Coconut Oil vs MCT Oil

coconut-milk-625_625x350_61466496117If you search coconut oil, you will find hundreds of websites that say it is a superfood and has 100+ uses. I am going to try and be as unbiased as possible, and while I would never say it will make you lose weight (mct oil) or treat lice (from the European Journal of Pediatrics), I will mention its benefits. Coconut oil has a high smoke point, and while that is good for cooking purposes, eating chips or fries cooked in coconut oil probably won’t help you lose weight. Over 50% of coconut oil is lauric acid, and contains vitamins such as E and K, and is high in iron.

Coconut oil has a low molecular weight, so when using it for hair care, it works great because it penetrates deep into the hair follicle, reducing protein loss. I recently had a keratin treatment done, and I am regretting it now because most of those treatments contain formaldehyde, and are not cheap either. A more affordable option that can be done at home is using coconut oil as a hair treatment. It is effective on dandruff, as the oil has antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. The iron stimulates cell turnover on the scalp and helps hair to grow, while preventing breakage. However, it is known to fade red hair color.

Articles on the internet say you can use it straight as a de-frizzer. I do not recommend this. Use a very small amount. It personally makes my hair look greasy.

rose-facial-creamGreen Seed Herbals Rose Facial Cream is our top selling facial cream. It is made in Vermont too! A fancy word I heard recently, comedogenic refers to pore-clogging ingredients. You can search oils on a rating system from 0-5, 0 meaning it won’t clog pores and 5 being the more likely to clog pores. Coconut oil is rated a 4. (Hemp seed oil, shea butter, and argan are rated 0). However, people with normal to dry skin can tolerate it. If you are worried about breakouts but want the benefits of coconut oil, then combine it with another carrier oil rated lower. For example, Green Seed Herbals Rose Facial Cream does contain coconut oil, but it is the third ingredient listed, with sweet almond and jojoba listed before. Both of these oils are rated a 2 on the scale, another ingredient being bees wax, also a 2. Rose in general is great for dry skin, so it is probably not the best product for acne prone skin. On the other hand, I would recommend the Green Seed Herbals Alpine Glow Facial Cream. Instead of coconut oil, it contains shea butter as the third ingredient, which has a 0 rating and therefore better for acne-prone skin, and is perfect for those who want to support local vendors/herbalists.

I almost forgot to mention Life-Flo Fractionated Coconut Oil, located in our carrier oil section beneath the essential oils. Taken directly from their website:

“Reveal Your Youthful, Dewy Complexion with Fractionated Coconut Oil

  • Feather-light oil that absorbs readily into the skin without clogging pores
  • Produced through the hydrolysis of coconut oil and then fractionated by steam distillation
  • Has an indefinite shelf life and is light, non-greasy, non-staining and colorless
  • Contains only medium triglycerides, meaning it won’t turn solid
  • Great carrier for essential oils, for handmade skin and hair products, aromatherapy, and massage therapy
  • Excellent for dry, troubled skin and is also food grade

645951737300Fractionated coconut oil is truly a versatile oil with numerous benefits from culinary to cosmetics. A fraction of the whole oil where certain chains of fatty acids are separated, refining, clarifying, and deodorizing the oil while keeping the benefits as an emollient and moisturizer the same. Unlike many other carrier oils it is highly stable, odorless, deodorized, non-staining, and colorless making it wonderful to use as a carrier oil for essential oils, for handmade skin and hair products, aromatherapy, and massage therapy. Feather-light, absorbs readily into the skin without clogging pores and is excellent for dry, troubled skin. For personal care, it can be applied to the skin for face and body care. Can be used on all skin types and is excellent for mature, dry-damaged skin. May also be used as a massage oil.”

images (2) “Alaffia’s pure African Coconut Oil is made at our co-op in Togo, West Africa. Powerful restorative & hydrating fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, leave skin soft & smooth. Alaffia products are formulated to balance science with tradition to holistically benefit your hair and skin, as well as communities and the environment.”

Ingredients:Cocos nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil*, Cocos nucifera (Copra) Extract. Certified Fair For Life – Social & Fair Trade certified by IMO.


33804204_000_eThis product is meant for body care use only, not for cooking purposes. “Alaffia’s success is not simply measured by profit.  Our success is measured by empowerment. Empowerment Projects are Alaffia’s mission in action, funded by the sales of Alaffia products. Alaffia invests in our communities because it is our moral responsibility and to ensure African resources empower African communities. The goal is to alleviate poverty and encourage gender equality. Our Empowerment Projects include several Education-Based Projects, Maternal Health, FGM Eradication, Eyeglasses and Reforestation. All of Alaffia’s projects empower Togolese communities to provide their skills and knowledge to the rest of the world and rise out of poverty.”

coconutoilMost of the coconut oil products that we carry in wellness are from the Philippines. They all claim to be nonhydrogenated. Jarrow offers a green and a red label. The green label is “extra virgin” and is cold pressed. The red label is expeller pressed, making it a better option for those who don’t like the strong coconut taste. The softgel they offer is from cold pressed coconuts, but is not vegetarian (gelatin capsule).
Barleans claims theirs is harvested at peak flavor, containing the highest nutrients available. Their coconut oil is cold pressed. They have a Fair Trade label as well.
Garden of Life claims to have the best coconut oil in the world. It is a raw product. This is the one I use, and it has a very mild scent and flavor.
Nutiva follows the same purity methods, but after comparing different brands, this is my favorite. They donate to over 25 environmental causes and sustainable agriculture. They donated 30,000 coconut seedlings to farmers, and increased that number to over 100,000 seedlings after the typhoon in 2015.
Not all coconut oils are the same, but we have a good selection to choose from. Some companies undergo refining, bleaching, and deodorizing, like the Life-Flo option. If you want the benefits of coconut oil but hate the taste, try Jarrow softgels. The oils we sell can be used in cooking or for body care (excluding Alaffia). Personally, I would not use the Life-Flo coconut oil in cooking.

Raw and Cold-pressed are not the same thing. Cold-pressed can still have heat applied, and the more heat that is applied during extraction, the more flavor will be present.

There is no difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil


now-02199-3MCT oil is tasteless and stands for medium chain triglyceride. It is easier to digest, and the fats are processed through the liver rather than digestion like most other foods. The following fatty acids are mct’s: caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. MCT oil is extracted from coconut oil or palm oil, but they naturally occur in human breast milk and dairy products. Coconut oil is high in mct’s, but mct oil is more concentrated in certain types of mct, such as caprylic acid and capric acid. Coconut oil is higher in lauric acid, which acts like a long and medium chain fatty acid. When coconut oil (or other product containing lauric acid) is digested, it is converted to monolaurin, which is optimal for immune function. MCT oil does not contain this. So there are the pros and cons. My opinion on mct oil that is derived from palm oil: it is very destructive to the environment and to the people who manufacture it (look for sustainably harvested/fair trade).

MCT Jarrow Formulas® MCT Oil is a natural source of caprylic (C8) and capric (C10) fatty acids with a minimal amount of lauric acid compared to other conventional MCT oil products and standard coconut oil. Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is rapidly absorbed, which provides fast fuel to the body.*

Jarrow Formulas® MCT Oil provides:

– Quick Energy for the Brain*  – Fast Metabolic Fuel for Muscles*  – Support for a Low-Carb, Ketogenic Diet*

Important Features of Jarrow Formulas® MCT Oil:

– All-Natural  – Odorless  – 100% Pure

Suggested Usage: Take 1 tablespoon per day, on an empty stomach, or as directed by your qualified healthcare professional. Use in cooking, baking, on salads or in smoothies. Not recommended for frying.

“Long story short:

  • For fast and lasting energy, concentrated MCT oil is more beneficial
  • For Lauric acid and its immune benefits, coconut oil is the superstar” (Source: Wellness Mama)