for your body if you are interested. I’m not going into them here since my main purpose is understanding how the components of Coconut Oil will help our skin – so let’s get there . . .

Caprylic Acid works as an emollient (softening and smoothing) and quickly gets through the surface to help condition skin. It is also is known to be effective in the delivery of vitamins, or other beneficial additives contained in a solution so that they will be absorbed evenly by the epidermis. To me, this is the really good part, when a natural product actually helps the skin “soak up” the other good ingredients added to a cream, lotion or soap and helps facilitate their effectiveness.

So there we have it, a brief explanation of the three acids that make up Coconut Oil. All of them have amazing properties that fight germs and infections and are helpful for various skin conditions.

Coconut Oil is found in so many personal care products, especially anti-aging serums and moisturizers, lipsticks, eye creams, etc. and has so many great uses. It is also known for its resistance to “oxidation” which gives it a very long shelf life and doesn’t go rancid quickly.

I think we can conclude that Coconut Oil has a powerful punch for the health conscience person. I love working with it because it is easy to use, it has deep-cleansing properties, it helps the removal of dirt and dead skin, and it does all this without the use of harmful chemicals.

I also love Coconut Oil for these three great properties it gives to my soap: a harder bar, more lather and it’s antibacterial. Can’t beat that!


If you want the benefits of Caprylic Acid without consuming Coconut Oil try a good supplement.


If you want a good oil to use as a carrier for your essential oils, try fractionated Coconut Oil:


For more information on the health benefits of coconut oil:


References: [1]

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