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    « Yes to Carrots | Main | Castor Oil?? »

    Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride

    Q.  Hi:  Could you please tell me if this ingredient that I am finding in products is Non-comedogenic. I can not find the answer to my question anywhere. If you know, please reply. Thank you so much.

    A.  Hi Karen, Okay, here's the scoop... Capric/Caprylic triglyceride, as you've probably found out through your research, is also known as fractionated coconut oil. What does fractionated mean?It basically means separated. Coconut oil is a very complex oil, consisting of many types of fatty acids. Some fatty acids are solid at room temperature, some are liquid. When you heat up coconut oil, it all melts and turns in to a complete liquid. But as you cool it, some of it turns in to solids (the saturated fats)while some stays liquid (the medium-chain fatty acids). At a certain temperature, the solids are separated from the liquids. This is done physically, not chemically, by either a press or by centrifuge. So, that's the good news here--capric/caprylic triglyceride (we'll call it CCT from herein) is an unadulterated natural ingredient because there are no solvents used. In fact, the solid part of the oil is what we use to make our coconut wax candles!  So, in theory, the CCT shouldn't be comedogenic because it's liquid at room temperature, and thus should remain liquid on and in your skin and not clog pores.


    If you're getting clogged pores (comedones) or pimples from a product and you think that it's the CCT, there is an explanation.... Clogged pores usually consist of a blend of sebum (our skin's natural oil), keratin masses (proteins), and dead skin cells. When sebum lipids leak in to the skin below and in to the deeper skin tissue, it causes infection (a pimple). This infection is typically caused by the grouping of the free fatty acids of the skin sebum. There is naturally occurring bacteria in our skin that feed off of oil, breaking the oil down in to smaller pieces called free fatty acids. Medium chain fatty acids as found in CCT are great food for this bacteria. So, theoretically, the CCT could be feeding the bacteria on your face, which then in turn create free fatty acids, which can then exacerbate acne.... However, this science is still being debated, so there really is no definite 100% answer. That's probably why you can't find straight answer about it online!The bottom line is that CCT on its own doesn't clog pores, however, it may act as the food for bacteria that can in turn, clog pores and cause break outs.


    My recommendations for you, if you're experiencing breakouts, is not something you put on your skin, but something you put in your body: flax seeds. They have totally worked for me in balancing my hormones and clearing my skin. For more on how they work, check out this page:

    Reader Comments (10)

    Stephanie I think this ingredients is not safe, on the Terressentials blog you can find this: "So what are those mysterious coconut oil- or palm oil-derived surfactants? Surprise -- they're synthetic oleochemical detergents! What are vegetable emulsifying wax, fatty acids -- cetyl or cetearyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate, caprylic/capric triglycerides, stearic acid, etc.?. These materials are all synthetic oleochemicals used as emollients, emulsifiers and thickeners. All of these are ingredients are frequently seen on the "natural" and "organic" personal care product ingredient listings of the products sold in the healthy, natural, organic and good-for-you grocery stores and on web sites. The problem is that these ingredients are not really natural nor organic! Another, bigger problem is that many of the surfactants and fatty acids may have toxic catalyst residues or toxic contaminants -- by-products -- from their industrial manufacturing processes" (

    Thu, August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaz

    Is Capric/Caprylic triglyceride an oleochemical?

    Tue, June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaz

    So, with new information available about this ingredient, I will be posting an update soon. It turns out that it's NOT as simple as it being fractionated coconut oil. Is it dangerous? No, not really. But it's not as natural as we previously thought.

    Regarding the term oleochemical--yes it is. But I think that this whole "oleochemical" article that Terressentials wrote is a bit of a scare tactic. They do have some accurate information there, but also some things that are a bit blown out of proportion. Something being an oleochemical, by definition, simply means that instead of being derived from petroleum, it's derived from natural raw ingredients, like coconut oil or sugar. I do agree with them that there can be contaminants from processing in many of these ingredients, and many companies use sub-par ingredients and call them organic. But, they seem to be making an oversimplification about oleochemicals. By definition, soap is an "oleochemical" because it's derived from natural oils. So, by definition, Terressentials uses oleochemicals in their products! They also seem to have a problem with vegetable glycerin, although they don't state any reason other than saying that it's an "oleochemical." No real risk even stated. The funny thing is, vegetable glycerin is present in all of their soaps. It's a natural component of soap, and without it, soaps are very harsh and drying. So, for them to try to scare people away from vegetable glycerin and "oleochemicals," they're also including their own products. Are there oleochemicals that should be avoided? Of course. Are there oleochemicals that are safe? Yes! To have this umbrella statement of "avoid all oleochemicals" is a bit of an oversimplification. Plus, you'll also notice that they don't cite a single source to back up their claims. Additionally, they state that "body care products arenĀ“t currently covered by the National Organic Program." That's actually not true. There is no exemption for body care products, and the actual wording of the law states that ALL agricultural products are subject to organic regulations.

    I truly mean no disrespect to Terressentials. They have very high standards that I do respect, and they have been in business for a long time. This article, however, I do have a few issues with. (Perhaps I'll go in to more detail at another date. ) In the meantime, if you'd like to read their article, you can find it here.

    In regards to Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, I'll be posting a full analysis of this ingredient as a Chemical of the Day soon.

    Wed, June 8, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]


    I would like to praise Steph for taking the time to write up such a sophisticated and informed article.

    Thank you!

    Tue, November 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWow

    Hi! Thanks for this information. I make homemade soap and one item I bought was Aloe Extract. Today I wanted to use the extract for my face after a shower and the two ingredients were Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride and Aloe leaf extract. I decided to research the first ingredient. Seems it may not be too bad for the skin, but I will keep researching and maybe even just get an aloe plant instead.
    Thank you again!

    Thu, May 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

    Thanks for this informative article. Did you ever end up writing a "Chemical of the Day" article on Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride? I am always researching beauty product ingredients and it is great to find someone who goes into the science of it, instead of the usual over-simplified explanations.

    Mon, August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

    I am living on St. Lucia in the Caribbean and my wife (76y/o) has advanced alzheimers. Her mother and sister also had Alzheimer's. We started her on non-heat processed cocanut oil about 3-4 months ago. I do think she has more speech attempts/day now. No improvement in swallowing noted. I would like to strt a ketogenic diet, and think caprylic triglyceride would be good for this. I am considering making the oil from cocanut. I am interested in methodology.
    Also of interest is glutathiamine, an antioxidant. Do you know anything about this substance? Tom Lucas (

    Tue, August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom Lucas, M.D.

    I am not aware of any medicinal benefits of capric/caprylic triglyceride, nor can I offer medical advice. I do wish you the best in her recovery! One website to check out would be There's a lot of info on there regarding Alzheimers.

    Thu, August 7, 2014 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

    I noticed you did not cite a single source to back up your claims either.

    Tue, September 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

    @Anonymous--Please refer to the section that says "Sources" followed by two links.

    @Heidi--this one slipped through my radar! Putting it on my list of updates to write !:D

    Tue, September 9, 2014 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

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