Coconut oil is considered a lauric oil whose fatty acid composition is high in lauric acid (45–50%). Moreover, coconut oil is a rich source of medium chain triglycerides with carbon numbers falling mostly in the C32 to C44 range.
The oil remains solid at 20 °C, yet melts very sharply and is completely liquid at 30 °C. As such, coconut oil is popular for use in personal care products. The oil can be split into fatty acids and then reesterified and fractionated to produce medium chain compositions, useful in medical and infant formula applications.
“Coconut oil kills bacteria that cause diseases such as pneumonia, sore throats, dental cavities, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, and food poisoning,” “It also kills the causes of fungal infections such as candida, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, jock itch, and diaper rash. It kills viruses having a lipid coating, such as herpes, HIV, hepatitis C, influenza, and mononucleosis.”
Coconut oil is a common ingredient in personal care products such as soaps, lotions, and cosmetics. Also, lauric acid and its derivatives (e.g., lauryl sulfate) are used as detergents and surfactants in cleansers. Rubbing VCO directly on the skin can boost the skin’s moisture and lipid content, similar to mineral oil. Coconut oil may confer antiseptic properties to lotions or moisturizers that could benefit people with certain skin conditions.