Both MCT oil and fractionated coconut oil contain exactly the same types of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) – caprylic acid and capric acid. These two compounds are very small in size, which make both oils feel light and thin.
You may or may not derive both from coconut oil. This is because you can also obtain caprylic and capric acids from corn oil, palm kernel oil and goat milk.
However, most of these oils on the market are extracted from coconut oil or palm kernel oil. That’s because it’s more cost-effective to do so.
So far, did you notice that both MCT oil and fractionated coconut oil look alike in many ways.
They do look and feel pretty much alike in appearance and on skin. But there are a couple of differences between these two products.
What primarily makes MCT oil different from fractionated coconut oil is the extra process of making MCT oil edible.
In other words, MCT oil is made purer and safer for consumption whereas you can’t ingest fractionated coconut oil.
Fractionated coconut oil is made for skin care only. So, it’s relatively cheaper.
Because of its very light nature, massage therapists love using fractionated coconut oil to dilute essential oils. You can also apply it directly to your skin. It seeps into your skin very fast.
Another difference between MCT oil and fractionated coconut oil comes from the addition of lauric acid into MCT oil.
Why the addition of lauric acid?
Lauric acid is a powerful germ killer. It’s also an MCT. So, putting lauric acid in it can help enhance the product’s benefits for users. From the marketing point of view, it can help to attract more buyers.
Of course, not all companies prefer adding the extra lauric acid. Some companies still insist on having just purely caprylic and capric acids in their MCT oil.
That’s because lauric acid is a relatively larger MCT. So, adding lauric acid will make the oil feel slightly heavier. It will also raise the overall melting point.
Which means, an MCT oil that includes lauric acid may harden more easily at low temperatures.
Therefore, manufacturers are extremely careful when adding lauric acid to their MCT oil. They must make sure the inclusion of lauric acid does not affect the product’s overall melting point by too much.
Benefits of MCT Oil Over Fractionated Coconut Oil
As you can consume MCT oil, you can use it in more ways than the non-food grade fractionated coconut oil.
They both feel light on skin. So, you can use MCT oil as a carrier oil too for massage therapy. You can also apply MCT oil directly to your skin, like me.
Besides external use, you can also add MCT oil to your morning coffee to create a bulletproof coffee. Or simply mix into your food so that it can help control your calorie intake and aid in weight loss. Through consumption, MCT oil can help relieve constipation too.
In short, you can use MCT oil for both consumption and skin care whereas you can only use fractionated coconut oil for skin care.
If you’re looking for a good moisturizing oil for your skin only, then get fractionated coconut oil. If you want to have more energy and lose weight, and also able to nourish your skin at the same time, choose MCT oil instead.